The Graduate Program in

Li-Jun Ma

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research Interests

Comparative fungal genomics: A gateway toward understanding genome innovation and adaptation.

The ancient origin of fungi and their remarkable diversity, in combination with their streamlined genomes, make the fungal kingdom an excellent model system to study eukaryotic evolution using comparative genomics. With solid training in evolution, molecular biology and genomics, I am interested in combining theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to gain insights into the relationship between ecological adaptation, genomic structure and gene content variation among closely related fungal species. A few fungal pathogens have been selected as model systems for their unique evolutionary significance and economic importance. One focusing area in my lab is to study the plant-fungal interactions of wilt diseases caused by Fusarium oxysporum and Verticillium dahliae.