I have accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University. I'll be transferring my research program examining the evolution of novel biochemical adaptations (e.g., toxin tolerance in the mushroom-feeding Drosophila) to my new lab.
Mushroom Fly Updates and News
- June 21-25 2018 - Jordan Beveridge, Olivia Fish, Sarah-Ashley Giambrone, Lauren Haynes, and I attended the Evolution conference in Providence, RI. Jordan, Olivia, Sarah-Ashley, and Lauren presented posters on their studies examining occurrence of toxin tolerance in the immigrans-tripunctata radiation (JB), sequencing the genomes of two species from the immigrans-tripunctata radiation (OF), assessing the role of the microbiome in toxin tolerance in the flies (SAG), and characterizing survival on a natural toxin mix (LH). I presented a talk on a comparison of tolerance mechanisms between two species in the quinaria group.
- April 12, 2018 - Jordan Beveridge, Olivia Fish, Sarah-Ashley Giambrone, and Bailey Lose presented posters at the URSCA conference at University of Alabama on their strategies to examine the physiological mechanism(s) of toxin tolerance (JB) and findings for studies examining the occurrence of toxin tolerance in the immigrans-tripunctata radiation (OF) and quantifying the role of the gut microbiome in tolerance (SAG & BL). Congratulations to Sarah-Asley and Bailey who were finalists in the poster competition!!!
- March 27, 2018 - Lauren Haynes presented a poster at the URCA conference at University of Alabama on the findings from our study examining the impact of a natural toxin from Amanita phalloides that contains a mixture of amatoxins and phallotoxins on survival of cyclopeptide tolerant and susceptible species of Drosophila.
- March 8, 2019 - Congratulations to Olivia Fish for receiving the Randolph Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award from the University of Alabama Honors College!!!
- February 15, 2019 - Sarah-Ashley Giambrone is leading our study to test whether the gut microbiome is responsible for toxin tolerance in eight species of mushroom-feeding flies. Today adults from the first species being tested emerged on containing antibiotics (to significantly alter the microbiome) and toxin. The microbiome does not appear to be critical to toxin in this species!!!
- February 11, 2019 - Lauren Haynes is leading our study to assess how the mushroom-feeding flies (and some closely related susceptible species) react to a diet containing an extract from Amanita phalloides mushrooms. Today adults from one of the susceptible species successfully emerged from food vials with low concentrations of the extract (5 & 10 µg/g amatoxins)! We're going to conduct additional studies using only alpha-amanitin to expand our findings.
- January 31, 2019 - Olivia Fish is leading our study to test for cyclopeptide tolerance in species of the immigrans-tripunctata radiation that haven't previously been assessed. Today an adult fly from one species successfully emerged from a food vial containing alpha-amanitin. We've identified a new species that is tolerant to cyclopeptides!!!
- October 23, 2018 - Our phylogenetic study with the Dyer Lab at UGA A phylogenetic examination of host use evolution in the quinaria and testacea groups in Drosophila is available online in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
- August 2018 - Jordan Beveridge, Lauren Haynes, and Bailey Lose join the mushroom-fly research group.
- May 2018 - Logan Griffin and I presented a posters at the Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics Conference in Madison, WI on the findings from our studies characterizing toxin tolerance within a local D. tripunctata population.
- April 24, 2018 - Our review of toxin tolerance with the Werner Lab at MTU Drosophila, destroying angels, and deathcaps! Oh my! A review of mycotoxin tolerance in the genus Drosophila is available in Frontiers in Biology.
- March 2018 - Olivia Fish presented a poster at the URCA conference at University of Alabama on the findings from our study on the impacts of the inhibition of two detoxification gene families on toxin tolerance within a local D. tripunctata population, and the effect of this gene inhibition and toxin on the adult physiology.
- January 2018 - Sarah-Asley Giambrone joins the mushroom-fly research group.
- December 2017 - Paul Ginsberg (UGA) and I were out in the Bay Area collecting Amanita phalloides (Deathcap Mushrooms) to use in the Dimensions proposal. Trent Pearce (Naturalist at Tilden Nature Area) helped us to identify suitable collecting locations and to collect the mushrooms.
- October 21, 2017 - Logan Griffin presented on his research at the annual Southeastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics meeting in Laurel Hill, NC.
- September 14, 2017 - NSF issues a press release announcing awards for the Dimensions of Biodiversity program including our (Laura Reed and myself) collaborative proposal (DEB-1737869) with Kelly Dyer (University of Georgia) and Thomas Werner (Michigan Technological University) to examine the role of toxin tolerance in shaping Drosophila biodiversity.
- September 2017 - Olivia Fish joins the mushroom-fly research group.
- June 2017 - I presented a talk at the Evolution conference in Portland, Oregon on our findings regarding variation in toxin tolerance within a population of D. tripunctata.
- May 2017 - Logan Griffin is accepted to the University Scholar program. His Master's research will examine gut microbiome in mushroom-feeding Drosophila.
- March 2017 - Logan Griffin presented a poster at the URCA conference at University of Alabama on our findings from Olivia Sorrell's study on the manner in which inhibition of two detoxification gene families impacts toxin tolerance within a local D. tripunctata population.
- December 2016 - Olivia Sorrell completes her bachelor's degree. She'll be starting dental school at University of Alabama - Birmingham in July 2017.
- November 2016 - Logan Griffin received a $600 UCRA grant from the University of Alabama to study the impact of the gut micriobiome on toxin tolerance within a local D. tripunctata population.
- June 2016 - I presented a poster on our preliminary findings from our study of examining the metabolic fate of alpha-amanitin in two toxin tolerant fly species at the International Conference of the Metabolomics Society in Dublin, Ireland.
- May 2016 - Logan Griffin joins the mushroom-fly research group.
- March 2016 - Olivia Sorrell received a $1,000 UCRA grant from the University of Alabama to assess how inhibition of two detoxification gene families affects toxin tolerance in a local D. tripunctata population; Olivia also presented a poster at the URCA conference at University of Alabama on the genetic variation of toxin tolerance present in the same D. tripunctata population.
- July 2015 - Laura Reed (University of Alabama), Thomas Werner (Michigan Technological University), and myself received a NIH Common Fund Pilot & Feasibility Grant through the Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics to characterize the metabolism of alpha-amanitin in Drosophila.
- January 2015 - Olivia Sorrell joins the mushroom-fly research group.