Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Jason Slot - Department of Plant Pathology - Ohio State University
Topic: How fungal genomes are poised for ecological shifts
When: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

Certain groups of organisms are endowed with the ability to rapidly diversify and fill niche space. This is true of most bacteria, and fungi are exceptional among eukaryotes in this regard. These two groups of organisms also share an absorptive nutritional mode and a significant amount of spatial clustering of genes contributing to a common function. In this talk, I will argue for an interaction between nutritional mode, gene order and ecological diversification in bacteria by describing the origin and diversification of a genomic island for heavy metal resistance in emergent Enterobacteria pathogens. I will then demonstrate through specific examples and larger trends that prominent aspects of bacterial genome evolution, such as modularity and horizontal gene transfer are replicated in fungi where they expedite ecological shifts. Understanding the nature of fungal genome evolvability will provide tools to predict and manage the emergence of fungal pathogens.

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