Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Joey Spatafora - Oregon State University
Topic: Phylogenomics of fungal secondary metabolism
When: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

The ecologies of fungi and their interactions with other organisms are partially mediated by the production of biologically active secondary metabolites including peptides, polyketides, alkaloids and terpenes.  Researchers in my lab have initiated a phylogenomic study of the order Hypocreales as a model system for understanding evolutionary processes that function in diversification of secondary metabolism.  Data and analyses on modular nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) and the homology of their adenylation domains and biosynthetic gene clusters will be presented.  These analyses reveal complex evolutionary patterns of homologous modules that are distributed across NRPSs not previously suspected of sharing common ancestry and in fungi not previously known to harbor these enzymes.  This is especially true among the derived families of the order that include closely related species that have undergone more recent interkingdom host jumps among insect, fungal and plant hosts.

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