Liz joined the Taylor lab in May of 2000 and is interested in intrinsic barriers to gene flow in Neurospora. Liz passed her PhD qualifying exam on June 11 2002 and received her PhD degree in December of 2009. Liz worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Taylor lab after receiving her degree until June of 2011.
I am interested in the biogeography and evolutionary genetics of adaptive traits, and in understanding how populations respond to biotic and abiotic changes in their environment, such as shifting species ranges, habitat disturbance, climate change, and invasive species. Specifically my research has focused on the evolution of reproductive isolation barriers upon secondary contact during speciation, and I have been using three different approaches to study the evolution of adaptive reproductive isolation barriers between closely related species in the ascomycete fungus genus Neurospora.
My biogeographic analysis of reproductive isolation barriers between N. crassa and N. intermedia has revealed that reproductive isolation between N. crassa and N. intermedia is stronger in sympatry (where populations coexist) and that stronger barriers are associated with the species (N. crassa) and mating role (maternal) that suffer the greatest cost of hybridization. This is consistent with a role for natural selection in reinforcing reproductive isolation between the species, because natural selection for stronger barriers only occurs where species encounter one another. Interestingly, reinforcement in plant and animal species usually involves premating barriers, but sympatric Neurospora matings tend to result in aborted fruitbodies, a postmating barrier.
Laboratory matings of N. crassa and N. intermedia from different geographic regions reveal that the reinforced barriers between sympatric populations are highly adaptive under conditions of multiple mating. After hybridization, maternal individuals usually become infertile. However, fruitbody abortion associated with sympatric matings increases maternal fitness, and individuals are subsequently able to mate successfully with members of their own species.
Quantitative trait locus mapping of N. crassa xN. intermedia fruitbody development has identified 15 reproductive isolation loci, including 11 loci affecting fruitbody development in N. crassa fertilized by sympatric N. intermedia. A statistical test of the genetic architecture of abortive sympatric fruitbody development shows that it is consistent with evolution by natural selection, as it should be if this barrier evolved via a reinforcement mechanism.
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Ph.D., Plant and Microbial Biology. 2009.
- BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY, B.A., Biology, Summa Cum Laude.
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, January 2010 - present
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, August 2008 - December 2009
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, August 1999 - January 2008
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Graduate Student Instructor, Biology of Fungi, August 2002 - December 2002
- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, Graduate Student Instructor, General Biology, August 2000 - December 2000
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J. and J. W. Taylor. 2011. Genetic architecture of a reinforced, postmating, reproductive isolation barrier between Neurospora species indicates evolution via natural selection. PLoS Genetics 7(8): e1002204. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002204
- E. Turner, D.J. Jacobson and J.W Taylor. 2010. Reinforced postmating reproductive isolation barriers in Neurospora, an Ascomycete microfungus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 1642–1656.
- Taylor, John W.; Turner, Elizabeth; Townsend, Jeffrey P.; Dettman, Jeremy R.; Jacobson, David. 2006. Eukaryotic microbes, species recognition and the geographic limits of species: examples from the kingdom Fungi. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 361(1475): 1947-1963.
- Dettman, J. R., Jacobson, D. J., Turner, E., Pringle, A., Taylor, J. W. 2003. Reproductive isolation and phylogenetic divergence in Neurospora: Comparing methods of species recognition in a model eukaryote. Evolution 57(12): 2721-2741.
- Taylor, J. W., Turner, E., Pringle, A., Dettman, J., Johannesson, H. 2007. Fungal species: thoughts on their recognition, maintenance and selection, pp. 313-339. In: Fungi in the Environment (British Mycological Society Symposia No. 25). Editors: G.M. Gadd, S.C. Watkinson, P.S. Dyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Invited Symposia and Seminars
- Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology, Gordon Research Conference, June 2006, Plymouth, New Hampshire, "Reproductive isolation, population structure, and ecology of Neurospora species"
- IUMS: Microbes in a Changing World, July 2005, San Francisco, California. "Intrinsic barriers to gene flow in Neurospora"
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J., and Taylor, J. W. 2007. Evolution and genetics of reinforcement in Neurospora. Talk, 24th Fungal Genetics meeting, March 2007, Asilomar, California
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J., and Taylor, J. W. 2006. Reinforcement of a postmating isolation barrier in Neurospora: Selective advantage and genetic basis of the early abortion of hybrid fruitbodies. Poster presentation, Genetics of Speciation, American Genetics Association Annual Symposium, 2006, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J., and Taylor, J. W. 2006. Evolution of reproductive isolation barriers by natural selection in Neurospora. Talk and poster, Neurospora 2006 meeting, March 2006, Asilomar, California
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J., and Taylor, J. W. 2005. Reinforcement of a reproductive isolation barrier in Neurospora: Selective advantage and genetic basis of the early abortion of hybrid perithecia. Talk and poster, 23rd Fungal Genetics meeting, March 2005, Asilomar, California
- Turner, E., Jacobson, D. J., and Taylor, J. W. 2005. Partitioning reproductive isolation in Neurospora: Estimating the contributions of different barriers to isolation between species. Poster presentation, 23rd Fungal Genetics meeting, March 2005, Asilomar, California
- Turner, E., and Taylor, J. W. 2004. Reproductive isolation and reinforcement in Neurospora: Mapping complex traits in a model filamentous fungus. Talk, Walter M. Fitch Prize symposium at the Genomes and Evolution meeting, June 2004, State College, Pennsylvania
- Turner, E., and Taylor, J. W. 2004. Reproductive isolation and reinforcement in Neurospora. Talk, Fifth Annual Interdepartmental Student Microbiology Symposium, April 2004, Berkeley, California
- Turner, E., and Taylor, J. W. 2004. Studying the evolutionary genetics of reproductive isolation between Neurospora lineages. Talk, Neurospora 2004 meeting, March 2004, Asilomar, California.
- Turner, E., and Taylor, J. W. 2003. Marker development for a study of the genetic basis of reproductive isolation in Neurospora. Mycological Society of America conference, July 2003
- Winner, Perkins Award for Contributions by a Graduate Student to Neurospora Research, 2006
- Finalist, Walter M. Fitch Prize for Graduate Research, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2004
- Trained, supervised, and mentored undergraduate researchers and laboratory assistants
- Peer reviewer for Evolution and Mycologia journals
- Developed a 500-strain genetic mapping population used by other researchers internationally
- Pedagogical Techniques, Course in the Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2000
- QB3 Python Bioinformatics Course, University of California, Berkeley, Summer 2010