The Taylor-White lecture debuted in Fall, 2013. It was planned when Dr. White was the Regents’ Lecturer for the Berkeley Campus, Fall Semester 2012 - Spring Semester 2013. It commemorates a scientific collaboration spanning three decades.
Thomas J. White and John W. Taylor began their collaboration on fungal molecular evolution in 1982 when Taylor invited White to an informal seminar in the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus to present his Cetus Corporation research on fungal enzymes that convert plant cell walls to sugar. Following that meeting, they used a cloned fungal ribosomal DNA to show that fungi were not close relatives of red algae (Kwok et al. 1986); a modest accomplishment, but one of the first efforts to apply molecular evolution to fungi.
In 1988, White took a sabbatical from Cetus to work in Taylor’s lab, where he introduced Berkeley mycologists to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that was just becoming practical due to the availability of thermocyclers and a recombinant form of thermostable Taq polymerase. Working with postdoc Tom Bruns and graduate student Steve Lee, they developed an approach to rapidly PCR amplify and sequence fungal rDNA for evolutionary comparisons (White et al. 1990), which has been cited more than once a day since then. The application of PCR to questions in fungal evolution led to the first publication on the topic (Bruns et al. 1989), and an influential review on fungal molecular evolution (Bruns et al. 1991).
White and Taylor began their collaboration on fungal molecular evolution in 1982 when Taylor invited White to an informal seminar in the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus to present his Cetus Corporation research on fungal enzymes that convert plant cell walls to sugar. Following that meeting, they used a cloned fungal ribosomal DNA to show that fungi were not close relatives of red algae (Kwok et al. 1986); a modest accomplishment, but one of the first efforts to apply molecular evolution to fungi.
2012 Tom White - Regents Lecture
2013 James Anderson
2014 Lynne Boddy
2015 Regine Kahmann
2016 David Hibbett
2017 Paolo Bonfante
2018 Nancy Keller
2019 Matthew Fisher
2020 Paused for Pandemic
2021 Rytas Vilgalys
2022 Toby Kiers
Upcoming Taylor-White Endowed Lectures
There are no upcoming events, please check back for future listings.
For a schedule of all Plant & Microbial Biology events, seminars, and lectures visit our calendar.
Past Taylor-White Endowed Lectures
Kabir Peay: [Taylor-White Lecture] Mycorrhizal fungi and the future of forests in a changing climate
Taylor-White Lecture w/Toby Kiers
Rytas Vilgalys: Taylor-White Lecture: Genetics of fungal colonization associated with global exotic forestry: insights from pines and their symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi
Rytas Vilgalys. Ph.D., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University, 1985 MS Botany, Virginia Tech, 1982 M.S., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University, 1981 BA Botany, State University of New York College at Geneseo, 1978 B.A., State University of New York, Geneseo, 1978
View video below:
Matthew Fisher: Taylor White Lecture: Tracking and tackling emerging fungal threats
Matthew Fisher is a Professor of Fungal Disease Epidemiology and Faculty of Medicine at the School of Public Health, at Imperial College London. His research uses an evolutionary framework to investigate the biological and environmental factors that are driving emerging fungal diseases in both human, wildlife and plant species. In 2005 he received the Berkeley Award from the British Mycological...
Nancy Keller: Taylor-White Lecture: Chemical Intelligence of Fungi
Nancy Keller's research focus lies in genetically dissecting those aspects of Aspergillus spp. that render them potent pathogens and superb natural product machines. We are interested in elucidating the mechanism of fungal sporulation and host/pathogen interactions; processes intimately linked to secondary metabolite (e.g. mycotoxin) production.
David Hibbett: Taylor-White Lecture: Getting to the Roots of Rot: Fungal Phylogenomics and the ‘End of the Carboniferous Period
David Hibbett “Getting to the Roots of Rot: Fungal Phylogenomics and the ‘End of the Carboniferous Period’”
Regine Kahmann: "How Biotrophic Fungal Pathogens Colonize Plants" Regine Kahmann, Endowed Taylor-White Lecture
Regine Kahmann. Molecular phytopathology Smut fungi comprise a large group of biotrophic pathogens which parasitize mostly on grasses including a number of cereal hosts like maize, barley and wheat. They are characterized by a narrow host range, infect plants systemically and usually cause symptoms in male and female inflorescences only.