Anna Maria Pirttilä

Ph.D., Doc.

Senior Researcher
Symbiotic Host-Microbe Interactions

78 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 5090 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 1091 citations. The author has a h-index of 34.00. (


I am interested in symbiotic interactions, and with my research group we study how the interaction with microbes affects plant development and stress tolerance. We apply our research results in fields such as health and environment. I have hosted the reputable Research Fellow position of the Academy of Finland during 2006-2011. In 2016, I was the candidate for Scientist of the Year, and in 2019 the candidate for Women's Innovation prize in Finland. Currently, I have 8 patents/applications/invention disclosures, and I am an editor in the journals Frontiers in Microbiology, Plant and Soil, and 5 books. I have supervised 4 Ph.D. theses and, among others, coordinated five major consortia / projects; NAM (New Antimicrobials) and the TEJAM funded by FP7, FAR funded by Business Finland (Tekes), as well as the Methylobacterium and INCELL projects funded by the Academy of Finland. Our research has been advertised in numerous Finnish newspapers, radio and TV news, and in scientific journals 'Nature Biotechnology' and 'Nature Chemical Biology'. 

Pirttilä lab

Research interests

  • Antimicrobials, Biomimetics, Endophytic symbionts, Endosymbiosis, Gut Microbiome, Host-Microbe Interactions, Plant Defense, Plant Development, Plant-associated Microbiome

Social media

Selected publications

  • Koivusaari, Pirjo; Tejesvi, Mysore V.; Tolkkinen, Mikko; Markkola, Annamari; Mykrä, Heikki; Pirttilä, Anna Maria (2019) Fungi originating from tree leaves contribute to fungal diversity of litter in streams. - Frontiers in microbiology 10, 651 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Koivusaari, Pirjo; Pohjanen, Johanna; Wäli, Piippa R.; Ahonen, Saija H.K.; Saravesi, Karita; Markkola, Anna Mari; Haapala, Kaisa; Suokas, Marko; Koskimäki, Janne J.; Tejesvi, Mysore V.; Pirttilä, Anna Maria (2018) Different endophyte communities colonize buds of sprouts compared with mature trees of mountain birch recovered from moth herbivory. - Tree Physiology 38 (9), 1437-1444 . [Original]
  • Pirttilä, Anna Maria (2016) Commentary : agroforestry leads to shifts within the gammaproteobacterial microbiome of banana plants cultivated in Central America. - Frontiers in microbiology 7, 656 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Koskimäki, Janne J.; Kajula, Marena; Hokkanen, Juho; Ihantola, Emmi-Leena; Kim, Jong H.; Hautajärvi, Heidi; Hankala, Elina; Suokas, Marko; Pohjanen, Johanna; Podolich, Olga; Kozyrovska, Natalia; Turpeinen, Ari; Pääkkönen, Mirva; Mattila, Sampo; Campbell, Bruce C.; Pirttilä, Anna Maria (2016) Methyl-esterified 3-hydroxybutyrate oligomers protect bacteria from hydroxyl radicals. - Nature chemical biology 12 (5), 332-+ . [Original]
  • Tejesvi, MV; Picart, P; Kajula, M; Hautajarvi, H; Ruddock, L; Kristensen, HH; Tossi, A; Sahl, HG; Ek, S; Mattila, S; Pirttilä, AM (2016) Identification of antibacterial peptides from endophytic microbiome.. - Applied microbiology and biotechnology 100 (21), 9283-9293 . [Original]
  • Kauppinen, Miia; Saikkonen, Kari; Helander, Marjo; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Wäli, Piippa R. (2016) Epichloe grass endophytes in sustainable agriculture. - Nature Plants 2 (2), 15224 . [Original]
  • Hardoim, Pablo R.; vHardoim, Pablo R.; van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stephane; Campisano, Andrea; Doering, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela (2015) The hidden world within plants: ecological and evolutionary considerations for defining functioning of microbial endophytes. - Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 79 (3), 293-320
  • Koskimäki, Janne J; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Ihantola, Emmi-Leena; Halonen, Outi; Frank, Carolin (2015) The intracellular Scots pine shoot symbiont Methylobacterium extorquens DSM13060 aggregates around the host nucleus and encodes eukaryote-like proteins.. - mBio 6 (2), 2 . [Original]