What is Fungal Biology?
Fungi range from microscopic, single-celled yeasts to vast underground mycelial colonies covering hundreds of acres. They are heterotrophs that play major roles in recycling environmental carbon, cause diseases of plants and animals, and make many industrial products. Because they are more closely related to animals than to plants and because their biology and genetics are easily manipulated, fungi are great models organisms. With 17 labs dedicated to the study of yeasts and filamentous fungi, the University of Georgia is an international hot spot for fungal biology. Fungal researchers at UGA study ecologically diverse organisms to investigate topics ranging from plant pathology to population genetics to developmental biology. The combination of courses focused on fungi and related research methodologies provides a strong curriculum for graduate students and a productive training environment for postdocs interested in the fungi.
Who Researches Fungal Biology?
- Arnold Lab - Fungal Genomes, systems biology of clocks
- Brewer Lab - Evolution and genetics of plant pathogenic fungi
- Covert Lab - Molecular Genetics of plant-fungal interactions, Fusarium circinatum, Cronartium quercuum f.sp. fusiforme and Ustilago maydis
- Garfinkel Lab - Retrotransposition in yeast
- Glenn Lab - Endophytic Fungi and their interactions with hosts, Fusarium verticilliodes, Neotyphodium coenophialum
- Glover Lab - Role and mechanism of Casein Kinase II, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Gold Lab - Molecular biology of plant-fungal pathogen interactions, Ustilago maydis
- Hall Lab - Mathematical Models of Evolution and Experimental Evolution in Yeast
- Khang Lab - Cellular and molecular biology of plant-fungal interactions, fungal effectors and nutrient uptake, rice and Magnaporthe oryzae
- Lankau Lab - Ecology and evolution of plant and fungal communities
- Lewis Lab - Chromatin Structure and Function in Neurospora crassa
- McEachern Lab - Telomeres in yeast
- Momany Lab - Polarity, cell wall and cell cycle in Aspergillus nidulans and A. fumigatus
- Scherm Lab - Diseases of fruit crops
- Schmidt Lab - Biosynthesis of isoprenylated signaling molecules in S. cerevisiae
- Shefferson Lab - Evolutionary history of mycorrhizae and other plant-microbe interactions
- Starai Lab - Membrane fusion in yeast
Fungi in the News
Fungal contamination of an injectible steroid is responsible for the recent outbreak of meningitis - Scientists at the Center for Disease Control recently learned that the contaminant is actually two fungi - Aspergillus fumigatus and Exserohilum rostratum, both commonly found in the environment. The CDC is coordinating the national effort to make sure affected patients get timely treatment that can save their lives. They are gathering information from health agencies in the affected states, honing treatment options and helping local health workers contact the 13,000 people who may have been infected. Read More in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Follow the CDC's updates which has important links for patient and clinical advice.
Attack of the Clones... Fungi have long been seen as the least interesting pathogens, but two catastrophes in the animal world have changed that view - Fungi have now become a greater global threat to crops, forests, and wild animals than ever before. They have killed countless amphibians, pushing some species to extinction, and they're threatening the food supply for billions of people. More than 125 million tons of the top five food crops—rice, wheat, maize, potatoes, and soybeans—are destroyed by fungi every year. Read More in Science Magazine or Read the original article in Nature
Researchers find a slew of new fungal species inhabiting the human gut, and suggest a link to an inflammatory bowel disease - The microbiome—that teeming mass of essential and coevolved bacteria and viruses that makes humans more microbe than man—just got a little more diverse. A team of researchers led by scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, has revealed a veritable garden of fungal species, dozens of which have never been described before, growing inside the human body. And they link the fungi to the inflammatory bowel disease colitis in a paper recently published in Science. Read More in The Scientist or Read the original article in Science
|Posttranslational modifications and assembly of septin
heteropolymers and higher-order structures
Current Opinion in Microbiology, December 2012
|Development of microsatellite markers from the transcriptome of Erysiphe necator for analysing population structure in North America and Europe
Plant Pathology, Feb 2012