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Jae-Hyuk Yu

Picture of Jae-Hyuk YuProfessor, Department of Bacteriology, UW-Madison

1550 Linden Drive
(608) 262-4696
3155 Microbial Sciences Building

Department Webpage


  • BS 1986, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea; Microbiology
  • MS 1991, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Food Science 
  • PhD 1995, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Genetics 
  • Postdoc 1995–1998, Texas A&M University; Genetics

Research Interests

Fungi and mycotoxins: molecular genetics and genomics of spore formation and mycotoxin biosynthesis in filamentous fungi

Research Focus

The genus Aspergillus encompasses the most common fungi in our environment. Many Aspergillus species are beneficial to humans, but they also include serious animal and plant pathogens. Moreover, most (if not all) Aspergillus species have the ability to produce one or more toxic secondary metabolites called mycotoxins. All Aspergilli produce asexual spores as the main means of dispersion and biosynthesis of certain mycotoxins is intimately related with fungal sporulation. The primary interest of my research program is to understand how fungi coordinate growth, sporulation and toxin biosynthesis employing the model fungus Aspergillus nidulans. We showed that two antagonistic regulatory pathways govern vegetative growth and sporulation in A. nidulans. Vegetative growth is primarily mediated by a heterotrimeric G protein, which stimulates fungal growth while inhibiting asexual/sexual sporulation as well as production of the carcinogenic mycotoxin sterigmatocystin. We found that the initiation, progression and completion of sporulation are directed by the balanced activities of multiple positive and negative regulators. We are further investigating the detailed molecular mechanisms regulating these fundamental biological processes via forward/reverse genetics, genomics and biochemical analyses.

Recent Publications

ARYZTACampbell Soup CompanyCoca-ColaFonterraGeneral MillsGreat Lakes CheeseHormel Foods (Jennie-O Turkey Store)Kerry Ingredients and FlavoursKraft Foods (Oscar Mayer Foods)Leprino FoodsOSIPepsiCoPlumrose USASchreiber FoodsSugar CreekWayne Farms