Congratulations to Alexis Carlson and Rachael Martin, who successfully defended their Master’s theses on April 30 and May 1!
Alexis performed developmental studies on Lentinus tigrinus, which showed that as little as 15 minutes of light exposure early in primordium development is enough to induce production of a normal pileus (without that, a coralloid fruiting body develops, as illustrated here). Alexis also generated two inbred monokaryons for genome sequencing at the JGI, which opens the door to developmental genetics in my favorite mushroom.
Rachael’s research involved analysis of ITS sequences from basidiomycetous endophytes of rubber trees Hevea spp. It turns out that the most common basidio endophytes are white rot (not brown rot–why?) species in the Polyporales, my favorite order of Agaricomycetes (and the focus of the PolyPEET project). Not all the endophytes are polypores, hwoever. Rachael’s analyses also showed that the bizarre scale insect parasite/mutualist Septobasidium can live as an endophyte—with no scales to be seen. This work was conducted under the supervision of Romina Gazis.
Alexis and Rachael received Bachelor’s degrees at Clark in 2013 and continued on into our Fifth Year Master’s program. Here are some photos from the years: