Still time to register for MSA

Abstract deadline and early registration deadlines have been extended for MSA meeting which will be held June 28 – July 1 in Lexington, KY.


Have YOU registered for the joint meeting of the Mycological Society of America and the International Symposium on Fungal Endophytes of Grasses yet? If not, don’t despair, you still have a chance to see and be seen by everyone who is anyone in the mycological /endophyte world: join us in Lexington at the Hilton Hotel and Convention Center, June 28-July 1. The meeting price is a real deal, the registration fee INCLUDES your tickets for the opening social (with real, live bluegrass fiddlers) and the closing banquet at the Kentucky Horse Park, featuring the infamous MSA auction, and the side-splitting antics of the Moron Brothers musical and comedy duo. Be sure not to leave until July 2, so you won’t miss all the fun! Come on down, what are you waiting for, register now!!! Register, book hotel rooms (even find roommates and carpool buddies), and submit your abstracts at our meeting website,

Program Chair: Tom Horton

Local Arrangements Committee: Lisa Vaillancourt and Chris Schardl

Methylation to the max!

A new paper from the Zilberman lab at UC Berkeley shows the application of high throughput sequencing to the study of DNA methylation in eukaryotes.  They generate an huge data set of whole genome methylation patterns in several plants, animals, and five fungi including early diverging Zygomycete.

The work was performed using Bisulfite sequencing (Illumina) to capture methylated DNA, RNA-Seq of mRNA. The also performed some ChIP-Seq of H2A.Z on pufferfish to look at the nucleosome positioning in that species. For aligning the reads, they used BowTie to align the bisulfite sequences (though I’d be curious how a new aligner, BRAT, designed for Bisulfite seq reads would perform) to the genome.  They also sequenced mRNA via RNA-Seq to assay gene expression for some of the species.

They find several interesting patterns in animal and fungal genomes.  I’ll highlight one in the fungi. They find an unexpected pattern in U. reesii of reduced CGs in repeats, which shows signatures of a RIP-like process, are also methylated.  This finding is also consistent with observations in Coccidioides (Sharpton et al, Genome Res 2009) that showed depleted CGs pairs in repeats.  Since the phenomenon is also found in Coccidioides genomes this methylation of some repeats is likely not unique to U. reesii but may be important in recent evolution of the Onygenales fungi or the larger Eurotiales fungi.  There are several other interesting findings with the first such study that shows methylation data for Zygomycete fungi and a basidiomycete close to my heart, Coprinopsis.  It will be interesting is to dig deeper into this data and see how the patterns of methylation compare to other genomic features and the mechanisms regulating methylation process.

Zemach, A., McDaniel, I., Silva, P., & Zilberman, D. (2010). Genome-Wide Evolutionary Analysis of Eukaryotic DNA Methylation Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1186366