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Looking for a postdoc on evolutionary genomics of entomopathogenic fungi!

Updated: May 3, 2023

We have generated an important amount of short-read sequencing data from various groups of entomopathogenic fungi (Hypocreales, Ascomycota). I published some works a few years ago on adaptation and population genomics of the "zombie-ant" fungus, Ophicorcordyceps unilateralis (1,2). I found signatures of positive selections among some categories of genes hypothetically playing a role in host-specific adaptation, as well as evidences for the existence of cryptic species hidden within this fascinating organism.

Those data are there waiting for someone wanting to dig deeper into the mechanisms of host-specific adaptations and demographic history that shaped adaptation and speciation!


Since then, I’ve been involved in a project on the integrative taxonomy of entomopathogenic fungi in which one main objective is to establish a framework of geno-taxonomy that would allow discovering hidden diversity. But along the way, these data will have great values in shedding light on the speciation and adaptation among these fungi. We’ve been recently working on the species Beauveria asiatica and B. bassiana (Cordycipitaceae) and generating new data for Metarhizium populations (Clavicipitaceae) found in Thailand. These two genera have been widely used as biocontrol agents against insect pests. Therefore, underpinning genomic mechanisms underlying the evolution of pathogenicity and host range could really have significant impacts.


I’m looking forward to host new postdocs in my team. I’ve recently seen this announcement (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/worldwide/asean/2021-msca-postdoc-fellowship-call-hosting-european-fellow). So, I know that a new call for Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) international fellowship is going to be announced very soon. If any European PhD candidates or postdocs are interested, we can try elaborating a project together! But any non-European can get in touch with me, I would love to discuss on all the possibilities !


References

1. Kobmoo, N. et al. A genome scan of diversifying selection in Ophiocordyceps zombie-ant fungi suggests a role for enterotoxins in co-evolution and host specificity. Mol. Ecol. 27, 3582–3598 (2018).

2. Kobmoo, N., Mongkolsamrit, S., Arnamnart, N., Jennifer Luangsa-Ard, J. & Giraud, T. Population genomics revealed cryptic species within host-specific zombie-ant fungi (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 140, 106580 (2019).

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