I am looking for curious and creative graduate students for interesting projects regarding drug resistance in fungi. Genomic, genetic and metabolic approaches are used.
Contact Dr. Shay Covo
Fungi are extremely diverse group of organisms with immense important in agriculture and biotechnology. Some fungi possess severe threat to food security while others are essential to the food industry (imagine a world with no yeast).
In order to complete their life cycle fungi have to maintain their chromosomes. But this is not an easy task, the sun rays, other microbes, the host -- all cause damage to fungus chromosomes. For many important fungi it is still unknown how do they deal with damaged chromosomes. Our vision is to understand how fungi repair damaged chromosomes in such detail so we will be able to develop strategies that will induce an irreparable damage specifically to fungal plant pathogens.
While faithful transmission of genetic material is the basis for robust growth; under conditions such as exposure to antifungal treatments or environmental stress the population must adopt via genetic changes (aka mutations). We would like to know what type of mutations occur, how are they generated? Do mutations that are beneficial for one toxic exposure are detrimental for another? Can we reduce the ability fungi to change? Will that reduce acquisition of drug resistance?
Our research allows us to ask very basic questions in genomics, genetics and physiology but our biggest desire is to extend our research towards field experiments in order to develop antifungal approaches.