GONÇALVES LAB

A fungal biology laboratory


Our laboratory is hosted by the College of Medicine of the National Cheng Kung University, in Tainan, the oldest city and former capital of Taiwan. Click here to find us.


We are trying to decipher the genetic and evolutionary basis of important phenotypes using fungi as model organisms. You can find more about our research goals by browsing this webpage.


We put an emphasis on having fun while conducting our serious research. In this regard, we are committed to promoting a healthy workplace that encourages curiosity and creativity.

Meet our small TEAM of mycophiles.

真菌界涵蓋了一系列驚人的微生物種類,而這些真菌的豐富多樣性則能替生物如何演化並適應新的環境提供重要的線索。因此,我們團隊以有趣的真菌及其表現型做為模式系統,並進一步分析這些表現型的遺傳和演化機制;主要使用的模式生物是粉色麵包黴菌 Neurospora crassa。實驗室的主要研究計畫為探討真菌為什麼會產生抗藥性及其機制,並將結果應用於致病性真菌在臨床醫學和農業上的治療。

Fungi

Fungi are one of the most diverse groups of living organisms. In fact, life on Earth depends on fungi, due to their nutrient recycling function. Fungi are mushrooms, molds and yeasts, amongst many others. Despite their apparent simplicity, fungi conceal fascinating clues to organismal adaptation to varying environments.

Problem

All living organisms evolve incessantly with the goal of eating and reproducing. Unfortunately for us, humans, as well as for various animals, plants and microbes, some fungi need to trigger infections in order to thrive. Many of these infections are deadly and economically costly. While treatments do exist, their success if often hindered by what is known as antifungal drug resistance. In other words, infective fungal cells may become insensitive to the therapy. We want to understand how and why this occurs, from a genetic and evolutionary point of view.

Model

Neurospora crassa is an Ascomycota fungus. This species has been domesticated in the laboratory for decades and is considered one of the main drivers of the field of molecular genetics. Neurospora crassa is non-pathogenic and easy to grow. Thousands of mutants and wild isolates of Neurospora crassa are available. We want to take advantage of this rich collection of strains and harness the power of genetics and genomics to help mitigate the far-reaching problem of antifungal drug resistance.

We are working on other fungal-related research projects. Find out more here.

Photo credits:

Top banner: NCKU Kuang-Fu campus | Banyan Tree | Pedro Gonçalves

Mushrooms: Sarah Daugherty, National Park Service | https://www.nps.gov/articles/so-many-mushrooms.htm

Rice blast disease: International Rice Research Institute | http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/training/fact-sheets/pest-management/diseases/item/blast-leaf-collar

Neurospora crassa, transmission electron microscopy | Two germlings undergoing cell-cell fusion | Pedro Gonçalves