The week of Nov. 12-16 found members of our lab on four continents. While I was in Japan (see previous post), Dimitris and Laszlo were in Europe and Alfredo was in South America. Dimitris and Laszlo participated in two meetings in Nancy, France. The first was the “2nd Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative (MGI) Workshop (Nov. 13-14) and the second was New Phytologist Workshop on “Bridging Mycorrhizal Genomics, Metagenomics & Forest Ecology” (Nov. 15-16). Both were held at INRA and were organized by Francis Martin. Dimitris and Laszlo’s talks were titled “A new approach to infer protein function based on whole genomes and phylogenetic information”, “Insights into the evolution of wood degrading systems of Agaricomycotina”, and “Harnessing genomics for understanding fungal evolution”.
These meetings provided an opportunity to plan for the analyses and publication of the next batch of genomes from the MGI and the Saprotrophic Agaricomycotina Project (both supported by the JGI Fungal Genomics Program). We have a large set of new ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and saprotrophic genomes, which collectively should provide insight into the mechanistic bases of transitions from decayer to ECM lifestyles, as well as the potential for reversals. Comments on the new ECM taxa and a prospective view of the workshops were posted on the MycorWeb Fungal Genomics blog back in September.
Meanwhile, Alfredo went to Brazil for the 63rd National Botanical Congress in Joinville (Nov. 11-16), where he gave two presentations, “Phylogeny of the Polyporales, recent progress and looking ahead” and “Biogeography of Pluteus (Agaricales)”. Afterwards, Alfredo joined the annual Rick Foray, which is based in Florianopolis and is organized by our friend Maria-Alice Nevez (with soccer ball, below), who is a former student of our collaborator Roy Halling. The Rick Foray is named for Fr Johannes Rick, who conducted pioneering studies on the fungi of Brazil from 1903 to 1946. I participated in the 2010 Rick foray so I can imagine what a good time Alfredo had. Jean-Marc Moncalvo (standing next to Alredo in the blue shirt) also attended. Jean-Marc is another veteran of Rytas Vilgalys’s mycology lab at Duke.