This semester we are fortunate to have three new undergraduate researchers in the lab, Sara Waldman, Dorothy Tang and Christie Joyce. Sam Kovaka is also continuing to work with us.
Sam is continuing his bioinformatics work with us. Presently, he is retrieving photoreceptor genes from the genomes of Lentinus tigrinus and many other fungi. This work will complement experimental studies on light-dependent pileus induction in L. tigrinus that will be performed by Christie and Alicia.
Sara is working with Mitchell Nuhn on the Boletinellus merulioides/Fraxinus americanus symbiosis. She is trying to establish co-cultures of the fungus with the plant and compare survivorship of the plant with and without its fungal partner. The challenge is that the plant embryos have to be dissected out of the seed and germinated on agar to obtain seedlings. Tricky.
Dorothy and Christie are working on our emerging Lentinus tigrinus development projects, along with Alexis Carlson, Alicia Knudson and Laszlo Nagy. Dorothy is helping to obtain and genotype single spore isolates (haploids) that we hope to use in a bulk segregant analysis aimed at understanding the genetic basis of the secotioid phenotype. Christie will be helping develop a system for fruiting L. tigrinus under different wavelengths of light, in an effort to understand the mechanism of pileus induction. Pictures of L. tigrinus in all its forms are posted here.