Fungi are one of the most biochemically diverse kingdoms of life, producing a diverse array of bioactive natural products, many of which have medicinal properties or function in maintaining pathogenesis or symbiosis. Research in my lab focuses on how fungal metabolism shapes the interaction of fungi with plants and other organisms. Using a combination of next generation sequencing technologies, natural products chemistry, molecular genetics, and metabolomics, we examine the evolution, diversity, and functions of fungal secondary metabolites, particularly nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthetases (PKSs). Current research in the lab is focused on fungi that parasitize insects and includes several projects: 1) a population genomic study of fine-scale evolution of secondary metabolites among isolates of the beetle pathogen Tolypocladium inflatum, 2) a comparative genomic and transcriptomic approach to identify genes and regulatory networks that allow fungi in the genera Fusarium and Beauveria to interact with distinct hosts (insects, plants, and other fungi), and 3) the impact of mating biology on the population genetic structure of insect pathogenic fungi.
Kathryn E. Bushley, Rajani Raja, Pankaj Jaiswal, Jason S. Cumbie, Mariko Nonogaki, Alexander E. Boyd, C. Alisha Owensby, Brian J. Knaus, Justin Elser, Daniel Miller, Yanming Di, Kerry L. McPhail, Joseph W. Spatafora. 2013. The Genome of Tolypocladium inflatum: Evolution, Organization and Expression of the Cyclosporin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster. PLoS Genetics 9(6): e1003496. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003496.
Kathryn E. Bushley, Wenjing Wang, Yi Li, Xiao-liang Wang, Joseph W. Spatafora, and Yijian Yao. 2013. Isolation and characterization of the MAT1-1 mating type locus and evidence for selfing in the Chinese medicinal fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis. Fungal Biology. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2013.06.001.
Bradford J. Condon, Yueqiang Leng, Dongliang Wu, Kathryn E. Bushley, Robin A. Ohm, Robert Otillar, Joel Martin, Wendy Schackwitz, Jane Grimwood, NurAinIzzati MohdZainudin, Chunsheng Xue, Rui Wang, Viola A. Manning, Braham Dhillon, Zheng Jin Tu, Brian J. Steffenson, Asaf Salamov, Hui Sun, Steve Lowry, Kurt LaButti, James Han, Alex Copeland, Erika Lindquist, Kerrie Barry, Jeremy Schmutz, Scott Baker, Lynda M. Ciuffetti, Igor V. Grigoriev, Shaobin Zhong, and B. Gillian Turgeon. 2013. Comparative genome structure, secondary metabolite, and effector coding capacity across Cochliobolus pathogens. PLoS Genetics 9(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003233.
Bushley, Kathryn E. and Turgeon, B. Gillian. 2010. Phylogenomics reveals subfamilies of fungal nonribosomal peptide synthetases and their evolutionary relationships. Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:26 (26 January 2010).
Bushley, Kathryn E. and B. Gillian Turgeon. 2008. Module evolution and substrate specificity of fungal intracellular siderophore NRPS synthetases. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2008, 8:328 (3 December 2008). DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-8-328.