Timsina, Brinda A. , Sorensen, John , Piercey-Normore, Michele D. .
Effects of growth conditions on phenotype in the lichen-forming fungal genus Ramalina dilacerata.
Fungal plasticity allows for adaptation to changing environments, which can be measured by changes in phenotype including colony morphology and production of secondary metabolites (polyketides; PKS) in lichen fungi. Several studies have shown differences in metabolite production under various media and growth conditions. A better understanding of secondary metabolite regulation may shed light on the role of the large number of PKS paralogs detected in the genomes of many fungi. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of different growth conditions on the cultured mycobiont of Ramalina dilacerata. The objectives are to examine 1) the influence of media nutrients (carbon and nitrogen) on growth, morphology and polyketide production, 2) the influence of media pH on the morphology and secondary metabolism, and 3) to compare gene expression among 13 putative PKS paralogs. Four types of growth media at 4 different pHs were prepared to measure phenotype in spore isolates of R. dilacerata. Colony growth, texture and polyketide numbers were recorded. Polyketides were detected by TLC and HPLC. Total RNA isolation and cDNA synthesis was performed to detect gene expression. Preliminary results show a variation in the number of polyketides produced with respect to media and pH in the cultured mycobiont. Colony growth rates also varied with different media conditions. Results from the real time PCR experiments are preliminary but may provide information on the function of specific PKS paralogs. Knowledge of gene expression may help us to understand the function of PKS paralogs and further expand our understanding of the genes that produce polyketides.
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1 - University of Manitoba, Biological Sciences, 509 Buller Building, Winnipeg, MB, R3T2N2, Canada
2 - University of Manitoba, Chemistry, 332 Parker Building, Winnipeg, MB, R3T2N2, Canada
3 - University of Manitoba, Biological Sciences, 508 Buller Building, Winnipeg, MB, R3T2N2, Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 2:15 PM