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Biological Sciences

Dr. Tom Fowler

Portrait of Dr. Tom FowlerAssociate Professor, Graduate Program Director

Ph.D. The Ohio State University, 1993

Office: SLW 1110
Research Lab: SLW 1005
Phone: (618) 650-5231
E-mail: tfowler@siue.edu

 

Courses Taught: Genetics (BIOL 220), Recombinant DNA (BIOL 418a), Recombinant DNA Laboratory (BIOL 418b), Human Genetics (BIOL 421), Molecular Genetics (BIOL 452), Biology of the Fungi (BIOL 490), The Science and Ethics of Biotechnology (IS 321).

Research Interests: My laboratory is engaged in molecular genetic research of fungi to understand how pheromones and receptors are able to specifically interact to communicate information between organisms. We approach this research problem with genetics, genomics, mutagenesis, transfer of genes, and knock-outs. Once changes are made, we observe the abilities of the altered fungi to signal and complete mating. The receptors that are studied are in the class of cell surface receptors known as 7-transmembrane-domain receptors that are found widely in fungi and animals. Recently, we became interested in two sister mushroom species that both have genes for pheromone signaling but have very different mating habits. We would like to know how pheromone signaling is incorporated into each lifestyle, one of which allows mushrooms to be formed without any need for two mates and another that strictly requires two mates with complementary signaling molecules before mushrooms will form.

Research Opportunities: Both graduate students and undergraduate students can do research projects involving molecular biology and fungal biology in my laboratory.  Please contact me to find out when new students may be added to the group. For fall semester positions, contact me early in the year (January-March) because the number of student positions is limited.

Selected Publications

Freihorst, D., Fowler, T., Bartholomew, K., Raudaskoski, M., Horton, J. S., Kothe, E. 2016. The Mating-Type Genes of the Basidiomycetes, In The Mycota I: Growth, Differentiation and Sexuality, 3rd Edition. pp. 329-349. J. Wendland (Ed.), Springer International.

Raudaskoski, M. Kothe, E., Fowler, T. J., Jung, E., Horton, J. S.  2012. Ras and Rho small G proteins: Insights from the Schizophyllum commune genome sequence and comparisons to other fungi.  Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews 28: 61-100.

Ohm, R. A., de Jong J.F., Lugones,L.G., Aerts, A., Kothe, E., Stajich, J.E., de Vries, R.P., Record, E., Levasseur, A., Baker, S.E., Bartholomew, K.E., Coutinho, P.M., Erdmann, S.,  Fowler, T.J., Gathman, A.C., Lombard, V., Henrissat, B., Knabe, N., Kües, U., Lilly, W.W., Lindquist, E., Lucas, S., Magnuson, J.K., Piumi, F., Raudaskoski, M., Salamov, A., Schmutz, J., Schwarze, F.W.M.R, vanKuyk, P.A., Horton, J.S., Gregoriev, I., and H.A.B Wösten. 2010. Genome sequence of the model mushroom Schizophyllum commune.  Nature Biotechnology 28:957-63.

Fowler, T.J.  2010. A carboxy-subterminal aromatic residue in Schizophyllum commune mating pheromones controls specific recognition by Bar4 receptor. Fungal Genetics Reports 57: 4-6.

Fowler, T.J. and Vaillancourt, L.J.  2007. Pheromones and Pheromone Receptors in Schizophyllum commune Mate Recognition:  Retrospective of a Half-Century of Progress and a Look Ahead, pp. 301-316, In Sex in Fungi:  Molecular Determination and Evolutionary Implications, J. Heitman, J.W. Kronstad, J.W. Taylor, and L.A. Casselton, eds., ASM Press, Washington, D.C.

Fowler, T.J., Mitton, M.F., Rees, E.I. and C.A. Raper. 2004. Crossing the boundary between the Ba and Bb mating-type loci in Schizophyllum commune. Fungal Genet. and Biol. 41:89-101.

Raper, C. and Fowler, T.,  2004.  Why study Schizophyllum?  Fungal Genet. Newsl. 51: 30-36.

Raper, C. and Fowler, T.,  2004.  Schizophyllum bibliography.  Fungal Genet. Newsl. 51: 37-66.

Fowler, T.J., Mitton, M.F., Vaillancourt, L.J., and C.A. Raper.  2001.  Changes in mate recognition through alterations of pheromones and receptors in the multisexual mushroom-bearing fungus Schizophyllum commune.  Genetics 158: 1491-1503.

Fowler, T.J., and M.F. Mitton. 2000. Scooter, a new active transposon in Schizophyllum commune, has disrupted two genes regulating signal transduction.  Genetics 156: 1585-1594.

Fowler, T.J.*, DeSimone, S.M.*, Mitton, M.F., Kurjan, J., and C.A. Raper. 1999. Multiple sex pheromones and receptors of a mushroom-producing fungus elicit mating in yeast.  Mol. Biol. Cell 10: 2559-2572. (*equal contribution)

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