In The Lit: Functional diversification accompanies gene family expansion of MED2 homologs in Candida albicans

Gene duplication is a rapid mechanism to generate additional sequences for natural selection to act upon and confer greater organismal fitness. If additional copies of the gene are beneficial, this process may be repeated to produce an expanded gene family containing many copies of related sequences. Following duplication, individual gene family members may retain functions of the ancestral gene or acquire new functions through mutation. How functional diversification accompanies expansion into large gene families remains largely unexplored due to the difficulty in assessing individual genes in the presence of the remaining family members. Here, we addressed this question using an inducible promoter to regulate expression of individual genes of the TLO gene family in the commensal yeast and opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans, which encode components of a major transcriptional regulator. Induced expression of individual TLOs affected a wide range of phenotypes such that significant functional overlap occurred among TLO genes and most phenotypes were affected by more than one TLO. Induced expression of individual TLOs did not produce massive phenotypic effects in most cases, suggesting that functional overlap among TLO genes may buffer new mutations that arise. Specific sequence variants among the TLO genes correlated with certain phenotypes and these variants did not necessarily correlate with sequence similarity across the gene. Therefore, individual TLO family members evolved specific functional roles following duplication that likely reflect a combination of inherited function and new mutation.

Dunn, M.J., Kinney, G.M., Washington, P.M., Berman, J., Anderson, M.Z. Functional diversification accompanies gene family expansion of MED2 homologs in Candida albicans. PLoS Genet 14(4): e1007326. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007326

Welcome to Andrew Woodruff

We are very excited to welcome Andrew Woodruff, a graduate student from the Department of Microbiology, formally into the Anderson Lab! Andrew will be continuing his rotation work on understanding the effects of SIR2 deletion on Candida albicans. Welcome Andrew!

Andrew Woodruff


woodruff.207@osu.edu
Investigating the effects of SIR2 deletion on chromatin structure and white-opaque morphology switching in Candida albicans.
Position:
Graduate Student
Degree:
Miami University, Major in Microbiology, Minor in Molecular Biology

Winter at THE Ohio State University

With winter blowing its coldest, we welcome Dylan Cronin to a warm office and a large-scale collaboration for his rotation project.

Dylan Cronin


cronin.87@.osu.edu
A collaboration effort to identify how the mycobiome is associated with disease. Specifically, testing various methods to best profile these fungal communities as well as develop the database to identify the organisms involved..
Position:
Rotation Student
Degree:
Bowling Green State University, Computer Science (B.S.) and Biological Sciences (B.S.)

Laine Monsey – ASC Undergraduate Research Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Laine Monsey for her scholarship award from the Arts and Sciences Honors Committee!

We celebrate her contributions to her project, “The Role of the Fungal Microbiome in Rheumatoid Arthritis among Native Americans.” Looking forward to more great things!

As the Seasons Change

As autumn fades away through the treelines here in Buckeye Nation, we welcome Andrew Woodruff from the Department of Microbiology for our second round of rotations!

Andrew Woodruff


woodruff.207@.osu.edu
Investigating the effects of SIR2 deletions on the ability to mate in MTL heterozygous Candida albicans.
Position:
Rotation Student
Degree:
Miami University, Major in Microbiology, Minor in Molecular Biology

The New Academic Year

As the Autumn Semester begins, we welcome our first round of rotation students: Lennel Camuy and Nick Ursini.

Lennel Camuy


camuy-
velez.1@.osu.edu
Investigation of fluconazole resistance and phylogenetic analysis of the TLO gene family
Position:
Rotation Student
Degree:
B.S in Microbiology from University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) University of Kansas

Nick Ursini


ursini.2@osu.edu
Investigation of an unknown transcription network potentially related to biofilm production
Position:
Rotation Student
Degree:
University of Virginia, B.S. in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry

Summer in Summary

This summer has been an eventful and productive one for the Anderson Lab! Here is a brief overview of what we were up to:

People:
Joshua Wang – Joshua Wang joined us from Brown University where he worked with Dr. Anderson on a variety of bioinformatics projects.
Delanie Baker – Delanie Baker was with us for a few months through the NSF REU in the Department of Molecular Biology at The Ohio State University.

Conferences:
Midwest Neglected Infectious Disease 2017 – The MNID meeting is the only regional meeting in the Midwest that features forefront research focused on the pathogenesis of fungal and parasitic diseases. This meeting fills an important void, as the parasitic and fungal diseases, while crucially important; do not receive sufficient “press” at many major biology meetings. Over the past years the meetings have included 100-130 scientists from seven states; Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri.

Posters:
Matthew Dunn – POSTER AWARD – Functional diversification accompanies telomere-associated (TLO) gene family expansion in Candida albicans
Robert Fillinger – Development of quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in Candida albicans

Welcome to Joshua Wang

We would like to welcome Joshua Wang to the lab! Joshua comes to us from Brown University where he worked with Dr. Anderson on a variety of bioinformatics projects. He is currently in the process of preparing applications for medical school this upcoming year. We look forward to the enhanced skill set he brings the Anderson Lab and Ohio State as a whole!

Joshua Wang

Exploration of genomic sequences of C. albicans to pinpoint biomarkers correlated with specific phenotypes and identity expression profiles for previously undescribed gene networks.
Position:
Lab Researcher
Degree:
Brown University – B.S. in Biology
(Computer Sciences track)

Summer Student: Delanie Baker

A special welcome to Delanie Baker who has been with us for a few months this summer through the NSF REU in the Department of Molecular Biology at The Ohio State University. Delanie has been working alongside Robert Fillinger on target loci for fluconazole resistance and the filamentation phenotype in C. albicans.

Delanie Baker

Phenotyping Candida albicans strains for the identification of quantitative trait loci involved in filamentation and fluconazole resistance.
Position:
Summer Student
Degree:
Bachelors of Science in Microbiology at Ohio Wesleyan University