Mid-Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC) 2017

On April 21-23, 2017, North Carolina State University and the Center For Integrated Fungal Research will host the 38th annual Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC 2017).  All mycophiles and mycophagists (and family members) are invited to attend. This year’s meeting promises to be special for many reasons and will include a keynote address by Professor David Hibbett of Clark University.

MASMC first started in 1979 with participating mycology labs from Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Towson State University.  Each spring, mycologists from the mid-Atlantic region were provided with an opportunity to present their latest research findings, share a meal and memories, participate in a foray, meet new friends, and develop/strengthen scientific collaborations. MASMC provides undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs with a unique opportunity to present their research findings in a less formal venue than at a national or international scientific meeting.

Participants are invited to present an oral or poster presentation on their current research (see abstract submission instructions below). The registration and call for oral and poster presentations opens on January 15, 2017 and continues until the deadline on March 31, 2017. Any questions concerning the conference should be sent to Marc A. Cubeta (macubeta@ncsu.edu). We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh!

Lodging – A block of rooms has been reserved at the Ramada Inn, 1520 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 for our conference. After you have registered for the meeting a group code will be sent to you and can be used when making reservations to receive the group rate ($69 plus tax per night). The cut-off date will be April 7, 2017. Due to the number of events occurring in Raleigh on the weekend of April 22, we were only able to reserve rooms with a King bed and sleeper sofa. However, we would suggest that you inquire about a room with two double beds since they will be added to the block when they become available. For reservations call 877-298-2066 or 919-832-4100. To make reservations online go to the following site: Ramada.

Registration – To register for the conference go to  CashNet estore and click on the “browse catalog” or “conference” link. Select an option, add participant contact information, scroll to the bottom of the page, and add to your basket to pay for the conference registration. The registration fee is $50 for students, $70 for post-docs and $90 for non-students/post-docs or additional family members. Although we prefer that you pay for registration with a credit card, if you wish to pay cash or check, then choose the “Pay by Cash or Check” option. This will allow you to continue with the registration process. You can either send me a check for the appropriate amount by US mail to my attention at the following address (North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Center For Integrated Fungal Research, Box 7567, Raleigh, NC 27695-7567) or to pay for your registration by bringing a check (or cash) to me at the meeting. Checks should be written to Marc A. Cubeta and I can provide you with a receipt at the meeting. Registration includes the Saturday morning, afternoon and evening presentations/activities and the foray on Sunday morning. You will need to provide your own transportation to the various meeting and foray venues, but we will also facilitate carpooling to these sites. This year we are also providing an option for educators in North Carolina that want to attend the foray but not the conference on Saturday to pay a fee of $20. These proceeds will be donated to the Larry F. Grand Mycological Herbarium Endowment Fund.

Abstract submission for oral and poster presentations. – If you plan to present an oral or poster presentation at the conference, send an abstract to Marc A. Cubeta (macubeta@ncsu.edu) by March 31, 2017 with your preference for an oral or poster presentation. Oral presentations should be 15 minutes in length (12 minutes with 3 minutes for questions). The recommended poster size is 46 inches wide by 36 inches high.  Posters should not exceed 48 inches wide by 48 inches high. We will notify you by April 7, 2017 on which type of presentation that you have been selected for. The abstract should be developed as a Word document and include the following information; 1) title, 2) authors and affiliation(s) with the presenter’s name underlined, 3) abstract body with no more than 250 words, and 4) presenter’s email address. An abstract example is provided below.

The soil mycobiome associated with orchids in Sweden. Cubeta, Marc A. (1), Carbone, Ignazio (1), White, James B. (1), Mahmood, Shahid (2), Finlay, Roger D. (2), and Stenlid, Jan (2). 1. Department of Plant Pathology, Center For Integrated Fungal Research, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606; 2. Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sci, Uppsala macubeta@ncsu.edu

Rhizoctonia fungi can establish beneficial symbiotic associations with orchids. In this study, soil samples were collected from eight geographic locations in central Sweden where orchid seedlings of Cypripedium calceolus, Dactylorhiza incarnata, D. maculata, Epipactis palustris, Listera ovata or Plantathera bifolia were growing. Soil fungal communities were determined with high throughput pyrosequencing of extracted genomic DNA and bioinformatics-based methods using the Sequence Clustering and Analysis of Tagged Amplicons (SCATA) analytical platform. To identify operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and characterize members of the soil fungal community, sequences were subjected to RDP classifier using the UNITE fungal ITS reference database. Sequence data were also analyzed with Tree-Based Alignment Selector (T-BAS) toolkit to determine OTU distribution. According to UNITE, fungal taxa in OTUs were distributed as: 984 Ascomycota (50%), 643 Basidiomycota (31%), 210 Chytridiomycota (4%), 201 Zygomycota (7%), 184 Glomeromycota (2%), and 58 Rozellomycota (1%). Of the total Ascomycota diversity, Leotiomycetes represented 22%, Sordariomycetes 9%, Saccharomycetes 6%, Dothideomycetes 4%, Eurotiomycetes 3%, Pezizomycetes 2% and Xylonomycetes 1%. Five of 14 OTUs sampled from all locations were tentatively identified as Exophiala equina, Mortierella amoeboidea, Operculomyces laminatus, Phoma brasiliensis, and Tetracladium furcatum. Fungal taxa that commonly form symbiotic associations with terrestrial orchids (e.g., Ceratobasidium, Sebacina, Thanatephorus, and Tulasnella=Epulorhiza) occurred in low frequency (>0.1%) across all samples, except for Epulorhiza sp. MO41 and two species of Sebacina at two locations where C. calceolus and L. ovata occurred, respectively. Research is currently in progress to examine the association of soil chemistry factors with orchid and fungal species distribution.

Welcome 2017 MASMC Keynote Speaker  “Title TBA” – Professor David Hibbett, Biology Department, Lasry Center for Bioscience, 950 Main St., Worcester, MA, 01610 USA.

David’s research involves the uses comparative analyses of genes and genomes to infer the evolutionary relationships of Fungi, concentrating on the mushroom-forming fungi. He is particularly interested in using phylogenetic approaches to understand the evolution of fungal morphology and ecological strategies. Other interests include biological classification, species recognition and phyloinformatics. He teaches courses in Introductory Biology, Botanical Diversity, Fungal Biology and Biology of Symbiosis. To learn more about Dr, Hibbett’s research and teaching interests, please visit his lab website 
or lab news blog.

Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference 2017 (MASMC 2017) Tentative Program

Friday, April 21
5-9:00 pm – Reception for early arrivals at the Cubeta home. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided.

Saturday, April 22 at the JC Raulston Arboretum

8:30-10:30 am – Oral presentations

10:30-11:00 am – Morning coffee break

11:00 am-12:00 pm – Oral presentations

12:00-2:00 pm – Group photo followed by lunch and posters

2:00-2:30 pm – James B. Hunt Jr. Library tours

2:30-4:00 pm – Selected presentations Teaching and Visualization Lab

4:00 pm – MASMC business meeting, tour of the JC Raulston Arboretum gardens

6:00 pm – Dinner at JC Raulston Arboretum with short presentation by Connie Ly of Lonerider Brewery.

7:00 pm – Keynote lecture by Professor David Hibbett, Clark University, Worcester, MA, “Title TBA”

Sunday, April 23

8:30 am-12:00 pm – Morel foray in the Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest, followed by a tailgate lunch provided before guests depart. Directions to the foray site are provided below and will be distributed on Saturday. The foray is being conducted in memory of Dr. Larry F. Grand.