Our team


Dr. Ahmed Abdelfattah

Head of Microbiome Management WG

Department: Microbiome Biotechnology

Telefon: +49 331 5699-123
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Program areas



Veröffentlichungen vor ATB-Zugehörigkeit


Ahmed Abdelfattah, Ayco J.M. Tack, Birgit Wasserman, Jia Liu, Gabriele Berg, John Norelli, Samir Droby, Michael Wisniewski. Evidence for host-microbiome co-evolution in apple. New Phytologist (2021). 10.1111/nph.17820

Biasi A, Zhimo VY, Kumar A, Abdelfattah A, Salim S, Feygenberg O, Wisniewski M, Droby S. Changes in the Fungal Community Assembly of Apple Fruit Following Postharvest Application of the Yeast Biocontrol Agent Metschnikowia fructicola. Horticulturae. 2021 Oct;7(10):360.

Solanki MK, Abdelfattah A, Sadhasivam S, Zakin V, Wisniewski M, Droby S, Sionov E. Analysis of Stored Wheat Grain-Associated Microbiota Reveals Biocontrol Activity among Microorganisms against Mycotoxigenic Fungi. Journal of Fungi. 2021 Sep;7(9):781.

Abdelfattah, A., S. Freilich, R. Bartuv, V. Y. Zhimo, A. Kumar, A. Biasi, S. Salim, O. Feygenberg, E. Burchard, C. Dardick, J. Liu, A. Khan, W. Ellouze, S. Ali, D. Spadaro, R. Torres, N. Teixido, O. Ozkaya, A. Buehlmann, S. Vero, P. Mondino, G. Berg, M. Wisniewski, and S. Droby. 2021. Global Analysis of the Apple Fruit Microbiome: Are All Apples the Same? Environmental Microbiology.

Abdelfattah, A., M. Wisniewski, L. Schena, and A. J. M. Tack. 2021. Experimental evidence of microbial inheritance in plants and transmission routes from seed to phyllosphere and root. Environmental Microbiology.

Belgacem, I., M. G. Li Destri Nicosia, S. Pangallo, A. Abdelfattah, M. Benuzzi, G. E. Agosteo, and L. Schena. 2021. Pomegranate peel extracts as safe natural treatments to control plant diseases and increase the shelf-life and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plants 10:1-13.

Berg G, Kusstatscher P, Abdelfattah A, Cernava T, Smalla K. Microbiome Modulation—Toward a Better Understanding of Plant Microbiome Response to Microbial Inoculants. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2021 Apr 8;12:803.

Berg, G., P. Kusstatscher, F. Stocker, A. Abdelfattah, and T. Cernava. 2021. Advances in understanding modes of action of microbial bioprotectants.in J. Köhl and W. Ravensberg, editors. Microbial bioprotectants for plant disease management Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing (In Press).

Berg, G., P. Kusstatscher, B. Wassermann, T. Cernava, and A. Abdelfattah. Beneficial microbes for agriculture: from discovery to applications.in F. Debruijn and L. Thomashow, editors. Good Microbes in Medicine, Food Production, Biotechnology, Bioremediation and Agriculture (In Press).

Berg, G., B. Wassermann, and A. Abdelfattah. In Press. Directly from the paradise: apples and their microbiome in K. Timmis, editor. A child-centric microbiology education framework. Society for Applied Microbiology (In Press).

Faticov M, Abdelfattah A, Roslin T, Vacher C, Hambäck P, Blanchet FG, Lindahl BD, Tack AJ. Climate warming dominates over plant genotype in shaping the seasonal trajectory of foliar fungal communities on oak. New Phytologist. 2021 May 7.

Kusstatscher, P., T. Cernava, A. Abdelfattah, J. Gokul, L. Korsten, and G. Berg. 2021. Microbiome approaches provide the key to biologically control postharvest pathogens and storability of fruits and vegetables. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 96.

Piombo, E., A. Abdelfattah, S. Droby, M. Wisniewski, D. Spadaro, and L. Schena. 2021. Metagenomics approaches for the detection and surveillance of emerging and recurrent plant pathogens. Microorganisms 9:1-19.

Whitehead SR, Wisniewski ME, Droby S, Abdelfattah A, Freilich S, Mazzola M. The apple microbiome: Structure, function, and manipulation for improved plant health. The Apple Genome. 2021:341-82.


Abdelfattah A, Whitehead SR, Macarisin D, Liu J, Burchard E, Freilich S, Dardick C, Droby S, Wisniewski M. Effect of Washing, Waxing and Low-Temperature Storage on the Postharvest Microbiome of Apple. Microorganisms. 2020 Jun;8(6):944.

Piombo E, Abdelfattah A, Danino Y, Salim S, Feygenberg O, Spadaro D, Wisniewski M, Droby S. Characterizing the Fungal Microbiome in Date (Phoenix dactylifera) Fruit Pulp and Peel from Early Development to Harvest. Microorganisms. 2020 May;8(5):641.

Scibetta S, Agosteo GE, Abdelfattah A, Li Destri Nicosia MG, Cacciola SO, Schena L. Development and application of a quantitative PCR detection method to quantify venturia oleaginea in asymptomatic olive (Olea europaea) leaves. Phytopathology. 2020 Mar 19;110(3):547-55.

Kusstatscher P, Cernava T, Abdelfattah A, Gokul J, Korsten L, Berg G. Microbiome approaches provide the key to biologically control postharvest pathogens and storability of fruits and vegetables. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 2020 Jul;96(7):fiaa119.


Abdelfattah A, Sanzani SM, Wisniewski M, Berg G, Cacciola C, Schena l. (2019) Revealing cues for fungal interplay in the plant-air interface in vineyards. Frontiers in Plant Science.10.3389/fpls.2019.00922.

Belgacem I, Pangallo S, Abdelfattah A, Romeo FV, Cacciola SO, lI Destri Nicosia MG, Ballistreri G, chena l. Transcriptomic analysis of orange fruit treated with pomegranate peel extract (P). Plants. 2019. 10.3390/plants8040101.

Casini, G., Yaseen, T., Abdelfattah, A., Santoro, F., Varvaro, l., Drago, S. and Schena, l., 2019. Endophytic fungal communities of ancient wheat varieties. Phytopathologia Mediterranea. 10.14601/phytopathol_mediterr-23785.

Sionov, E., Solanki, MK., Abdelfattah, A., Britzi, M., Zakin, V., Wisniewski, m. and Droby, S., 2019. Shifts in the composition of the microbiota of stored wheat grains in response to fumigation. Frontiers in Microbiology. 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01098.

Scibetta S, Schena L, Abdelfattah A, Pangallo S, and Cacciola SO. (2019) Selection and experimental evaluation of universal primers to study the fungal microbiome of higher plants. Phytobiomes Journal.



Abdelfattah A, Ruano-Rosa D, Cacciola SO, Li Destri Nicosia MG, Schena L (2018) Impact of Bactrocera oleae on the fungal microbiota of ripe olive drupes. PLOS ONE 13(11): e0199403. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199403

Liu, J., A. Abdelfattah, J. Norelli, E. Burchard, L. Schena, S. Droby, and M. Wisniewski. 2018. Apple endophytic microbiota of different rootstock/scion combinations suggests a genotype-specific influence. Microbiome 6:18.


Ballester A, Norelli J, Burchard E, Abdelfattah A, Levin E, González-Candelas L, Droby S, Wisniewski M. (2017) Transcriptomic response of resistant (PI613981 – Malus sieversii) and susceptible (‘Royal Gala’) genotypes of apple to blue mold (Penicillium expansum) infection. Frontiers Plant Science. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01981

Menegon M, Cantaloni C, Rodriguez-Prieto A, Centomo C, Abdelfattah A, Rossato M, Bernardi M, Xumerle L, Loader S, Delledonne M. (2017) On site DNA barcoding by nanopore sequencing. PloS one. 1;12(10):e0184741.

Abdelfattah A, Malacrinò A, Wisniewski M, Cacciola SO, Schena L. (2017) Metabarcoding: A powerful tool to investigate microbial communities and shape future plant protection strategies. Biological Control. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2017.07.009.

 Pangallo S, Li Destri Nicosia MG, Agosteo GE, Abdelfattah A, Romeo FV, Cacciola SO, Rapisarda P, Schena L. (2017) Evaluation of a Pomegranate Peel Extract (PGE) as Alternative Mean to Control Olive Anthracnose. Phytopathology. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-04-17-0133-R.

30.    Hu, H., M. E. Wisniewski, A. Abdelfattah, and X. Zheng. (2017). Biocontrol activity of a cold-adapted yeast from Tibet against gray mold in cherry tomato and its action mechanism. Extremophiles:1-15. Doi:10.1007/s00792-017-0943-1

Schena, L., Abdelfattah, A., Mosca, S., Nicosia, M. G. L. D., Agosteo, G. E., & Cacciola, S. O. (2017) Quantitative detection of Colletotrichum godetiae and C. acutatum sensu stricto in the phyllosphere and carposphere of olive during four phenological phases. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 1-11.  Doi:10.1007/s10658-017-1185-x


Abdelfattah A, Wisniewski M, Droby S, Schena L (2016) Spatial and compositional variation in the fungal communities of organic and conventionally grown apple fruit at the consumer point-of-purchase. Horticulture Research 3:16042. doi:10.1038/hortres.2016.47

Abdelfattah A, Cacciola SO, Mosca S, Zappia R, Schena L (2016) Analysis of the Fungal Diversity in Citrus Leaves with Greasy Spot Disease Symptoms. Microbial Ecology:1-11. doi:10.1007/s00248-016-0874-x

34.    Wisniewski, M., Norelli, J., Ballester, A.-R., Droby, S., Abdelfattah, A., & Levin, E. (2016). Genomic tools for developing markers for postharvest disease resistance in rosaceae fruit crops. Acta Hortic. 1144, 7-16 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1144.2

Abdelfattah A, Wisniewski M, Li Destri Nicosia MG, Cacciola SO, Schena L. Metagenomic Analysis of Fungal Diversity on Strawberry Plants and the Effect of Management Practices on the Fungal Community Structure of Aerial Organs. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(8):e0160470. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160470.

Prigigallo, M. I., Abdelfattah, A., Cacciola, S. O., Faedda, R., Sanzani, S. M., Cooke, D. E. L., & Schena, L. (2016). Metabarcoding analysis of Phytophthora diversity using genus specific primers and 454 pyrosequencing. Phytopathology, 106:3, 305-313. 10.1094/PHYTO-07-15-0167-R


Abdelfattah A., Nicosia, M. G. L. D., Cacciola, S. O., Droby, S., & Schena, L. (2015). Metabarcoding analysis of fungal diversity in the Phyllosphere and Carposphere of Olive (Olea europaea). PLoS One, 10(7), e0131069. 10.1371/journal.pone.0131069

Abdelfattah A., Valentini F., Frasheri D., D’Onghia A.M., and Djelouah K., (2015) A new primer set for the efficient detection of Spiroplasma citri, the causal agent of citrus stubborn disease. Acta horticulturae (ISHS) Doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1065.107

Curriculum Vitae

Work Experience 

2020-2021 Marie Curie Fellowship, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology. Apple-Biome Project www.applebiome.com

2018 -2020 POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences (DEEP), Stockholm University (Sweden).

2016-2018 POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP, Department of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria (Italy).


2013-2016 DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY. PhD in Ecological and phytosanitary management in agro-forest and urban environments. University of Palermo, Italy. Thesis: Molecular analysis of the fungal community associated with phyllosphere and carposphere of fruit crops.

2011-2012 MASTER OF SCIENCE (RESEARCH). MSc. (Cum Maxima Laude) in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Mediterranean fruit tree species. International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM). Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (MAIB)

2010-2011 POSTGRADUATE SPECIALIZATION DIPLOMA (Cum Maxima Laude) in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Mediterranean fruit tree species. International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM). Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (MAIB)

2003-2008 BACHELOR OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE. B.Sc. in Plant Diseases and Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture Ain Shams University, Egypt


 Italian Scientific habilitation in 2018 in Plant Pathology and Entomology (07/D1). BANDO D.D. 1532/2016.


2020 Exploring the apple microbiome   Initial funding program, TU Graz. (Principal Investigator)


2019 Bolin CENTRE FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH. Biodiversity and climate RA 8. (Principal Investigator).




Abdelfattah, A. 2021. Microcosm: Device for germ-free and microbiome-controlled growth of plants.in S. P. a. R. Office, editor. 543621, Sweden.



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