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Trends Microbiol. 2016 Jan;24(1):35-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2015.09.008. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

New and Improved Techniques for the Study of Pathogenic Fungi.

Author information

1
Institut für Biotechnologie, Technische Universität Berlin, Gustav-Meyer Allee 22, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: t.cairns@campus.tu-berlin.de.
2
Biosciences, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK.

Abstract

Fungal pathogens pose serious threats to human, plant, and ecosystem health. Improved diagnostics and antifungal strategies are therefore urgently required. Here, we review recent developments in online bioinformatic tools and associated interactive data archives, which enable sophisticated comparative genomics and functional analysis of fungal pathogens in silico. Additionally, we highlight cutting-edge experimental techniques, including conditional expression systems, recyclable markers, RNA interference, genome editing, compound screens, infection models, and robotic automation, which are promising to revolutionize the study of both human and plant pathogenic fungi. These novel techniques will allow vital knowledge gaps to be addressed with regard to the evolution of virulence, host-pathogen interactions and antifungal drug therapies in both the clinic and agriculture. This, in turn, will enable delivery of improved diagnosis and durable disease-control strategies.

KEYWORDS:

antifungal; comparative genomics; functional genomics; fungal pathogen; genome editing

PMID:
26549580
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2015.09.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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