Siqi Jiang, a FungiG Ph.D. student researching the green mold disease in mushroom farms caused by Trichoderma. We have recently found a new Trichoderma species that is associated with one of the very common edible mushrooms. As it was my first sampling trip for Trichoderma diversity, I find this discovery fascinating and exciting. I want to explore the fungal ability to degrade petroleum-based synthetic polymers (plastic) in my other research direction. In my opinion, fungi are magical. They have very different morphology and life history compared to other organisms that I studied before. They can help humans and can also be dangerous. Today’s plastic pollution is worrying. Some fungi can deal with plastic. I hope to use enzymes produced by fungi to degrade plastics effectively and alleviate “white pollution”. I think we also do not understand the interactions within fungal communities. For example, the fungal wars between the mycoparasitic Trichoderma and such hosts as mushrooms and plant-pathogenic fungi have remarkable differences even though the basic scenario is the same: the hosts try to defend against Trichoderma invasion while Trichoderma breaks through. My goal is to figure out the molecular mechanisms of these interactions.
My recent publications:
Jiang S-Q, Yu Y-N, Gao R-W, Wang H, Zhang J, Li R, Long X-H, Shen Q-R, Chen W, Cai F: High-throughput absolute quantification sequencing reveals the effect of different fertilizer applications on bacterial community in a tomato cultivated coastal saline soil. Science of The Total Environment 2019, 687:601-609.
Cai, F., Gao, R., Zhao, Z., Ding, M., Jiang, S., Yagtu, C., Zhu, H., Zhang, J., Ebner, T., Mayrhofer-Reinhartshuber, M., Kainz, P., Chenthamara, K., Bayram-Akcapinar, G., Shen, Q., and Druzhinina, I. S. 2020 Evolutionary compromises in fungal fitness: hydrophobins hinder the adverse dispersal of spores and challenge their survival, The ISME J 14, 2610–2624 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-020-0709-0
Ding, M., Chen, W., Gao, R., Jiang, S., Zhao, Z., Cai, F., and Druzhinina, I. S. Emerging salt marshes as a source of Trichoderma arenerea sp. nov. and other fungal bioeffectors for biosaline agriculture, Journal of Applied Microbiology, doi: 10.1111/jam.14751.
Gao, R., Ding, M., Jiang, S., Zhao, Z., Chenthamara, K., Shen, Q. Cai, F., Druzhinina I.S. 2020. The evolutionary and functional paradox of cerato-platanins in the mycoparasitic fungi Applied and Environmental Microbiology 86:e00696-20