The majority of the research at the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology focuses on basic and applied aspects of plant-associated and environmental microorganisms, with a central focus on fungi and bacteria viewed as either pathogens or beneficial organisms. Plants, our main suppliers of food and fibers, interact directly or indirectly with other organisms, including fungi and bacteria. From agricultural point of view the outcome of these interactions can be useful or harmful. The basic understanding of the biology of such microorganisms, as well as the way they interact with plants is of fundamental importance, since it can contribute to the development of sustainable strategies to cope with plant disease and/or promote higher crop yields, while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. In addition, advances in the understanding of microbial communities and microbial processes in the environment may provide insights that can be exploited for development of novel environmental and biotechnological approaches.