Neurospora meeting at the ECFG

Please see the following meeting sent on behalf of the Neurospora Policy Committee – and don’t forget to sign up for ECFG11 too!ECFG

Dear all,

Continuing what has become an exciting tradition, we will hold a Neurospora satellite meeting the day after the ECFG11 at the University Marburg, Germany. We are looking forward to a day of talks and discussions on all of the new developments in Neurospora research. Similar to the meetings before, we would like to have at least one talk from each attending lab – students and post-docs are especially encouraged to present their work. Please register through the ECFG site ( If you wish to give a talk, please send us a tentative title and a short abstract via email by January 9, 2012.
We will meet on Tuesday, the 3rd of April at 9:00 a.m. until sometime in the (late) afternoon. We will provide you with more information on the program and venue, once we know who would like to give a presentation.

Registration fees are:
25 Euro for students and postdocs
35 Euro for PIs
The fee covers lunch and coffee breaks
We are very much looking forward to meeting you in Marburg!
Stephan and Andre

Andre Fleissner                                                Stephan Seiler
Institut für Genetik                                          Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik
Technische Universität Braunschweig        Georg-August Universität Göttingen
Spielmannstrasse 7                                         Grisebachstrasse 8
38102 Braunschweig                                      37077 Göttingen
Germany                                                           Germany
Phone: +49-531-3915795                              Phone: +49-551-393777
email:                          email:

Cordyceps on the brain

Cordyceps militaris (Ryan Kepler)I gave a lecture on animal-fungal symbionts and parasites this week so was doing more reading of recent literature on insect-fungi associations. A couple of quick notes worth sharing.

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis was the parasite of the day last week and includes a description of an interesting recent paper looking at the consistency of the symptoms of zombie ants. The article also mentions Carl Zimmer’s post on the same paper in more detail.

You of course have seen the very cool electronic/online Cordyceps monograph at from Joey Spatafora’s lab?

The genome of Cordyceps militaris was sequenced by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They find a reduced copy numbers of many gene families suggesting to the authors that the specialized ecology of the fungus may have limited the need for expanded gene families. The do find expanded copy numbers of metalloproteases – a finding we have also seen in human and amphibian associated pathogens as well as by the authors who looked at the insect associated fungus Metarhizium. There is also a reduction in cutinases and genes related to degrading plant cell walls similar to findings in the human associated pathogens Coccidioides suggesting similar genomic routes to specializing on an animal host from a generalist. They also found that this fungus is heterothallic based on genomic identification of the MAT1-1 locus. There are several more interesting findings in the paper including expression profiling of fruiting body via RNA-Seq.
Zheng, P., Xia, Y., Xiao, G., Xiong, C., Hu, X., Zhang, S., Zheng, H., Huang, Y., Zhou, Y., Wang, S., Zhao, G., Liu, X., St Leger, R., & Wang, C. (2011). Genome sequence of the insect pathogenic fungus Cordyceps militaris, a valued traditional Chinese medicine Genome Biology, 12 (11) DOI: 10.1186/gb-2011-12-11-r116

The roundup of twittered updates for 2011-11-21

  • A Conserved Transcriptional Regulator Governs Fungal Morphology in Widely Diverged Species. #
  • Genome-Wide Comparative Analysis of pogo-Like Transposable Elements in Different Fusarium Species #
  • 2 linked genes encoding secreted effector & membrane protein are essential for U maydis-induced tumour formation #

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The roundup of twittered updates for 2011-11-16

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