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Biology, Evolution and Molecular Genetics of Reproduction in Fungi

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Dyer
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Project work involves both applied and fundamental aspects of fungal biology. Research interests focus on the evolution of sexual reproduction and population biology of fungi including lichens, the application of fungi in the biotechnology and food sectors, and the control of disease caused by fungal animal and plant pathogens.

Fungi can reproduce by sexual and asexual means. The physiological and molecular-genetic mechanisms controlling sex and gene flow in fungi are being investigated in a range of species including those of medical significance and those of economic importance in the food and biotechnology sectors. The aim of work is to devise new methods for the control of fungal diseases, to promote sex and recombination in beneficial species, and to understand the fundamental evolutionary and genetic changes leading to sexuality or asexuality in fungi. Studies are focussed particularly on ascomycete species such as Aspergillus and Penicillium species. Projects are using an understanding of sex and gene flow to investigate areas such as the genetic basis of resistance to antifungal drugs, molecular diagnostics, and how to improve the production of fungal metabolites and food products of interest. In addition, the consequences of sex for the genetic variation and evolution of populations are being studied in model species of fungi including plant pathogenic and lichen-forming fungi. Studies utilise a range of complementary techniques such as classical microbiology work, biochemical analyses, molecular biology techniques including PCR and gene manipulation, and genomic analyses including next generation sequencing techniques. The studentship will provide training in these areas, together with access to generic training courses to help build a foundation of valuable transferable skills. The student will join an active research group, with opportunities to present in group and School-wide meetings. For further details see: http://nottingham.ac.uk/life-sciences/people/paul.dyer

Funding Notes

Home and EU applicants should contact the supervisor to determine the current funding status for this project. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/index.aspx.


O'GORMAN CM, FULLER HT and DYER PS (2009). Discovery of a sexual cycle in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Nature 457: 471-474.
DYER PS and O'GORMAN CM (2011). A fungal sexual revolution: Aspergillus and Penicillium show the way. Current Opinion in Microbiology 13: 1-6
DYER PS and O'GORMAN CM (2012). Sexual development and cryptic sexuality in fungi: insights from Aspergillus species. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 36: 165-192
BÖHM J, HOFF B, O'GORMAN CM, WOLFERS S, KLIX V, BINGER D, ZADRA I, KÜRNSTEINER H, PÖGGELER S, DYER PS and KÜCK U (2013). Sexual reproduction and mating-type-mediated strain development in the penicillin-producing fungus Penicillium chrysogenum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110: 1476–1481.
VARGA J, SZIGETI G, BARANYI N, KOCSUBÉ S, O'GORMAN CM, DYER PS (2014). Aspergillus: sex and recombination. Mycopathologia 178: 349-362.

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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