Markus Wilken

Markus Wilken
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Biochemistry Genetics and Microbiology Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)

PhD. Genetics

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35
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718
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Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Sexual development in filamentous fungi is a complex process that relies on the precise control of and interaction between a variety of genetic networks and pathways. The mating-type (MAT) genes are the master regulators of this process and typically act as transcription factors, which control the expression of genes involved at all stages of the s...
Article
Establishing a transformation system is an essential first step for functional studies. Numerous transformation systems have been developed and optimized for filamentous ascomycetes, including Agrobacterium‐mediated transformation. Recently, such a system was developed for the African tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. This fungus is part of th...
Article
Draft genomes of Penicillium roqueforti, Fusarium sororula, Chalaropsis populi, and Chrysoporthe puriensis are presented. Penicillium roqueforti is a model fungus for genetics, physiological and metabolic studies, as well as for biotechnological applications. Fusarium sororula and Chrysoporthe puriensis are important tree pathogens, and Chalaropsis...
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Unisexuality in fungi is the result of sexual reproduction in a single isolate that harbors genes associated with only a single mating type. To date, unisexual reproduction has been described in only three genera of filamentous fungi. Consequently, our understanding of this unusual pathway is limited. In this critical review, we compare genetic, ge...
Article
Sexual reproduction is ubiquitous in nature, and nowhere is this more so than in the fungi. Heterothallic behaviour is observed when there is a strict requirement of contact between two individuals of opposite mating-type for sexual reproduction to occur. In contrast, a homothallic species can complete the entire sexual cycle in isolation, although...
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Draft genomes of the fungal species Ambrosiella cleistominuta, Cercospora brassicicola, C. citrullina, Physcia stellaris, and Teratosphaeria pseudoeucalypti are presented. Physcia stellaris is an important lichen forming fungus and Ambrosiella cleistominuta is an ambrosia beetle symbiont. Cercospora brassicicola and C. citrullina are agriculturally...
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In filamentous fungi, genes in secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways are generally clustered. In the case of those pathways involved in nonribosomal peptide production, a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene is commonly found as a main element of the cluster. Large multifunctional enzymes are encoded by members of this gene family that...
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Sexual reproduction in filamentous ascomycete fungi results in the production of highly specialized sexual tissues, which arise from relatively simple, vegetative mycelia. This conversion takes place after the recognition of and response to a variety of exogenous and endogenous cues, and relies on very strictly regulated gene, protein, and metaboli...
Article
The overall goal of this study was to determine whether the genome of an important plant pathogen in Africa, Ceratocystis albifundus, is structured into subgenomic compartments, and if so, to establish how these compartments are distributed across the genome. For this purpose, the publicly available genome of C. albifundus was complemented with the...
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This genome announcement includes draft genomes from Claviceps purpurea s.lat., including C. arundinis, C. humidiphila and C. cf. spartinae. The draft genomes of Davidsoniella eucalypti, Quambalaria eucalypti and Teratosphaeria destructans, all three important eucalyptus pathogens, are presented. The insect associate Grosmannia galeiformis is also...
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Draft genomes of the species Annulohypoxylon stygium, Aspergillus mulundensis, Berkeleyomyces basicola (syn. Thielaviopsis basicola), Ceratocystis smalleyi, two Cercospora beticola strains, Coleophoma cylindrospora, Fusarium fracticaudum, Phialophora cf. hyalina and Morchella septimelata are presented. Both mating types (MAT1-1 and MAT1-2) of Cerco...
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Homothallism (self-fertility) describes a wide variety of sexual strategies that enable a fungus to reproduce in the absence of a mating partner. Unisexual reproduction, a form of homothallism, is a process whereby a fungus can progress through sexual reproduction in the absence of mating genes previously considered essential for self-fertility. In...
Article
Sexual reproduction in the Ascomycota is controlled by genes encoded at the mating-type or MAT1 locus. The two allelic versions of this locus in heterothallic species, referred to as idiomorphs, are defined by the MAT1-1-1 (for the MAT1-1 idiomorph) and MAT1-2-1 (for the MAT1-2 idiomorph) genes. Both idiomorphs can contain additional genes, althoug...
Article
The genomes of Cercospora zeina, Fusarium pininemorale, Hawksworthiomyces lignivorus, Huntiella decipiens, and Ophiostoma ips are presented in this genome announcement. Three of these genomes are from plant pathogens and otherwise economically important fungal species. Fusarium pininemorale and H. decipiens are not known to cause significant diseas...
Article
Filamentous fungi in the subdivision Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota) display an impressive diversity of mating strategies. These mating systems are all controlled by the mating-type (MAT) genes, some of which are conserved, even among distantly related genera. In order to facilitate effective communication between researchers, a system was established...
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The genomes of Armillaria fuscipes, Ceratocystiopsis minuta, Ceratocystis adiposa, Endoconidiophora laricicola, E. polonica, and Penicillium freii DAOMC 242723 are presented in this genome announcement. These six genomes are from plant pathogens and otherwise economically important fungal species. The genome sizes range from 21 Mb in the case of Ce...
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Itajahya is a member of Phallales (Agaricomycetes), which, based on the presence of a calyptra and DNA sequence data for I. rosea, has recently been raised to generic status from a subgenus of Phallus. The type species of the genus, I. galericulata, is commonly known as the Jacaranda stinkhorn in Pretoria, South Africa, which is the only area where...
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Background Proteins in the Glycoside Hydrolase family 32 (GH32) are carbohydrate-active enzymes known as invertases that hydrolyse the glycosidic bonds of complex saccharides. Fungi rely on these enzymes to gain access to and utilize plant-derived sucrose. In fungi, GH32 invertase genes are found in higher copy numbers in the genomes of pathogens w...
Article
The genomes of Ceratocystis eucalypticola, Chrysoporthe cubensis, Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis, Davidsoniella virescens, Fusarium temperatum, Graphilbum fragrans, Penicillium nordicum and Thielaviopsis musarum are presented in this genome announcement. These seven genomes are from plant pathogens and otherwise economically important fungal species....
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Sexual reproduction is notoriously complex in fungi with species able to produce sexual progeny by utilizing a variety of different mechanisms. This is even more so for species employing multiple sexual strategies, which is a surprisingly common occurrence. While heterothallism is relatively well understood in terms of its physiological and molecul...
Article
Sexual reproduction in fungi is controlled by genes present at the mating type (MAT) locus, which typically harbours transcription factors that influence the expression of many sex-related genes. The MAT locus exists as two alternative idiomorphs in ascomycetous fungi and sexual reproduction is initiated when genes from both idiomorphs are expresse...
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The genomes of fungi provide an important resource to resolve issues pertaining to their taxonomy, biology, and evolution. The genomes of Amanita jacksonii, Ceratocystis albifundus, a Fusarium circinatum variant, Huntiella omanensis, Leptographium procerum, Sclerotinia echinophila, and Rutstroemia sydowiana are presented in this genome announcement...
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The draft nuclear genomes of Diplodia sapinea, Ceratocystis moniliformis s. str., and C. manginecans are presented. Diplodia sapinea is an important shoot-blight and canker pathogen of Pinus spp., C. moniliformis is a saprobe associated with wounds on a wide range of woody angiosperms and C. manginecans is a serious wilt pathogen of mango and Acaci...
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Fungi have evolved a remarkable diversity of reproductive strategies. Some of these, most notably those of the model fungi, have been well studied but others are poorly understood. The latter is also true for uni-directional mating type switching, which has been reported in only five fungal genera, including Ceratocystis. Mating type switching allo...
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The draft nuclear genome of Ceratocystis fimbriata, the type species of Ceratocystis, is comprised of 29 410 862 bp. De novo gene prediction produced 7 266 genes, which is low for an ascomycete fungus. The availability of the genome provides opportunities to study aspects of the biology of this and other Ceratocystis species.
Article
Ceratocystis fimbriata sensu lato represents a complex of cryptic and commonly plant pathogenic species that are morphologically similar. Species in this complex have been described using morphological characteristics, intersterility tests and phylogenetics. Microsatellite markers have been useful to study the population structure and origin of som...
Article
Mutualism between microbes and insects is common and alignment of the reproductive interests of microbial symbionts with this lifestyle typically involves clonal reproduction and vertical transmission by insect partners. Here the Amylostereum fungus-Sirex woodwasp mutualism was used to consider whether their prolonged association and predominance o...
Article
In heterothallic Ascomycota, two opposite but distinct mating types control all sexual processes. Using mating crosses, mating types were assigned to ten isolates of the heterothallic fungal species Ophiostoma quercus. Primers were subsequently designed to target the MAT1-1-1, MAT1-1-3 (of the mating type 1 idiomorph), and MAT1-2-1 (of the mating t...
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Some of the most significant breakthroughs in the biological sciences this century will emerge from the development of next generation sequencing technologies. The ease of availability of DNA sequence made possible through these new technologies has given researchers opportunities to study organisms in a manner that was not possible with Sanger seq...
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This study considered the systems controlling sexual and self-recognition in Amylostereum areolatum, a homobasidiomycetous symbiont of the Sirex woodwasp. To investigate the structure and organization of these systems in A. areolatum, we identified a portion of a putative homologue (RAB1) of the pheromone receptor genes of Schizophyllum commune and...

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