Dr. Witoon Purahong

Contact / Address

Dr. Witoon Purahong

Department of Soil Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4 | D-06120 Halle/Saale


+49 345 558 5207
+46 345 558 5449

Witoon Purahong

Current position

since 2014

Research Scientist at Department for Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

Previous scientific positions


2008 - 2011

PhD student at the Department for Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ (Registered as a PhD student at Department Ecology and Ecosystem Sciences, Technische Universität München)

 Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Chandrakasem Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand


Student trainee, Laboratory, BIOTEC (National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), Thailand


Teaching assistant on botanical courses, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand



Master of Science (passed with high distinction),Technische Universität München, Germany


Laurea specialistica Ortofrutticoltura Internazionale (110/110 Cum Laude), University of Bologna, Italy


Diplom-Ingenieur/. Diplom-Ingenieurin (with distinction), University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria


Master of Professional in Teaching Profession, (Teaching Biology), Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok Thailand


Bachelor of science (Biology) (1st Class Honors), Srinakharinwirot University (SWU), Bangkok Thailand

Research interests

  • Microbial diversity
  • Fungal Diversity
  • Decomposition
  • Plant pathology
  • Fusarium graminearum

Research topics

The effect of forest management intensity on the diversity of wood-decaying fungi and dead wood decomposition
Molecular microbial diversity of dead wood and leaf litter in forests of different forest management intensity.


Tissue and cell culture, Immunohistochemistry, ELISA, HPLC, Classical identifications (bacteria, fungi, plants and animal (insects), Ecological methodology, Soil microbiology, PCR, Real time PCR, Reverse transcription PCR, DNA sequencing and Basic Bioinformatics

Cooperations with other partners

Professor Kevin D. Hyde, School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand

Selected Publications

Purahong W.,Krüger D.(2012)
A better understanding of functional roles of fungi in the decomposition process: using precursor rRNA containing ITS regions as a marker for the active fungal community.
Ann For Sci (Accepted)

Purahong W., Alkadri D., Nipoti P., Pisi A., Lemmens M., Prodi A. (2012)
Validation of a modified Petri-dish test to quantify aggressive levels of Fusarium graminearum in durum wheat.
Eur J Plant Pathol 132:381–391. DOI:10.1007/s10658-011-9883-2

Prodi A., Purahong W., Alkadri D., Nipoti P., Pisi A. (2011)
Chemotype composition difference of durum wheat-infecting Fusarium graminearum population in closed areas separated by the Apennines in Northern-Central Italy.
Plant Pathol J 27(4): 354-359. download DOI:10.5423/PPJ.2011.27.4.354

Purahong W., Hyde K.D. (2011)
Effects of fungal endophytes on grass and non-grass litter decomposition rates.
Fungal Divers 47: 1–7 (IF=5.074; 1/30; Mycology). DOI:10.1007/s13225-010-0083-8

Purahong W., Lerstaveesin P., Ampornpan L. (2010)
Succession of fungi associated with decomposition of leaf litter in tropical ever green forest (Northeastern Thailand).
Pol J Ecol 58(3): 515–522. download

2018 (4)

  • Dissanayake, A.J., Purahong, W., Wubet, T., Hyde, K.D., Zhang, W., Xu, H., Zhang, G., Fu, C., Liu, M., Xing, Q., Li, X., (2018):
    Direct comparison of culture-dependent and culture-independent molecular approaches reveal the diversity of fungal endophytic communities in stems of grapevine (Vitis vinifera)
    Fungal Divers. 90 (1), 85 - 107
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI
  • Jayawardena, R.S., Purahong, W., Zhang, W., Wubet, T., Li, X., Liu, M., Zhao, W., Hyde, K.D., Liu, J., Yan, J., (2018):
    Biodiversity of fungi on Vitis vinifera L. revealed by traditional and high-resolution culture-independent approaches
    Fungal Divers. 90 (1), 1 - 84
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI
  • Purahong, W., Wubet, T., Kahl, T., Arnstadt, T., Hoppe, B., Lentendu, G., Baber, K., Rose, T., Kellner, H., Hofrichter, M., Bauhus, J., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., (2018):
    Increasing N deposition impacts neither diversity nor functions of deadwood‐inhabiting fungal communities, but adaptation and functional redundancy ensure ecosystem function
    Environ. Microbiol. 20 (5), 1693 - 1710
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI
  • Purahong, W., Wubet, T., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., (2018):
    Molecular evidence strongly supports deadwood-inhabiting fungi exhibiting unexpected tree species preferences in temperate forests
    ISME J. 12 , 289 - 295
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI

2017 (4)

  • Delelegn, Y.T., Purahong, W., Blazevic, A., Yitaferu, B., Wubet, T., Göransson, H., Godbold, D.L., (2017):
    Changes in land use alter soil quality and aggregate stability in the highlands of northern Ethiopia
    Sci. Rep. 7 , art. 13602
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI
  • Gui, H., Purahong, W., Hyde, K.D., Xu, J., Mortimer, P.E., (2017):
    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Funneliformis mosseae alters bacterial communities in subtropical forest soils during litter decomposition
    Front. Microbiol. 8 , art. 1120
    Volltext (URL)
    Daten DOI
  • Kahl, T., Arnstadt, T., Baber, K., Bässler, C., Bauhus, J., Borken, W., Buscot, F., Floren, A., Heibl, C., Hessenmöller, D., Hofrichter, M., Hoppe, B., Kellner, H., Krüger, D., Linsenmair, K.E., Matzner, E., Otto, P., Purahong, W., Seilwinder, C., Schulze, E.-D., Wendei, B., Weisser, W.W., Gossner, M.M., (2017):
    Wood decay rates of 13 temperate tree species in relation to wood properties, enzyme activities and organismic diversities
    For. Ecol. Manage. 391 , 86 - 95
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Pietsch, K.A., Lentendu, G., Schöps, R., Bruelheide, H., Wirth, C., Buscot, F., Wubet, T., (2017):
    Characterization of unexplored deadwood mycobiome in highly diverse subtropical forests using culture-independent molecular technique
    Front. Microbiol. 8 , art. 574
    Volltext (URL)

2016 (7)

  • Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Purahong, W., Buscot, F., Reitz, T., (2016):
    Reinoculation elucidates mechanisms of bacterial community assembly in soil and reveals undetected microbes
    Biol. Fert. Soils 52 (8), 1073 - 1083
    Volltext (URL)
  • Hoppe, B., Purahong, W., Wubet, T., Kahl, T., Bauhus, J., Arnstadt, T., Hofrichter, M., Buscot, F., Krüger, D., (2016):
    Linking molecular deadwood-inhabiting fungal diversity and community dynamics to ecosystem functions and processes in Central European forests
    Fungal Divers. 77 (1), 367 - 379
    Volltext (URL)
  • Nawaz, A., Purahong, W., Lehmann, R., Herrmann, M., Küsel, K., Totsche, K.U., Buscot, F., Wubet, T., (2016):
    Superimposed pristine limestone aquifers with marked hydrochemical differences exhibit distinct fungal communities
    Front. Microbiol. 7 , art. 666
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Arnstadt, T., Kahl, T., Bauhus, J., Kellner, H., Hofrichter, M., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., Hoppe, B., (2016):
    Are correlations between deadwood fungal community structure, wood physico-chemical properties and lignin-modifying enzymes stable across different geographical regions?
    Fungal Ecol. 22 , 98 - 105
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Durka, W., Fischer, M., Dommert, S., Schöps, R., Buscot, F., Wubet, T., (2016):
    Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest
    Sci. Rep. 6 , art. 36672
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., Wubet, T., (2016):
    Correlations between the composition of modular fungal communities and litter decomposition-associated ecosystem functions
    Fungal Ecol. 22 , 106 - 114
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Wubet, T., Lentendu, G., Schloter, G., Pecyna, M.J., Kapturska, D., Hofrichter, M., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., (2016):
    Life in leaf litter: novel insights into community dynamics of bacteria and fungi during litter decomposition
    Mol. Ecol. 25 (16), 4059 - 4074
    Volltext (URL)

2015 (2)

  • Purahong, W., Kapturska, D., Pecyna, M.J., Jariyavidyanont, K., Kaunzner, J., Juncheed, K., Uengwetwanit, T., Rudloff, R., Schulz, E., Hofrichter, M., Schloter, M., Krüger, D., Buscot, F., (2015):
    Effects of forest management practices in temperate beech forests on bacterial and fungal communities involved in leaf litter degradation
    Microb. Ecol. 69 (4), 905 - 913
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Stempfhuber, B., Lentendu, G., Francioli, D., Reitz, T., Buscot, F., Schloter, M., Krüger, D., (2015):
    Influence of commonly used primer systems on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of bacterial communities in environmental samples
    PLOS One 10 (3), e0118967
    Volltext (URL)

2014 (5)

  • Purahong, W., Hoppe, B., Kahl, T., Schloter, M., Schulze, E.-D., Bauhus, J., Buscot, F., Krüger, D., (2014):
    Changes within a single land-use category alter microbial diversity and community structure: Molecular evidence from wood-inhabiting fungi in forest ecosystems
    J. Environ. Manage. 139 , 109 - 119
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Kahl, T., Schloter, M., Bauhus, J., Buscot, F., Krüger, D., (2014):
    Comparing fungal richness and community composition in coarse woody debris in Central European beech forests under three types of management
    Mycol. Prog. 13 (3), 959 - 964
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Kapturska, D., Pecyna, M.J., Schulz, E., Schloter, M., Buscot, F., Hofrichter, M., Krüger, D., (2014):
    Influence of different forest system management practices on leaf litter decomposition rates, nutrient dynamics and the activity of ligninolytic enzymes: a case study from central European forests
    PLOS One 9 (4), e93700
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Nipoti, P., Pisi, A., Lemmens, M., Prodi, A., (2014):
    Aggressiveness of different Fusarium graminearum chemotypes within a population from Northern-Central Italy
    Mycoscience 55 (1), 63 - 69
    Volltext (URL)
  • Purahong, W., Schloter, M., Pecyna, M.J., Kapturska, D., Däumlich, V., Mital, S., Buscot, F., Hofrichter, M., Gutknecht, J.L.M., Krüger, D., (2014):
    Uncoupling of microbial community structure and function in decomposing litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe
    Sci. Rep. 4 , art. 7014
    Volltext (URL)

2012 (1)

  • Purahong, W., Krüger, D., (2012):
    A better understanding of functional roles of fungi in the decomposition process: using precursor rRNA containing ITS regions as a marker for the active fungal community
    Ann. For. Sci. 69 (6), 659 - 662
    Volltext (URL)