Tim Satterlee

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Calvo, Ana M.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Genetics; Microbiology; Bioinformatics; Aspergillus flavus--Genetics--Research; Fungi--Morphology--Research


This thesis involves two papers both of which involve members of the important fungal genus Aspergillus. The first paper involves the characterization of the rmtA gene, which encodes a putative arginine methyltransferase, in the agriculturally important fungus Aspergillus flavus. This methyltransferase has been described to be involved in epigenetics regulation through histone modification in the phylogenetically close model organism Aspergillus nidulans. Epigenetics regulation affects a variety of cellular processes, including morphogenesis and secondary metabolism. This study focuses on the role of rmtA on fungal morphological development, including the production of conidia and sclerotia, and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites (also denominated natural products), particularly the possible effect of rmtA in the production of aflatoxin, a highly carcinogenic mycotoxin synthesized by A. flavus. This fungus colonizes important oil seed crops such as corn, peanuts, sorghum, treenuts and cotton worldwide, contaminating them with aflatoxin and other harmful potent toxins.;The goal of the second study is to identify the core genome of the fungal genus Aspergillus. We compared seven different species to determine which genes were shared among the genus. Additionally, we looked for the core genome by comparative genomics using phylogenetically close fungi, determining which genes belonged solely to Aspergillus. Attached in the supplemental table is the list the Aspergillus common and core genome.


Includes supplementary digital materials.||Advisors: Ana M. Calvo.||Committee members: Mitrick Johns; Thomas Sims.


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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