Institut für Humangenetik

Prof. Schmid

Arbeitsgruppe Zytogenetik

Leiter: Prof. Dr. rer. biol. hum. Michael Schmid


Tel.: +49-931-31-84077

Fax: +49-931-31-84058


Michael Schmid obtained his B.S. degree from the University of Freiburg, and his doctorate in human biology from the University of Ulm, Germany. He directs the cytogenetics group at the Department of Human Genetics of the University of Würzburg where he became a professor in 1995. Michael Schmid is Editor-in-Chief of the journals Cytogenetic and Genome Research and  Sexual Development and executive editor of the journal Molecular Syndromology. He was one of the  founding editors of the journal Chromosome Research. He currently serves as editor of the revived book series “Monographs in Human Genetics” and as executive editor of the new book series “Genome Dynamics”.

Research interests

Central themes of the group are comparative cytogenetics and genome evolution by analysing the microscopic and molecular structure of vertebrate including human genomes using chromosome banding, chromosome painting, spectral karyotyping and other FISH methods.
Prefered model organisms for the understanding of genome evolution and genomic variability are amphibians , fish and birds. Principles of chromosome evolution are studied by in depth analysis of the neotropical amphibian species Eleutherodactylus which includes more than 800 different members. The karyotypes of more than 200 of these are available for study. In collaboration with US and Canadian groups, chromosome data are being combined with data from the analysis of the mitochondrial genomes in order to arrive at a comprehensive characterization of evolutionary lineages. In collaboration with Professor Manfred Schartl (Biocenter of the University of Wurzburg) the group studies the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determining genes such as DMRT1 in various fish and avian species. Following extensive work on gene mapping in birds and the discovery of conserved synteny between avian and human chromosomes, the group continues to study mechanisms of chromosome evolution and chromosome imprinting in various bird species. These studies were extended most recently to the avian orthologs of the human Fanconi anemia family of caretaker genes. In addition, the cytogenetics group provides pre- and postnatal cytogenetic services and continuously publishes case reports on human chromosome aberrations.  

Selected references

Nanda I, Shan Z, Schartl M, et al: 300 million years of conserved syntheny between chicken Z and human chromosome 9. Nature Genetics 1999; 21: 258-9

Stöck M, Lamatsch DK, Steinlein C, et al: Discovery of a bisexually reproducing all-triploid vertebrate. Nature Genetics 2002; 30: 325-328.

Nanda I, Kondo M, Hornung U, et al: A duplicated copy of DMRT1 in the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome of the medaka, Oryzias latipes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002; 99: 11778-83

Guttenbach M, Nanda I, Feichtinger W et al: Comparative chromosome painting of chicken autosomal paints 1-9 in nine different bird species. Cytogenet Genome Res 2003; 103: 173-78

Masabanda JS, Burt DW, O’Brien PCM, et al: Molecular cytogenetic definition of the chicken genome: the first complete avian karyotype. Genetics 2004;166: 1367-1373.

Schmid M, Nanda I, Hoehn H, et al: Second report on chicken genes and chromosomes. Cytogenet Genome Res 2005; 109: 415-79

Buwe A, Guttenbach M, Schmid M: Effect of paternal age on the frequency of cytogenetic abnormalities in human spermatozoa. Cytogenet Genome Res 2005; 111: 213-228.