IMC9 Registration Open

Registration for the 9th International Mycological Congress, held 1-6 of August, is now open.  This looks to be an exciting, dynamic, and broad conference on fungal biology covering a great breadth of topics.  These include: intricate look at fungal cell biology using microscopy, genetic and molecular biology tools; Evolution of fungi through systematics and comparative biology and new aspects of taxonomy; genetics and genomics of fungi; Studies of plant and animal pathogens.  The meeting is only held every 5 years so I hope you can advantage of it! This year it will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.  The early registration is 5 February and you have until 9 April to submit abstracts.


Hope to see you there

Underwater mushrooms? The cover of the Jan/Feb Mycologia has a picture of a pretty weird place to find a mushroom growing – a new species of mushroom that was found fruiting underwater in the Rogue river in Oregon.  This was reported about two years ago for a discovery that was made in 2005, but this is a formal publication on the finding and species description of Psathyrella aquatica. It is quite cool to see discovery of a new habitat for mushrooms, but I expect some more work will be required to fully understand the mechanics and development dealing with the challenges of underwater growth.  I think it would be interesting to see what kind of dispersal mechanisms there are since the spores are probably forced to float downstream, if there is an animal or wind dispersal mechanism at some later stage too or whether one finds mycelium growing in the soil near and around the rivers.

The important part of identifying the species and sequencing identifying molecular marker like ITS is that when later metagenomics studies of soil are performed, the anonymous sequenced clones can be matched up to know species, and we can identify where else this fungus is found.

Frank, J., Coffan, R., & Southworth, D. (2009). Aquatic gilled mushrooms: Psathyrella fruiting in the Rogue River in southern Oregon Mycologia, 102 (1), 93-107 DOI: 10.3852/07-190

Neurospora 2010 and upcoming fungal conferences

Don’t forget to register for Neurospora 2010 held at the beautiful Asilomar Conference center in Pacific Grove, CA held April 8-11, 2010. Get your filamentous fungi fix here!

Also save the date for some other important upcoming conferences you may consider attending

Other evolutionary and genomics meetings

a mushroom and a microsporidia walk into a bar

These papers got lost in my drafts of things to write about.  Grants and overdue manuscripts are keeping me away from the blog.

  • Published work from Gary Foster’s lab in Applied Env Micro show progress on genetic engineering tools to express introduced genes in the basidiomycete mushroom system Clitopilus passeckerianus. C. passeckarianus produces an antibiotic, pleuromutilin, an important antibiotic. Cover photo [Press] They also showed the  5′ intron is important for efficient expression, something that has been shown several times in fungi and provides more evidence for the role of introns in promoting or regulating an aspect of gene expression or translation. Perhaps by splicing-dependent export.
  • Corradi et al – the genome of the microsporidia parasite of Daphnia (water flea). It’s as big as a fungal genome at 24Mb (S.cerevisiae is about 12Mb, Neurospora crassa about 40Mb) but only has about 2,100 genes (S.cerevisiae has ~6,000, N.crassa ~ 10,000). DOI: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-10-r106