Nemat O. Keyhani


Keyhani_NematDepartment of Microbiology and Cell Science University of FloridaPh.D. (1994) Johns Hopkins University



Teaching Interests

MCB 4304 Molecular Genetics of Prokaryotes

Fungi and Insects Around Us: Animation Project

Fungi around us (Part 1)

Description of Research

Our laboratory performs research in two main areas. (1) 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. (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.


Selected Publications

Ying, S.-H., Feng, M.-G., and Keyhani, N.O. (2013) A carbon responsive G-protein coupled receptor modulates broad developmental and genetic networks in the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, Environmental Microbiology, accepted (doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12169).

Ortiz-Urquiza, A. and Keyhani, N.O. (2013) Action on the surface: entomopathogenic fungi versus the insect cuticle, Insects 4:357-374

Ortiz-Urquiza, A., Keyhani, N.O., and Quesada-Moraga, E. (2013) Culture conditions affect virulence and production of insect toxic proteins in the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, Biocontrol Science and Technology, accepted (dio:10.1080/09583157.2013.822474)

Pedrini, N., Ortiz-Urquiza, A., Huarte-Bonnet, C. and Keyhani, N.O. (2013) Targeting of insect cuticular lipids by entomopathogenic fungi: hydrocarbon degradation within the context of a host-pathogen interaction, Frontiers in Microbial Chemistry 4:R24

Kamareddine, L., Fan, Y., Osta, M.A., Keyhani, N.O. (2013) Expression of trypsin modulating oostatic factor (TMOF) in an entomopathogenic fungus increases its virulence towards Anopheles gambiae and reduces fecundity in the target mosquito. Parasites and Vectors 6(1): 22.

Wang, X.X., Ji, X.P., Li, J.X., Keyhani, N.O., Feng, M.-G., Ying, S.-H. (2013) A putative α-glucoside transporter gene, BbAGT1, contributes to carbohydrate utilization, growth, conidiation and virulence in the filamentous entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Res. Microbiol. 164: 480-489

Ying, S.-H., Feng, M.-G., and Keyhani, N.O. (2013) Use of uridine auxotrophy (ura3) for markerless transformation of the mycoinsecticide Beauveria bassiana. Appl. Microbiol. Biotech. 97: 3017-3025.

Zhang, L., Wang, J., Xie, X., Keyhani, N.O., Feng, M.-G., and Ying, S.-H. (2013) The autophagy gene BbATG5, involved in the formation of the autophagosome, contributes to cell differentiation and growth but is dispensable for pathogenesis in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology 159: 243-252

Keyhani, N.O. (2012) Using host molecules to increase fungal virulence for biological control of insects. Virulence 3(4): 415-418.

Zhang, S., Widemann, E., Bernard. G, Lesot, A., Pinot, F., Pedrini, N., and Keyhani, N.O. (2012) CYP52X1, representing a new cytochrome P450 subfamily, displays fatty acid hydroxylase activity and contributes to virulence and growth on insect cuticular substrates in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. J. Biol. Chem. 287: 13477-13486.

Fan, Y., Borovsky, D., Hawkings, C., Ortiz-Urquiza, A., and Keyhani, N.O. (2012) Exploiting host molecules to augment mycoinsecticide virulence. Nature Biotechnol.  30: 35-37

Fan, Y., Pereira, R.M., Kilic, E., Casella, G., and Keyhani, N.O. (2012) Pyrokinin b-neuropeptide affects necrophoretic behavior in fire ants, and expression of b-NP in a mycoinsecticide increases its virulence. PLoS One 7(1): e26924.

Luo, X, Keyhani, N.O., Yu, X., He, Z., Luo, Z., Pei, Y., and Zhang, Y. (2012) The MAP kinase Bbslt2 controls growth conidiation, cell wall integrity, and virulence in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Fungal Genet. Biol. 49: 544-555.

Fan, Y., Ortiz-Urquiza, A., Kudia, R., and Keyhani, N.O. (2012) Bbcsa1, a fungal homolog of neuronal calcium sensor-1 regulates extracellular acidification and contributes to virulence in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology, 158: 1843-1851.

Mantilla, J.G., Galeano, N.F., Gaitan, A.L., Christancho, M.A., Keyhani, N.O. and Gongora, C.E. (2012) Comparative transcriptome analysis of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana grown on the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei). Microbiology, 158: 1826-1842.

Glare, T., Caradus, J., Gelernter, W., Jackson, T., Keyhani, N., Kohl, J., Marrone, P., Morin, L., and Stewart, A. Have biopesticides come of age? (2012) Trends in Biotechnology 30: 250-258.

Zhang, S., Xia, Y., Kim, B., and Keyhani, N.O. (2011) Two hydrophobins are involved in fungal spore coat rodlet layer assembly and each play distinct roles in surface interactions, development, and pathogenesis in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, Mol. Micobiol. 80: 811-826

Zhang, S., Xia, Y., and Keyhani, N.O. (2011) Contribution of the gas1 gene of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana,encoding a putative GPI-anchored b-glucanosyltransferase to conidial thermotolerance and virulence. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77: 2676-2684

Fan, Y., Zhang, S., Kruer-Zerhusen, N., and Keyhani, N.O. (2011) High-throughput insertion mutagenesis and screening of clones of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. J Invert Pathology 106: 274-279

Kirkland, B.H. and Keyhani, N.O. (2011) Expression and purification of a functionally active Class I fungal hydrophobin from the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana in E. coli. J Indust Micro & Biotech 38: 327-335

Pedrini, N., Zhang, S., Juarez, M.P., Keyhani, N.O. (2010) Molecular characterization and expression analysis of a suite of cytochrome P450 enzymes implicated in insect hydrocarbon degradation in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology 156: 2549-2557

Zhang, S., Fan, Y., Xia, Y. X., and Keyhani, N.O. (2010) Sulfonylurea resistance as a new selectable marker for the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Appl Microbiol and Biotech 87:1151-1156

Bidochka, M.J., Clark, D.C., Lewis, M.W., and Keyhani, N.O. (2010) Could insect phagocytic avoidance by entomogenous fungi have evolved via selection against soil amoeboid predators? Microbiology 156:2164-2171

de Crecy, E., Jaronski, S., Lyons, B., Lyons, T.J., and Keyhani, N.O. (2009) Directed evolution of a filamentous fungus for thermotolerance. BMC Biotechnology 9(1):74

Lewis, M.W., Robalino, I.V., and Keyhani, N.O. (2009) Uptake of the fluorescent probe FM4-64 by hyphae and hemolymph-derived in vivo hyphal bodies of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology 155: 3110-3120

Wanchoo, A., Lewis, M.W., and Keyhani, N.O. (2009) Lectin mapping reveals stage-specific display of surface carbohydrates in in vitro and hemolymph derived cells of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology 155: 3121-3133

Kurtti, T. and Keyhani, N.O. (2008) Intracellular infection of tick cell lines by the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Microbiology 154: 1700-1709



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