Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Evolution of species interactions in Ascomycota

The Ascomycota represent the majority of plant-pathogenic, animal-parasitic, lichen-symbiotic, endophytic, and medically important fungi. This wealth of species interactions makes the phylum ideal for examining the evolution of mutualism and virulence, trends in the evolution of biotrophy and necrotrophy, and the evolutionary lability of certain ecological modes. In collaboration with Drs. François Lutzoni and Jolanta Miadlikowska at Duke University, the Arnold lab is integrating cryptic symbiotic fungi, including endophytes associated with healthy plant tissues and endolichenic fungi (fungi that inhabit healthy lichen thalli), into the Ascomycota tree of life, and using the resulting phylogenies to explore broad patterns in the evolution of this economically and ecologically important group.

For more information: Dr. Betsy Arnold, arnold@ag.arizona.edu
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