Date: 5th to 7th Sep 2016

This focused meeting on The Dynamic Fungus is being jointly hosted by the Microbiology Society and the British Mycological Society.  It will take place in the Rougemont Hotel, Exeter, UK.

There will be a drinks reception on the Sunday August 4th to welcome delegates prior to the start of the meeting on the Monday the 5th of August.

Fungi display dynamics in all aspects of their biology, ranging from the control of intracellular motility to their migration across ecosystems.  This meeting aims to celebrate the dynamic nature of fungi and provide an overview of some of the most cutting edge current research in fungal biology.  Initially the meeting will focus on the dynamic processes involved in the cell biology of fungi, and during the development and control of their cellular differentiation.  The meeting will then concentrate on the dynamic nature of fungal pathogenicity, at both the level of host invasion and global movement of pathogens, before focusing on the dynamic nature of fungal genomes and their evolution and adaption.  Finally the meeting will explore how mathematical modelling can be used to explain the dynamic nature of fungi.

Organising committee: Steven Bates, Gero Steinberg, Sarah Gurr, Ken Haynes, Ivana Gudelj, Tom Richards, David Studholme and Nick Talbot

The five key sessions will be:

 1) Dynamics of the fungal cell: 

Keywords: Intracellular trafficking, diffusion, long-range communication, cell motility.

In recent year, live cell imaging revealed extended dynamic behaviour of fungi. It emerges that the intracellular compartments of the cell are constantly rearranged by a combination of motor-driven directed transport and passive diffusion. This and the diffusion of signalling molecules mediate communication and material transfer within the hyphal cell, and thereby allow the hypha to react to environmental cues. This session focuses on various aspects of cellular dynamics in fungal cells, including membrane trafficking during tip growth, diffusion within the cell and the whole cell dynamics.

  2) Mathematical modelling in fungal science: 

Keywords: Modelling cellular dynamics, network modelling, social behaviour modelling.

Dynamic behaviour underpins fundamental processes in biology, including fungal biology. Developing mathematical representations of this dynamic behaviour allows questions to be posed, and insights to be gained, that would be difficult, if not impossible, using purely experimental approaches. Mathematical models have been developed that challenge long held assumptions in ecology, evolution and administration of drugs. This session will explore the way mathematical amd statistical representations have been used to elucidate the dynamic behaviour of fungal metabolism, organelle movement, the response to stress, including antifungal drugs, and the evolutionary and adaptive changes that occur in fungal networks during infection.

  3) Dynamics of cellular differentiation: 

Keywords: Regulation of morphogenesis, sporulation, fruiting bodies, and infection structures.

Fungi undergo a range of cellular differentiation events, including the formation of spores, fruiting bodies and infection structures. These morphogenetic transitions are dynamically regulated in response to physical and environmental cues and tightly controlled bt developmental checkpoints linked to the cell cycle, sexual reproduction, or physiological signals. This session will explore the dynamics of differentiation and how fungi intergrate signals to orchestrate the development of specialised cells.

  4) Dynamics in fungal pathogenicity: 

Keywords: Infection, invasion, colonization, global migration of animal and plant pathogens.

This session will address current topics in fungal pathogenesis. The talks will cover pathogen arrival, attachment, host invasion, host colonisation and dissemination. The presentations will address these themes across the scales of sizes - that is from genes to global migration, from effectors to ecosystems and human health. As such, the three talks will cover modelling the movement of plant pathogenic fungi; the imapact of chytridiomicosis on amphibian decline and the growing incidence of medical mycoses on human health. The presentations will thus encompass the dynamic movement of fungi across ecosystems and also descriptors of the colonisation of the host (B. dendrobatidis and Candida or Aspergillus fumigatus)

 5) Dynamic evolution and adaptation of fungi:

Keywords: Genome plasticity, speciation, molecular evolution, adaptation, epigenetics.

Fungi may adapt and speciate by population bottlenecks, drift, inter-specific hybridisation, transposon activity, domestication and horizontal gene transfer, as well as sexual recombination and clonal divergence. In pathogens, evolution is further driven by arms races, host hops and domestication of the host. Superimposed on genetic adaptations are epigenetic modifications. Advances in genomics technologies and bioinformatics provide us witha unique new framework to identify traits and hallmarks of dynamic processes leading to generation of new variants of old friends and foes. This session will focus on evolutionary aspects of fungal biology.

Further information can be found by clicking on the link below:

The Dynamic fungus