Daniel CullenInstitute for Microbial and Biochemical Sciences
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
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Our main goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of the molecular genetics and physiology of wood decay fungi, particularly as it relates to mechanisms of lignocelulose degradation. Within this broad area, my labs seeks (a) to elucidate the underlying genetics of lignin degrading white rot fungi including the number, structure, organization and regulation of genes relevant to lignocellulose conversions, (b) to advance our understanding of the biochemistry of essential enzymes, (c) to fully develop fundamental genetics of a representative brown rot fungi, and (d) to advance our understanding of gene function via high throughput approaches suitable for whole genomes.Genome investigations have focused principally on the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and the brown rot fungus Postia placenta. However, our collaborations with the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute have recently expanded to include the related white rot fungi, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora (http://www.jgi.doe.gov/sequencing/why/csubvermispora.html) and Phlebiopsis gigantea. In addition to their central role in carbon cycling, these wood decay fungi are representative of the basidiomycetes, a broad taxa including mycorrhizae, plant, human and animal pathogens, edible forms, and various saprophytes. Accordingly, my lab also contributes to large international teams examining the distribution and role of these fungi in forest soils, particularly following fire disturbance.
- Molecular genetics of filamentous fungi
- High throughput analysis of fungal transcriptomes and proteomes
- Mechanisms of wood decay
- Enzyme discovery for applications in bioenergy, bioremediation, and pulp and paper processing
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D. , 1981
- State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.S. , 1975
- American Society for Microbiology, Member
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Editor
- National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, Advisory Panels
|Publication Year: 2019|
Highlight ID: 1335
|Patterns of Gene Expression Provide Insight into Wood Decay Mechanisms|
Comparative examination of gene regulation reveal significant differences among brown rot fungi when colonizing different wood species. ...
|Publication Year: 2017|
Highlight ID: 1295
|Genetic basis of lignocellulose degradation|
Exploiting the recent availability of fungal genomes, Forest Service researchers have developed computational approaches for the identification of key wood decay enzymes. ...
|Publication Year: 2016|
Highlight ID: 665
|Fungi Use Multiple Strategies for Deconstruction of Woody Biomass|
A diverse array of enzymes catalyze the bioconversion of wood toward biofuels and other high-value products. ...
|Publication Year: 2013|
Highlight ID: 445
|Common Button Mushroom Studied for Key Role in Recycling Carbon|
Recent genome studies of Agaricus reveal specialized adaptations to litter- and soil-rich environments which may be used to remediate contaminated soils. ...
Highlight ID: 446
|Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi|
Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products. ...
|Publication Year: 2012|
Highlight ID: 9
|Hidden Lives of Wood Decay Fungi Uncovered by Genome Sequencing|
The decoded genomes of 12 species reveal a complex repertoire of proteins involved in the deconstruction of key polymers within wood cell walls ...
|Publication Year: 2010|
Highlight ID: 178
|Fast Forward' Genetics for Renewable Fuels|
Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory used mutagenesis, strain selection and genetic manipulation over a period of seven years to develop improved strains of yeasts that will produce renewable fuel (ethanol) from wood residues. ...
|Research Projects serving in the role of Principal Investigator|
|Project Name||Start Date||End Date|
|Optimizing lignocellulose-degrading fungi for bioprocessing and bioconversion of wood requires understanding the functional genomics of fung|
Total affiliated publications: 21
|Genetics Provide Valuable Insight into Mysterious Decay Fungi|
Valuable insights to developing effective biological control agents for protecting conifer trees from root rot have been discovered...
|Pulp NonFiction: Fungal Analysis Reveals Clues for Targeted Biomass Deconstruction|
Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV's "Hoarders." Dan Cullen, research microbiologist at the FPL, is part of an international team of scientists studying the genomic make-up of two fungi species that are espe...