Farhana Runa

Ph.D Candidate, Department of Plant Pathology, NCSU
Farhana Runa

I am a PhD student in Plant Pathology at NCSU working with Drs. Payne and Carbone. I obtained my BS in Microbiology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh working on molecular characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and evaluating methods for diagnosis of tuberculosis. I obtained a M.Sc in Plant Pathology in 2009 from the University of Arizona working with Dr. Barry Pryor. A significant component of my thesis work was to develop random insertional mutagenesis in Alternaria using an Agrobacterium mediated transformation system and to study Ulocladium systematics to resolve their taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. My Ph.D. work examines the nuclear condition of Aspergillus flavus. The conidia of A. flavus are multinucleate, but it is not clear whether they are homokaryotic or heterokaryotic. Moreover, the ontogeny and function of multiple nuclei in conidia and their role in the ecology of the fungus are also unknown. The overall goal of my research is to understand the process of multinucleate conidiation in A. flavus and the impact of nuclear condition on pathogenicity and secondary metabolite biosynthesis.