Dr. Georg Hausner

Associate Professor
Phone: 204-474-8332
Fax: 204-474-7603
Email: hausnerg@cc.umanitoba.ca


Teaching Interests:
Molecular Biology (MBIO 3410)
Molecular Evolution (MBIO 3430)


Fungal evolution, mobile elements and biotechnology.


1. Mitochondrial genomics and the mitochondrial mobilome (plasmids, mobile introns and homing endonuclease genes): characterization of mitochondrial genomes of plant pathogens, with on emphasis on the molecular evolution/biology and spread of group I and group II introns within the fungi. Fungal mtDNAs are fertile ground for finding mobile elements. We are interested in so called homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) which tend to colonize group I and in more rare instances group II introns. Group I and group II introns can be viewed as potential ribozymes (RNA with catalytic properties) (see citations 46, 43 and 21 below). HEGs code for rare cutting endonucleases, and HEGs can “move” from a HEG plus allele to a HEG minus allele by a process called homing. Homing is initiated by the HEG encoded endonuclease generating a double stranded cut at a specific target (cleavage) site in the HEG minus allele. The double stranded break is then repaired by the “host genomes” double stranded break DNA repair system using the HEG plus allele as a template for repairing the break. This results in the nonreciprocal transfer of the HEG into the original HEG minus location. This work includes the bioprospecting for novel DNA cutting enzymes (i.e. homing endonucleases) among the fungi (see citations 51, 46, 43, 42, 39, 37 and 30 below). Homing endonucleases have applications in biotechnology as rare DNA cutting enzymes and as site specific tools that can be used to target specific genes. Mobile elements such as plasmids and introns have also been implicated in attenuating virulence in some plant pathogens such as Cryphonectria parasitica (Chestnut blight fungus) (see citations 50, 49, 42 and 17 below).

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2. Developing rapid molecular tools and data bases that allow for rapid identification of forest pests, specifically species of Ophiostoma, Grosmannia, and related taxa (see citations 45, 44, 36, 31, 27, 24, 23, 18, 8 and 4). This work includes collecting and maintaining native and exotic species of blue-stain fungi as a genetic resource. We also study the molecular evolution of rDNA ITS regions, as these sequences are commonly used in fungal taxonomy. The rDNA internal transcribed spacers are probably important and facilitating the maturation of the 18 and 24 S rRNAs; thus these spacers are under functional constraints with regards to their structure but not with regards to their sequences (see citations 41, 29 and 5 below).  


**This research program is supported by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).**



Book Chapters

Hafez, M., and Hausner G. 2012. Intron Homing. IN Brenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics 2nd Edition; Maloy S and Hughes K (Eds.).  

Hausner, G. 2011. Introns, mobile elements and plasmids.  IN Organelle Genetics: Evolution of Organelle Genomes and Gene Expression. Bullerwell CE (Ed.). Springer Verlag.  Hardcover, ISBN 978-3-642-22379-2 . pp. 390.  IN PRESS (available Nov. 2011)

Hausner, G. 2003. Fungal Mitochondrial Genomes, Introns and Plasmids. IN Applied Mycology and Biotechnology. Volume III: Fungal Genomics. Arora DK and Khachatourians GG (Eds.) Elsevier Science. New York. Pp. 101-131.

Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1993. Grouping of isolates and species of Ceratocystis sensu lato on the basis of molecular and morphological characters. IN Ceratocystis and Ophiostoma: Taxonomy, Ecology and Pathogenicity. Wingfield, MJ, Seifert, KA, and Webber, JF (Eds.). APS Press, St. Paul. Pp. 93-104.


Refereed Journal Articles

51. Hafez, M., and Hausner G. 2011. Variable mitochondrial rns gene arrangement within strains of Ophiostoma minus. Fungal Biology  doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.07.007

50. Baidyaroy, D., Hausner, G., Fulbright, D., and Bertrand, H. 2011.  Generation of mitochondrial plasmid-like elements in some hypovirulent strains of Cryphonectria parasitica.  Fungal Genetics and Biology 48: 764-774; doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2011.05.007  

49. Baidyaroy, D., Hausner, G., Hafez, M., Michel, F., Fulbright, D., and Bertrand, H. 2011.   Detection of a 973 bp insertion within the mtDNA rns gene in a mitochondrial hypovirulent strain of Cryphonectria parasitica isolated from nature. Fungal Genetics and Biology 48: 775-783; doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2011.05.006 

48. Kowalski, M., Hausner, G, and Piercey-Normore, M.D. 2011. Bioactivity of secondary metabolites and thallus extracts from lichen fungi. Mycoscience  doi: 10.1007/s10267-011-0118-3

47. Hutchison, L.J., Kropp, B.R., and Hausner, G. 2011. Baeospora occidentalis, a new snowbank agaric from western North America.  Mycoscience, doi: 10.1007/s10267-011-0142-3

46. Mullineux, S.T., Willows, K., and Hausner, G. 2011. Evolutionary dynamics of the mS952 intron, a novel mitochondrial group II intron encoding a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease gene. J. Mol. Evol. 72(5-6): 433-449 doi: 10.1007/s00239-011-9442-7  

45. Reid, J., Iranpour, M, Rudski, S., Loewen, P.C., and Hausner, G.  2010. A new conifer-inhabiting species of Ceratocystis from Norway.  Botany 88:  971-983.

44. Reid, J., and Hausner, G2010. The epitypification of Ophiostoma minutum, now Ceratocystiopsis minuta  Mycotaxon  113:  463-474.

43. Mullineux S-T., Costa M., Bassi, G.S., Michel, F., and Hausner, G. 2010. A group II intron encodes a functional LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease and self-splices under moderate temperature and ionic conditions.  RNA 16:1818-1831.

42. Monteiro-Vitorello, C.B., Hausner, G., Searles, D.B., Gibb, E.A., Fulbright, D.W., and Bertrand, H. 2009. The Cryphonectria parasitica mitochondrial rns gene: Plasmid-like elements, introns and homing endonucleases. Fungal Genetics and Biology  46: 837-848.

41. Mullineux, S.-T. and Hausner G. 2009. Evolution of rDNA ITS1 and ITS2 sequences and RNA secondary structures within members of the fungal genera Grosmannia and Leptographium. Fungal Genetics and Biology 46: 855-867.

40. Sethuraman, J., Majer, A., Iranpour, M., and Hausner, G. 2009.  Molecular evolution of the mtDNA encoded rps3 gene among filamentous ascomycetes fungi with an emphasis on the ophiostomatoid fungi. J. Molecular Evolution. 69: 372-385.

39. Sethuraman J., Majer, A., Friedrich, N.C., Edgell, D.R., and Hausner G. 2009. Genes-within-genes: Multiple LAGLIDADG homing endonucleases target the ribosomal protein S3 gene encoded within a rnl group I intron of Ophiostoma and related taxa. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 26: 2299-2315.

38. Plattner, A., Kim, J.-J.,  Reid, J., Hausner, G., Woon Y.L.,  Yamaoka, Y., and Breuil, C. 2009. Resolving taxonomic and phylogenetic incongruence within the species Ceratocystiopsis minuta. Mycologia 101: 878-887.

37. Sethuraman, J., Okoli, V.C., Majer, A., Corkery, T., and Hausner G. 2008. The sporadic occurrence of group I intron-like element in the mtDNA rnl gene of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi subspecies americana.   Mycological Research 112: 564-582.

36. Hausner, G., Reid, J., Eyjólfsdóttir, G.G., Iranpour, M., and Loewen, P.C. 2008. Basidiopycnides albertensis gen. et sp. nov., a new anamorphic fungus with phylogenetic affinities in the Atractiellales (Basidiomycota). Mycotaxon, 103: 279–297.

35. Young, M.J., Bay, D.D., Hausner, G., and Court, D.A. 2007.  The evolutionary history of mitochondrial porins. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7: 31

34. Hausner, G., Nummy, K.A., Stoltzner, S., Hubert, S.K., and Bertrand, H. 2006Biogenesis and replication of small plasmid-like derivatives of the mitochondrial DNA in Neurospora crassa. Fung. Genet. Biol.  43: 75-89.

33. Hausner, G., Nummy, K.A., and Bertrand, H. 2006Asexual transmission and meiotic extinction of small plasmid-like derivatives of the mitochondrial DNA in Neurospora crassa. Fung. Genet. Biol. 43: 90-101.

32. Hausner, G., Olsen, R., Johnson, I., Simone, D., Sanders, E.R., Karol, K.G., McCourt, R.M., and Zimmerly S.  2006.  Origin and Evolution of the Chloroplast trnK (matK) Intron: a Model for Evolution of Group II Intron RNA Structures.  Mol. Biol. Evol. 23: 380-391.

31. Hausner, G., Iranpour, M., Kim, J.-J. Breuil, C., Davis, C.N., Gibb, E.A, Reid, J., Loewen, P.C., and Hopkin, A.A. 2005. Fungi vectored by the introduced bark beetle Tomicus piniperda in Ontario, Canada and comments on the taxonomy of Leptographium lundbergii, L. terebrantis, L. truncatum and L. wingfieldii. Can. J. Bot. 83: 1222-1237.

30. Gibb, E. A., and Hausner, G. 2005. Optional mitochondrial introns and evidence for a homing endonuclease gene in the mtDNA rnl gene in Ophiostoma ulmi sensu lato. Mycological Research 109: 1112-1126.

29. Hausner, G., and Wang, X. 2005.  Unusual compact rDNA gene arrangements within some members of the Ascomycota: Evidence for molecular co-evolution between ITS1 and ITS2. Genome 48: 648-660.

28. Piercey-Normore, M.D., Hausner, G., and Gibb, E.A. 2004. Group I intron-like insertions in SSU rDNA of Cladonia gracilis and C. rangiferina. The Lichenologist 36: 365-380.   

27. Hausner, G., and Reid, J.  2004. The nuclear small subunit ribosomal genes of Sphaeronaemella helvellae, Sphaeronaemella fimicola, Gabarnaudia betae and Cornuvesica falcata: phylogenetic implications. Can. J. Bot. 82: 752-762.

26. Graham, C. M., Ehrenshaft M., Hausner, G., and Reid, D.M. 2004. A highly conserved gene for vitamin B6 biosynthesis may have consequences for stress and hormone responses in plants. Physiologia Plantarum  121: 8-14.

25. Gibb, E.A., and Hausner, G.  2003. A group I intron-like sequence in the nuclear SSU gene of the ophiostomatoid fungus Gondwanamyces proteae. Mycological Research 107: 1442-1450.  

24. Hausner, G., and Reid, J. 2003. Notes on Ceratocystis brunnea and  Ophiostoma based on partial ribosomal DNA sequence data.  Can. J. Bot. 81: 865-876.

23. Hausner, G., Eyjólfsdóttir, G.G., and  Reid, J. 2003. Three new species of Ophiostoma and notes on Cornuvesica falcata.  Can. J. Bot. 81: 40-48.        

22. Han, Q., Inglis, G.D., and Hausner, G. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships among strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Nomuraea rileyi, as revealed by partial beta-tubulin sequences and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) analysis. Letters in Applied Microbiology 34: 376-383.

21. Toor, N., Hausner, G., and Zimmerly, S. 2001. Coevolution of the group II intron RNA structures with their intron-encoded reverse transcriptases. RNA  7: 1142-1152. 

20. Zimmerly, S., Hausner, G., and Wu, X.-C. 2001. Phylogenetic analysis of group II intron ORFs. Nucleic Acids Research 29: 1238-1250.

19. Hausner, G., Inglis, D.G., Yanke, J.L., Kawchuk, L.M., and McAllister, T.A. 2000. Analysis of restriction fragment DNA polymorphisms in the ribosomal DNA of a selection of anaerobic chytrids. Can. J. Bot. 78: 917-927.

18. Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 2000. On the phylogeny of the members of Ceratocystis s.l. that possess different anamorphic states, with emphasis on the asexual genus Leptographium, based on partial ribosomal sequences Can. J. Bot. 78: 903-916.

17. Monteiro-Vitorello, C.B., Baidyaroy, D., Bell, J.A., Hausner, G., Fulbright, D.W., and Bertrand, H. 2000. A circular mitochondrial plasmid incites cytoplasmically-transmissible hypovirulence in some strains of Cryphonectria parasitica. Current Genetics 37: 242-256.

16. Hausner, G., Belkhiri, A., and Klassen, G.R. 2000. Phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene of the hyphochytrid Rhizidiomyces apophysatus. Can. J. Bot. 78: 124-128.    

15. Hausner, G, and Reid, J. 1999. Factors influencing the formation of sclerotia in the wild rice (Zizania aquatica) pathogen Sclerotium hydrophilum. Mycoscience 40: 391-398.

14. Hausner, G., Rashid, K.Y., Kenaschuk E.O., and Procunier, J.D. 1999. The identification of a cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) marker for the flax rust resistance gene M3. Can. J. Plant Pathol.  21: 187-192.

13. Hausner, G., Hopkin, A.A., Davis, C.N., and Reid, J. 1999. Variation in culture and rDNA among isolates of Sphaeropsis sapinea from Ontario and Manitoba. Can. J. Plant Pathol. 21: 256-264.

12. Hausner, G., Monteiro-Vitorello, C.B., Searles, D.B., Maland, M., Fulbright, D.W., and Bertrand, H. 1999. A long open reading frame in the mitochondrial LSU rRNA group-I intron of Cryphonectria parasitica encodes a putative S5 ribosomal protein fused to a maturase. Current Genetics 35: 109-117.

11. Hausner, G., Rashid, K.Y., Kenaschuk E.O., and Procunier, J.D. 1999. The development of co-dominant PCR/RFLP based markers for the flax rust resistance alleles at the L locus. Genome 42: 1-8.

10. Chen, Y., Hausner, G., Kenaschuk, E.O., Procunier, J.D., Dribnenki P., and Penner, G. 1998. Identification of microspore-derived plants in anther culture of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) using molecular markers. Plant Cell Reports 18: 44-48.

9. Bell, J.A., Monteiro-Vitorello, C.B., Hausner, G., Fulbright, D.W., and Bertrand, H. 1996. Physical and genetic map of the mitochondrial genome of Cryphonectria parasitica Ep155. Curr. Genet. 30: 34-43.

8. Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1993. On the phylogeny of Ophiostoma, Ceratocystis s.s., Microascus, and relationships within Ophiostoma based on partial ribosomal DNA sequences. Can. J. Bot. 71: 1249-1265.

7. Von Ossowski, I., Hausner, G., and Loewen, P.C. 1993. Molecular evolutionary analysis based on the amino acid sequence of catalase. J. Mol. Evol. 37: 71-76.

6. Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1993. Ceratocystiopsis: a reappraisal based on molecular criteria. Mycol. Res. 97: 625-633.

5. Hausner, G., Klassen, G.R., and Reid. J. 1993. Unusually compact ribosomal RNA gene cluster in Sphaeronaemella fimicola. Curr. Genet. 23: 357-359.

4. Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1993. On the subdivision of Ceratocystis s.l., based on partial ribosomal DNA sequences. Can. J. Bot. 71: 52-63.

3. Hausner, G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1992. Do galeate-ascospore members of the Cephaloascaceae, Endomycetaceae and Ophiostomataceae share a common phylogeny? Mycologia 84: 870-881.

2. Hausner, G., Eyjólfsdóttir, G.G., Reid, J., and Klassen, G.R. 1992. Two additional species of the genus Togninia. Can. J. Bot. 70: 724-734.

1. Kim, W.K., Mauthe, W., Hausner, G., and Klassen, G.R. 1990. Isolation of high molecular weight DNA and double-stranded RNAs from fungi. Can. J. Bot. 68: 1898-1902.