Ryan Kepler and Steve Rehner just published some nice work (Molecular Ecology Resources Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 210–217, March 2013) on genome-assisted marker development for the Metarhizium anisopliae complex. Using the genome sequences of M. acridum and M. robertsii, they identified a number of conserved, intergenic regions that are both more variable and more informative for phylogenetics of the M. anisopliae complex than current nuclear markers that are most frequently used in fungal systematics. Undoubtedly, this approach will become more common and become part of genomic barcoding.
There is a recent writeup in the latest Science on Nate Silver's book, "The Signal and The Noise". I recently read this book and enjoyed it quite a bit. If you do not know Nate Silver, he is a statistician who has recently gained a lot of attention for his 538 Blog, which accurately predicted the last few presidential elections. Silver is definitely a major proponent of Bayesian statistics and thinking. This review questions – or perhaps tempers – the fervent enthusiasm with which Silver argues for Bayesian approaches and his criticism of frequentist thinking. Regardless of where you stand on Bayes vs. Frequentists, the book was a good read and I would recommend it. One of the things that I took away from it was a well reasoned caution of the perils of big data and confusing noise for signal.
Interesting article on Basidiomycete PKSs in Fungal Genetics and Biology by Lackner et al. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S108718451200182X . Phylogenomic analyses support a core set of Type I and III PKS genes/domains that predate the Ascomycota/Basidiomycota split. Mining of complete genomes also reveals a greater potential for secondary metabolite production by these fungi than currently known from chemistry. Not surprising, but still very informative.
In 2011 Joe Heitman (Duke University) gave the Karling Lecture at the annual meeting of the Mycological Society of America. It was a great talk that not only provided a nice overview of fungal mating systems, but it also integrated them into the context of sexual reproduction of Eukaryotes. Joe recently followed up and published a very nice review in Mycologia (http://www.mycologia.org/content/105/1/1.full). It is a must read for all students of mycology.
Well I have finally launched the new lab website. The previous one was so outdated - mea culpa. Hope you enjoy this one.
In this section of the website we will share exciting news about manuscripts, research updates, and other topics we deem appropriate and that a lab member has the desire to blog about.
Feel free to let us know what you think about the website and if there is other information you would like to see made available.