Soon-Jae Lee is the 2019 recipient of the $1000 J.-André-Fortin Scholarship. He studied the evolution and roles of the interference ARN system (ARNi) the mechanism for detecting blue light and circadian clock in the genome of the mycorrhizal shrub fungus Rhizophagus irregularis using biological and bioinformatic approaches.
These roles have never been studied in shrub mycorrhizal fungi (CMA). Only a few studies have shown that blue light can affect the germination of spores and hyphae growth of CMA, however the mechanism has not been described. In the case of the circadian clock, although the circadian rhythm is ubiquitous in fungi and the diurnal rhythm of hyphae growth has been reported in the CMA, the mechanism remains unknown. The genome and transcriptome of the model CMA Rhizophagus irregularis isolate DAOM 197198, were publicly available and were exploited in the Soon-Jae Lee project.
Soon-Jae Lee has published three articles as first author and is pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.