Tag Archives: penicillium

Postdoc: Population Genomics of Cheese Fungi

Postdoc in Population Genomics of Cheese Fungi (Orsay, France)

We are seeking a highly motivated postgraduate researcher to work on population genomics of cheese Fungi in laboratory ESE located in Orsay near Paris (http://www.ese.u-psud.fr/index.php). The project focuses on studying the population genomics of *Penicillium roqueforti*, a fungus used for the maturation of blue cheese. Using whole-genome sequences of wild and domesticated populations, the successful applicant will particularly work on describing the recombination landscape within the genome of Penicillium roqueforti, the dynamics of transposable elements and horizontal gene transfers, and the selection within domesticated populations.

Applicants must have a PhD with emphasis on population genetics and genomics, molecular evolution. Experience in manipulating high throughput sequencing data and bioinformatics would be an advantage as well.

The successful applicant will be working in Evolutionary Ecology and
Genetics team with Antoine Branca and Tatiana Giraud. The team has a long research experience in population genetics of fungi.

Orsay is a small town located 30km south of Paris and at just 40 min by urban transportation from downtown Paris.

Review of applications begins immediately until the end of June 2014.
Starting dates are flexible but preferentially by September 2014. Salary will depend upon experience. To apply, please email to
antoine.branca@u-psud.fr: i) a cover letter summarizing research interests and expertise ii) a Curriculum Vitae (including publications), and iii) the names and contact information of at least two references.

P. chrysogenum genome

BBC news and GTO report the sequence of P. chrysogenum, will be published in October in Nat Biotechnology in a project based at the biotech company DSM. P. chrysogenum being the mold that fortuitously contaminated Dr Fleming’s bacterial plates.

The 13,500 reported genes in the press release is quite bit larger than relatives in the Aspergillus clade (~10,000 genes) so it will be intriguing to see what’s going on here and if there will be interesting examples of horizontal transfer like what has been investigated in Aspergillus oryzae. I am unclear as to whether the selected strain is a wild isolate or represents an industrial strain, but look forward to reading the full account of the genome.

Factoid – Most of the industrial fungal genome papers have seen publication in Nature Biotechnology (Aspergillus niger, Trichodermera reesei, and Phanerochaete chrysosporium).

Edit: 1-Oct-2008, Jonathan Badger, an author on the paper, blogs about the paper and links to the pre-print available on NBT site.

Penicillium marneffei project

P.marneffeiWe’re excited that a Penicillium marneffei grant to Mat Fisher and collaborators has been funded by the Welcome Trust. It includes a collaboration with Bignell Lab at Imperial College, our lab, JCVI, and Univ of Melbourne. This project will explore functional and comparative genomics approaches to studying the fungus which primarily infects immune compromised individuals in south-east asia where it is found associated with bamboo rats

Scientists at Imperial College London have received almost £350 000 from the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest medical research charity, to study Penicillium marneffei, the only Penicillium fungus to cause serious disease in humans. The researchers aim to find out what makes this particular fungus pathogenic.

Read the rest of the release.

RIPing in an asexual fungus

ResearchBlogging.orgA.niger conidiophoreA paper in Current Genetics describes the discovery of Repeat Induced Polymorphism (RIP) in two Euriotiales fungi.  RIP has been extensively studied in Neurospora crassa and has been identified in other Sordariomycete fungi Magnaporthe, Fusiarium. This is not the first Aspergillus species to have RIP described as it was demonstrated in the biotech workhorse Aspergillus oryzae.  However, I think this study is the first to describe RIP in a putatively asexual fungus.  The evidence for RIP is only found in transposon sequences in the Aspergillus and Penicillium.  A really interesting aspect of this discovery is RIP is thought to only occur during sexual stage, but a sexual state has never been observed for these fungi.   Continue reading RIPing in an asexual fungus

Flaxseed antifungals

Blogging about Peer-Reviewed ResearchCareful eating those old noodles left in the fridge, lots of fungi probably have made a home in the starch rich environment. But can food be inoculated with some inherent antifungal properties to help it last longer. A recent paper in the Intl Journal of Food Microbiology “Fungistatic activity of flaxseed in potato dextrose agar and a fresh noodle system.” describes work to test whether flaxseed can stop fungi from growing as a potential food preservation agent. Strains of Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus flavus,moldy noodles Fusarium graminearum, and other Penicillium sp isolated from moldy noodles were used in a test assay for fungistatic activity of flaxseed. Flaxseed has a whole host of health benefits that have lead to is use in many foods, cereals, and baked goods. The authors test to see what type of antifungal properties flaxseed has as well to test if it can provide a role in food preservation and be edible (or even healthy). Some other edible antifungals include spices like cinnamon, cloves, and mustard. These authors have also investigated the stability of the antifungal properties of flaxseed in another paper.