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General expertise:

Mycology, Plant-fungal interaction, Plant & Soil Microbiome, Fungal Systematics, Microbial Ecology

Research Areas:

Plant-fungal symbioses are common in nature. However, these symbiotic relationships could be dynamic, ranging from mutualistic, commensal, to parasitic. The outcomes of these interactions are often based on the communication and benefits exchanged between the plant host and the associated fungi. The plant-fungal interactions not only determine the mycobiome (i.e. fungal communities) of plants, the long-term co-evolution between them also shape the biodiversity of both plant and fungi. Plant and fungi together play critical roles in global nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning. Therefore, understanding plant-fungal interaction is fundamental for us to prepare for the ever-changing environment.

 

Our lab uses integrated approaches to study plant-fungal symbiosis. In particular, we implement next-generation sequencing (i.e. amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics) in combination with bioassay experiment, as well as data collected from phenotypes and environmental variables. With this information, we aim to understand the following questions in the forest and agricultural systems in Taiwan or nearby regions. 

 

-Community Ecology: How do plant diversity and distribution shape the associated fungal community?

 

-Functional Ecology: What are the functionalities of different fungal assemblies in association with plants? What are the environmental factors that influence the mycobiome functionalities?

 

-Fungal systematics: Are there fungal diversity or unknown trophic modes hidden in association with plants, if so, how are they related to other lineages of fungi evolutionarily?

Focal systems:

  • Bryophytes microbiome of the cloud forest
  • Nutritional mode of bryophytes associated fungi

Macrofungi associated with bryophytes.

Fungi endophytes isolated from bryophytes.

  • Fern mycorrhizae/root mycobiome
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Fern root contains a thick fungal layer (stained as blue).

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