Title: Sex, death, and disease in cereal rust fungi

Presenter:  A/Prof Benjamin Schwessinger, ANU

Abstract: Sex is essential for most eukaryotic life on earth and cereal rust fungi are no exception. I will present our latest insights into the genome biology and evolution of mating type loci (aka sex loci) in cereal rust fungi. Death is another important final milestone of all eukaryotic life. I will present our latest advances that allow any research group to identify pathogen molecules which are detected by wheat resistance genes using minipreps and protoplasts. Overall, I will illustrate how our recent fundamental advances will contribute to disease prevention in agriculture.


Bio: Benjamin travelled the world to end up in Canberra at the Australian National University. He started his journey in Germany at the University of Leipzig studying biochemistry. He then morphed into a plant scientist working on the weed Arabidopsis and its immune system at the Sainsbury Laboratory, UK. For his next step, he aimed to tackle a more important crop working on rice in sunny California at UC Davis. He currently focuses on one of the most interesting order of rust fungal pathogens. He is fascinated by the genome biology, evolution, and host adaptation of ploy nucleated fungi and aims to complete his final metamorphosis into a fungal biologist. His research programs crosses over from plant and fungal biology to biosecurity.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



Building 76, Room 228