Fungal Comparative Genomics Lab

Principal Investigators
Li-Jun Ma
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Professor Li-Jun Ma is interested in using the rich fungal genomic resources to explore the mechanisms that guide eukaryotic genome evolution. Dr. Ma is leading several comparative genomics projects to study the genetic determinants of fungal pathogenicity and host specificity, and participating in functional studies to test the hypotheses generated through genomic analyses.

Robert Wick
Professor, University of Massachusetts (Amherst)

Professor Wick, a Fulbright Scholar, is a devoted plant pathologist. His current research projects include late blight of potato, downy mildew of basil, Phytophthora blight of cucurbits, and population dynamics and management of nematodes in turf grasses.

Current Members
Li Guo
Post-Doctoral Research, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dr. Guo, completed his PhD through the Plant Pathology Graduate Program at Penn State, is focusing on functional genomics of Fusarium species using comparative approaches. He studies comparative transcriptomics using both microarray and RNA-seq data.

Greg DeIulio
Ph.D Candidate (Plant Biology Graduate Program)

Greg is interested in understanding the epigenomic influence on genome evolution of Fusarium species using bisulfite-sequencing.

Yong Zhang
Ph.D Candidate (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program)

Yong focuses on genome evolution among F. oxysporum pathotypes using a systems biology approach.

Utpala Shrestha
Lab Technician
Chunyu Li
Visiting Scientist

Chunyu is a visiting scientist from the Institution of Fruit Tree Research, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, Key Laboratory of South Subtropical Fruit Biology and Genetic Resource Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou, China. During his visit, professor Li focuses on genomic analysis of Fusarium oxysporum strains that cause panama disease.

Ming Sum Chiang (Ruby)
Undergraduate student

Ruby studies pathogen-host interactions using F. oxysporum and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana .

Brian Wyrwas
Undergraduate student

Brian studies the sequence variation in correlation with the evolution of races among Fusarium oxysporum fsp. lycopersici isolates using software Structure.

Past Members
Andy Berg
Received his Master degree (Plant and Soil Science Graduate Program) in August 2013

Andy studies: 1) interactions between wilt pathogen F. oxysporum and plant host arabidopsis thaliana; 2) genome evolution and pathogenicity development of F. oxysporum fsp. cubense, the causal agent of the Panama disease of banana. He is also managing the lab's IT infrastructure.

Lili Zhang
Lab Technician
Zhongyun Huang
Ph.D Candidate (Rotation student from Plant Biology Graduate Program)

Zhongyun investigated the sequence variation in correlation with the evolution of races among Fusarium oxysporum fsp. lycopersici isolates.

Jing Liu
Ph.D Candidate (Rotation student from MCB Graduate Program)

Jing analyzed the patterns of sequence variation using genome-wide SNPs of 12 Fusarium oxysporum isolates that are pathogenic to different plant host.

Michael Esposito
Undergraduate Summer Intern (Plant Soil and Insect Sciences)

Michael worked on refining a protocol for efficient production of arabidopsis.

Vinay Farias
Undergraduate Summer Intern (Computer Engineer)

Vinay worked on a program for graphically presenting sequence alignments and obtaining statistical data from the graphs generated. During the initial few weeks, he also set up this website using basic HTML and CSS.

Buruk Aregawi
Undergraduate Summer Intern (Computer Science)

Buruk worked on MYcelia, a Chromosomal Feature Visualization Software that allows graphical representation of numerical features.

Lisa Gaudreau
Undergraduate Summer Intern (Environmental Science)

Lisa helped to establish Fusarium and Arabidopsis patho-system used for the transcriptomics study.

Jingze Zhang
Visiting Scholar (Associate Professor of Zhejiang University in China)

During his visit, professor Zhang focused on genomic analysis of Ustilago esculenta.

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