Congrats Divya!

We congratulate Divya on defending her dissertation on “Discovery of fungal cell wall components using evolutionary and functional genomics”.  Her last revisions and formatting is taking place and she should be the first minted PhD from the Stajich lab before Christmas.  We are happy and proud of her accomplishment to complete this important milestone!


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Welcome Ousmane Cisse

We are happy to welcome Dr Ousmane Cisse to the lab to work on evolution of multicellularity in Fungi. He will primarily focus on comparative genomics and evolution of filamentous fungal growth in the fungal kingdom, examining the genome of Neolecta and taking advantage of data from the 1000 fungal genomes project and other data sets. He joins us after completing his PhD at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He focused on comparative genomics of several Taphrinamycotina fungi and will continue this theme working on Neolecta. He was awarded a prestigious early postdoc mobility fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship.

Papers from the lab this month

We’re excited that several manuscripts were published in the last month.

One presents the first genome from the Cryptomycota, Rozella allomycis, in a manuscript published in Current Biology along with a nice companion piece from Mark van der Giezen about the work. Steven and Divya participating in this project in collaboration with Tim James at Michigan and Nico Corradi in Montreal. Some of the scripts used for this project are available as well here on github and other associated genome data are available here. We are working to get this into the next FungiDB release as well.

A manuscript from Andrii Gryganskyi who was a lab visitor last summer was published on the Entomopthorales fungus Entomophthora muscae.

A review on the application of genomics to mycology was published in Mycologia celebrating the new era of mycology and the first genome sequences published in this journal.

Work from Anastasia Gioti, who was a lab visitor for several months this year and has visited several times in the past years, wrapped up genome comparisons of Neurospora species which have transitioning from outcrossing (heterothallic) to self-fertile (homothallic) lifestyles. Our manuscript was made available in Evolution this summer and will be published in the Fall.

A paper on the population genomics of amphibian killing chytrid fungus B. dendrobatidis that culminated several years of work and large collection of researchers was published in PNAS at the beginning of the summer.

back from Asilomar

Congrats to the lab for a great Fungal Genetics meeting. Everyone was participating in the meeting, presenting their work, and hearing about the new things coming out in other research laboratories. Was exhausting pace with 8AM to 10 PM (or later) every day but I think the fun and science excitement overshadowed the tiredness.  Congratulations to Steven who won a poster prize and to Jason for his election to the Fungal Genetics Policy Committee.  FungiDB was demoed in a workshop and poster sessions and we seemed to get a lot of interest and feedback along with the excellent presentation by Omar Harb from the EuPathDB team to lead the workshop.

We will post some pictures and upload our poster PDFs in the coming weeks I expect, still catching up on sleep and reengaging in our research after that.

Thanks to all who came by to talk with us at our posters and it was great fun to make new friends and reconnected with long-time ones.


Welcome back Anastasia!

We welcome back Anastasia Gioti to the lab visiting from Sweden by way of Greece. She has been to the lab for a a couple of two-month visits over the past three years working on genomics of Neurospora mating systems. Now she has returned this month as a visiting scholar to stay through the winter to continue our collaboration on evolution of mating systems, focusing on the genomic consequences of transitions in homothallic and heterothallic fungi. She gets to have a nice SoCal instead of a Swedish winter.

Lake Arrowhead talk videos

Talks from the Sloan Foundation sponsored session at Lake Arrowhead meeting on Microbiology of the Built Environment are now posted on (which was jokingly pronounced as micro-beignet by some) including my talk on fungi in the Built environment.  Go take a look if you want to see an overview of some of the ways researchers are studying microbes in the built environment.  The team also recorded an interview with me about our work on the MicroBE data coordinating center and work to make identifying fungi from metagenomic sequencing easier.

Stajich laboratory at UC Riverside