Congratulations to Alexis Carlson, who has just been awarded the 2013 Mycological Society of America Salomon Bartnicki-Garcia Award*!
Alexis has been working (along with with Laszlo Nagy) to develop monokaryons of Lentinus tigrinus for whole genome sequencing at the JGI. In the course of this work, she discovered that L. tigrinus produces a coralloid form when it is fruited in darkness (see this earlier posting for images of this and other forms in lentinoid fungi). Alexis is a an senior undergraduate who is entering Clark’s accelerated Master’s program this summer. For her Master’s work, Alexis will work to replicate production of the coralloid form and better understand the amount of light exposure that is required to induce the normal pileate form. Eventually, we plan to use transcriptomic approaches to assess light-induced shifts in gene expression in L. tigrinus fruiting body development, which, we hypothesize, might provide insight into the mechanisms of evolutionary transformations between pileate-stipitate and coralloid forms in Agaricomycetes.
*From the MSA website: This award honors Dr. Salomon Bartnicki-Garcia and his many contributions to fungal cell biology. The award was established by contributions from several of Dr. Bartnicki-Garcia’s many colleagues and admirers, including a generous donation from Novozymes Inc. Through his over forty years of research in fungal biochemistry, cell structure, and theoretical biology, Professor Bartnicki-Garcia stands as the preeminent contributor to our current understanding of the fungal cell, and he has been a major influence in the careers of numerous young scientists. The goal of this award is to encourage continued participation in MSA by young mycologists who are working in the areas of biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology.