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Microbiology & Cell Science

Microbiology & Cell Science

Nemat O. Keyhani


  • Teaching Interests
    • MCB 4304 - Genetics of Microorganisms
    • MCB 6317 - Molecular Biology of Gene Expression
    • MCB 6937 - Special Topics - Advanced Bacterial Genetics
  • Education
    • Ph.D. (1994) Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Description of Research

    Our laboratory performs research in three main areas.

    Tripartite interactions between Beauveria bassiana, a fungal pathogen of arthropods, their insect hosts, and plant partners with which the fungus forms associations. This project involves fundamental and applied research in host-pathogen interactions and insect biological control. We use a variety of approaches including molecular (gene knockouts, transcriptomics), biochemical (enzyme assays, yeast two-hybrid), and cell biological (microscopy; electron, fluorescent, and Atomic Force) to probe fungal development, insect virulence, and plant interactions.

    1. Interactions between ambrosia beetles and their fungal symbionts. These beetles harbor symbiotic fungi in specialized structures termed mycangia. We seek to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms, mainly focusing on the fungal partner (e.g., the plant pathogen Raffaelea lauricola), that determines specificity, colonization, and persistence of the fungus in the beetle host.
    2. Chemical communication in insects. We are examining proteins involved in olfaction and ligand transport in a number of insects including mosquitoes, the tsetse fly, and ants. In particular, we are interested in exploring the contributions of these proteins within a framework of the biochemistry and evolution of insect social behavior.
  • Publications

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Contact Information


Rm. # 1001
Microbiology Building 981