MSA 2014 fungi-fun
Steven and Jason attended the Mycological Society of America’s 2014 conference in East Lansing, MI. This included coming in a day early enough for some of us to go on the foray on Sunday after we attended the Microbiology of the Built Environment conference in Boulder, CO.MSA2104 was a great chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and hear some excellent talks on the current state of research in the fields of systematics & taxonomy; ecology & pathology; genetics & molecular biology. Genomics pervades a lot of the research where it was not quite part of the picture when I first started attending so it was great to see how many people taking advantage of the amazing resources produced by the JGI sequencing programs. I also really enjoyed the Karling lecture from Bruce McDonald on domestication in fungi and plants and the “dark side” of this domestication (meaning mostly that there are unintended consequences).There was some tweeting going on at the meeting - I tried to capture some with a storify available here.Jason presented research on the evolution of the fungal cell wall examining early diverging lineages of fungi which is the work of former graduate student Divya Sain.Steven presented his poster on the inhibitory properties of a Chytridiomycota fungus we work on that affects growth of some filamentous fungi and won the award for best graduate student poster!Jason was also honored with the 2014 Alexopoulos Prize to honor a young Mycologist. The prize is in memory of C. J. Alexopoulos who among other things authored the great Introductory Mycology textbook. I have not yet decided how I will spend the prize money but I intend to support a project in the lab or to support travel for collecting more strains tied to chytrid work.A photo of Steven and Jason at the banquet.