Research Interests

I am interested in cell biology and development. As a microbial geneticist, I pursue two lines of research using the fungus Neurospora tetrasperma. One line involves the role of microtubules and related structures in nuclear movement and positioning; the other, the genetic components of sexual phase development.

The movement and positioning of nuclei within cells is dependent on microtubule-associated components. To identify these components and to define their roles genetically, students and I analyze the process of nuclear division and ascospore formation using mutants resistant to antimitotic agents.

Another approach to analyzing nuclear movement examines the effects of agents that interfere with actin and myosin interactions and activity.  One such agent is 2,3-butanedione monoxime
(BDM).  Students and I create mutations resistant and super-sensitive to BDM and also characterize the effects of this compound on sexual phase development.
Other mutations that affect development in the sexual phase of Neurospora tetrasperma have been isolated in the laboratory. Cytological and genetic methods are being used to determine the developmental stages affected by each mutant and to construct a developmental pathway consistent with the behavior of the mutants.

Below is a list of projects that have been done in my laboratory


Honors Projects

David Kabata "Early sexual phase development in wild type and three mutants of the fungus Neurospora tetrasperma."

Sean N. Bryan "A cytological study of mutations affecting the sexual phase in Neurospora tetrasperma."


Undergraduate Projects

Nathan Mutic “Effects of 2,3-butanedione monoxime, a cytoskeletal inhibitor, on wild type and mutant strains of Neurospora tetrasperma: A developmental and cytological study.”

Jeffrey Fellman “Mutagenesis in Neurospora tetrasperma: The induction of resistance to 2,3-butanedione monoxime, a cytological inhibitor.”

Penn, Charles and Christopher Cookerly  “Genetic Loci in Neurospora tetrasperma affect resistance and supersensitivity to 2,3-butanedione monoxime, a cytoskeletal inhibitor.”

Hassan Mahmud “A 2,3-Butanedione monoxime-sensitive and resistant mutants of Neurospora tetrasperma: Isolation and analysis.”

Thomas J. Feeney "Effects of ethanol and dimethyl sulfoxide on the microtubule function of Neurospora tetrasperma."

Sherry L. Walzer "A cytogenetic analysis of mutations involved in microtubule functions in the vegetative and sexual phases of the fungus Neurospora tetrasperma."

Mark Ott "The effects of griseofulvin on the growth, meiosis, and mitosis of Neurospora tetrasperma."

David M. Cooney "The effects of CIPC on the vegetative growth and mating of Neurospora tetrasperma."


Graduate Projects

Yuan Zheng "Formamide-sensitive mutants of Neurospora tetrasperma: Isolation and genetic analysis."

Waltraut Piontkowski "A cytological analysis of mutations affecting the sexual phase in Neurospora tetrasperma."

Kevin G. Pinz "A genetic analysis of Neurospora tetrasperma mutants resistant to the antimitotic agent methyl benzimidazol-2-yl carbamate."

Ann E. Nowaskie "A genetic analysis of mutations affecting the sexual phase in the fungus Neurospora tetrasperma."