In this installment of TREC’s Research Report, you’ll learn about Dr. Romina Gazis, an Assistant Professor in the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department and Director of the UF/IFAS Tropical Research & Education Center’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic.
Dr. Gazis has traveled through the Americas and Africa collecting, identifying, and characterizing hundreds of fungal cultures resulting—so far—in the description of ten novel species. Her work has made significant contributions to the fields of fungal diversity and systematics.
Two novel endophytic Tolypocladium species
Dr. Gazis and her team have recently discovered and described two new species of Tolypocladium. The new species of Tolypocladium were isolated from within the trunk of south Florida slash pines. Tolypocladium is a diverse genus with species having lifestyles ranging from tree endophytes, mycoparasites, and entomopathogens. Several species are known as prolific producers of secondary metabolites and used widely in medicine and agriculture. She has named one of the new species Tolypocladium trecense, in honor of the Tropical Research and Education Center. By naming this species after TREC, she is recognizing the effort our center has made towards preserving the fragile Pine Rockland ecosystem. Dr. Gazis and her team will use these new species in laboratory bioassays to determine their potential applications in the biological control of important diseases affecting our local industry.