Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bd population genomics at Asilomar

The bi-annual 26th Fungal Genetics Conference at Asilomar saw a flurry of Bd-related activity being reported. Both Rhys Farrer (Imperial College) and Jason Staijch (UC Riverside) gave talks on the population genomics of Bd from geographically and genetically diverse strains. Both studies report patchy distributions of diversity across Bd's genome, likely owing to loss-of-heterozygosity events. Whether this results from meiotic or mitotic events remains to be seen. Jason reported the release of his comparative genomics tool, FungiDB; this is going to be a great asset to the community, great stuff Jason! Posters were exhibited on putative virulence factors (the CBM18 chitin-binding domain gene expansion: Abramyan & Stajich), the distribution of Bd in British Columbia (LeBlanc, Hintz & Anholt), functional genomics of Bd (Thomas Poorten & Rosenblum), the detection of rhodopsin-like genes in Bd that are indicative of phototactic responses (Medina, Restrepo & Stajich) and the population genomics of Bd (Rhys Farrer et al). Well done to Rhys for winning a poster prize, 'Eukaryotic Cell' is a great bedtime read.....The poster abstracts can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

RACEing ahe.........ah, you know

Currently sitting in the 3rd meeting of the RACE network, rather the extended RACE network, as this meeting is well-attended by extraRACErs (Giulia Tessa, Italy, Vojtech Balaz, Czech Republich, Goncalo Rosa, Portugal, Emilien Luquet, France). The meeting is a success due to the contributions of the PhD students (half of the attendees and the majority of the presentations). Topics range from modelling disease dynamics, mitigation, Bd genomics, spatial epidemiology, assessing effects in wild amphibian populations, trade, policy.....meeting our RACE deliverables is certainly RACEing ahead, thanks to the outstanding science done by these students. However, it's very clear that there are far more issues to hand than those being addressed. More later.....