Successful fungal pathogens often proliferate through their asexual stage, the cause of epidemics and outbreaks, to the extent that they may appear strictly clonal. We tested a hypothesis that sexual reproduction occurs in three pathogens thought to be strictly clonal (Fusarium oxysporum, Quambalaria pitereka and Austropuccinia psidii). Our evidence of sexual reproduction shows that pathogens are dynamic and their versatile life cycles should be understood to aid management of disease.

Anthony headshotDr Alistair McTaggart

Alistair is a research fellow for the Centre of Horticultural Science. He studies the evolution of fungal pathogens, with a focus on rust and smut fungi. He has completed postdocs in Africa, America and Europe. Alistair has started a new research direction for UQ, studying the biodiversity of native psychoactive mushrooms in Australia. This research will determine whether Australian magic mushrooms have evolved unique genetic pathways for production of psilocybin and confirm endemicity of our native taxa. Alistair will establish a living collection to safeguard genetic diversity and provide a platform to research the applications of psilocybin for human health.

Dr Alistair McTaggart, Research Fellow at Centre for Horticultural Science E: a.mctaggart@uq.edu.au

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Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


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