Nancy P. Keller
Nancy Keller is a Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Her interest in fungal secondary metabolism dates back to her days in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Africa, from first-hand knowledge of molded and toxic food supplies. Her current interests range from elucidation of virulence traits of human and plant pathogens to genome mining for fungal natural products. She received her PhD from the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University in 1990 and was then employed as a post-doctoral research scientist with the USDA, followed by employment as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at Texas A&M University before moving to the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Wisconsin.
Abstract: Unlocking the fungal treasure box
Nancy Keller, University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA
Sequence of fungal genomes has revealed that these microorganisms have a large number of secondary metabolite (SM) pathways, likely a reflection of a chemical arsenal important in niche securement. Most of these SMs and their biosynthesis pathways are currently unknown despite considerable efforts to induce production in the laboratory. However, recent insights into SM synthesis through discovery of global SM regulatory complexes and a linkage of chromatin modifications with SM cluster activity has dramatically changed the scope of what is possible in fungal SM studies. Using Aspergilli as a model system, the mechanism of Velvet complex regulation of SM synthesis, the impact of chromatin remodeling on SM expression and, ultimately, the consequences of manipulations of these regulators on fungal biology and technology will be discussed.
Keywords: LaeA, histone, natural product