Tag Archives: fungi

MSA 2016

Some us from the lab took a trip up to Berkeley, CA for the MSA 2016 meeting. We road tripped by car from Riverside through the central valley up to Berkeley.

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At the conference we had a great chance to meet with other mycologists, ecologists, and fungal enthusiasts. The meeting was fantastic from the Clark Kerr campus at UC Berkeley we had dorm life living so everyone was close by and could eat meals together. The talks and posters were really outstanding and such fun to talk about interesting research in fungi. Clearly genomics, next generation sequencing are at the forefront of tools used by the community but new approaches to visualizing communities and exploring the interactions between fungi and partners like bacteria and plants were very well explored in the meeting. Some great work on microbiomes and mycobiomes of insects and amphibians also made for some fascinating new results.  There was a MSA session dedicated to some results from the ZyGoLife project and our team also had a one day meeting earlier in the week at the Joint Genome Institute to catch up on all the different team projects (a long post on this will appear on the zygolife project page soon). It was also fun to catch up with former lab member Steven Ahrendt who now works at JGI on early diverging fungi genome projects.

The meeting also featured Arturo Casadevall as the Karling lecture – an honor to bring in a scientist who is likely an outside member of the MSA community to speak about fungi. Dr Casadevall gave a lecture that covered the importance of collaboration, the impact of the pressure to publish in ‘one word journals’, and reviewed his provocative hypothesis about the link in the success of fungi, dinofall of dinosaurs, and rise of mammals. He also paid tribute to Thomas Taylor, a Zygolife collaborator who sadly passed away this Spring but who would have been the Karling lecturer this year.

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Jason spoke on new population genomics work on Candida and Fusarium, while Sawyer presented a poster on Rhizopus stolonifer resequencing and population genomics; Derreck presented a poster on Bacteria-Fungi interactions on Serratia and zygomycete fungi; Nat presented his poster on data from first environmental sequencing of desert biological soil crusts from Joshua Tree National Park. On the way back we stopped for an overnight in Pinnacles National Park. Much fun, science, and discussions were had throughout the week.

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We also stopped to take our first lab album cover photo while in Pinnacles. More to come!

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French connection

Jason was at the European Conference on Fungal Genetics in Paris this April and had a chance to deliver a lecture. It was a great meeting of science and there was a lot of social media coverage by participants.

Jason and Ousmane also attended the 1st conference on multicellular development in fungi where Ousmane presented his work on the Neolecta genome and comparative biology of the Taphrinomycotina fungi.

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An ascus of Neurospora biologists…
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It was a bit imposing to be on stage with bright colored backdrop
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I showed some colorful trees
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Little Jason and big slides

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Mural at a school with a mushroom little red riding hood and mushrooms in the forest
Mural at a school with a mushroom little red riding hood and mushrooms in the forest

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A desert foray

We started some explorations on fungi in desert crusts this week with a project in Joshua Tree National Park. Nuttapom received a Robert Lee Graduate Student research grant to explore impacts of visitor disturbance on biodiversity of desert crusts in JTNP.  Nat with the help of Claudia, Derreck, and Prof Mike Allen did a first exploration of a few sites.  We are happy to see some rain falling this week so there should be some changes to the crusts in some subsequent visits this week and weekend and coinciding with a workshop on desert crusts in the park this weekend. Here’s a few pictures of the team out in the field last week.

Mike leads the team
Mike and Derreck ahead in Hidden Valley
Nat Sampling
Nat, getting his first taste of sampling in the desert.
Claudia looking for sandtsone associated fungi
Dereck and Claudia helping to look for crusts. Claudia is researching sandstone associated fungi from a variety of habitats.
Cyano Crust
Cyanobacteria dominated crust
Moss crust
Moss & crusts

Soil crust site

This one goes to 1000…

Our community sequencing project at the JGI was awarded which will allow a consortium of researchers to sequence 1000 fungal genomes through the DOE’s Joint Genome Institute. The intention is to sample two species from every major lineage of Fungi.

Some press releases on the project below and we will coordinate it through several websites including a forum for discussion about potential species beyond the target list.

A primer on the Fungi

Our primer on the Fungi is available (currently free) on the Current Biology website.  A version with extra refs inserted is available in pre-print format here. In this primer we provide a broad overview of the major evolutionary defined groups within Fungal kingdom. Our intention is make the kingdom a little less mysterious for non-mycologists and introduce some open areas of research that require integrating evolutionary, morphological, and molecular research. This was joint work with Mary BerbeeMeredith BlackwellDavid HibbettTim JamesJoey Spatafora, & John Taylor.

Also thanks to several people for access to images: Jeffrey RollinsSabine HuhndorfDavid McLaughlin & lab, George L BarronGreg Jedd and Michelle Momany.