From slime to saviors: Sorting out the fungal family tree

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL--We've called them scum, lifesavers, and even hors d'oeuvres, but only since 1995 has anyone called them relatives. That was the year scientists determined that mushrooms, yeast, mildews and other fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. Now, the National Science Foundation has awarded $2.65 million to the University of Minnesota, along with Duke, Oregon State and Clark universities, to sort out relationships among this diverse group of organisms, to which the world owes several antibiotics, beer, wine, cheese and bread, among other things. The four-year grant is part of NSF's Assembling the Tree of Life program, which seeks to determine exact evolutionary relationships within several of its branches.

The study may help scientists find ways to deal with an aquatic fungus that is now attacking frogs and may be partly responsible for their recent worldwide decline. The study could also point researchers to species of fungi that, by virtue of being related to medically or commercially important species, may produce drugs or other useful products. Fungal-produced drugs discovered to date include penicillin; griseofulvin, used on athlete's foot; and the cephalosporins, which are similar to penicillin.

"Some fungi are crucial for life, but others cause many medical, plant and animal diseases, and it's important to learn which ones are closely related so we can choose the correct model organism to study the troublemakers," said David McLaughlin, professor of plant biology in the College of Biological Sciences and principal investigator for the university's $510,000 share of the grant. "In assembling the family tree of fungi, our team will look at multiple genes and structural characteristics across a broad spectrum of fungi and put them in a database. Here at the University of Minnesota, we're studying the very finest elements of structure."

"Good" fungi do considerably more than supply people with drugs and

Contact: Deane Morrison
University of Minnesota

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New Biofilm Research Center will explore the wonderful world of slime
2. Sorting the girls from the boys
3. Biologists ID defense mechanism of leading fungal pathogen
4. Researchers show chronic sinusitis is immune disorder; antifungal medicine effective treatment
5. Genome of first fungal pathogen unveiled
6. Targeting hard-to-kill fungal infections
7. New Colorado U. study shows increase in fungal metabolism under the snow
8. Heart drug might help fight chronic fungal infections
9. Plant-fungal symbiosis found in high-heat extreme environment
10. Dendritic cell-based vaccination to prevent opportunistic fungal infections
11. Picky plants: Do they choose the best fungal partner?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/23/2019)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2019 , ... ... delivery technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, is ... supply of biologic drugs at the BIO International Convention, which takes place at ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... If a ... know? How can we tell it apart from the millions of microorganisms that ... multi-institution research team, including Eric Young , assistant professor of chemical engineering ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... Zer0 to ... 20 today, and to celebrate launched a new startup package, 0to5 Launch, to ... need – pre-product – to attract talent and investors. , “We launched our ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Advancements with Ted Danson will focus on ... 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for more information. , Advancements will explore Bio-ITech ... facilitates laboratories to improve efficiency and quality of research by providing comprehensive and ...
(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... WCCT Global, Inc ., a ... announced today that they will be receiving 3 awards at the 2019 CRO Leadership ... 2 awards in the categories of overall Quality and Compatibility (Access to desired markets, ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... DURHAM, N.C. (PRWEB) , ... May 30, 2019 ... ... Medicine is the first to demonstrate an efficient delivery system for the sustained ... kidney injuries. The platelet-rich plasma-based gel system was able to deliver CM into ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 13, 2019 , ... Leak ... instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging Industries’ is excited ... website aims to improve LDA’s ability to communicate directly with the marketplace; serving ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: