Faculty Sponsor

Micheal K. Watters

Streaming Media


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-6904-4886, 0000-0002-4200-0725, 0000-0003-4238-480X

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-24-2020


Candida albicans, a symbiotic yeast in the human gut, and Neurospora crassa, a filamentous bread mold, are distinct in habitat, morphology, and behavior. However, both fungi are equally susceptible to the ongoing flow of stimuli present within the environment. The objective of our research is to understand how different fungi respond to specific cues found within or outside their natural environment. Four stimuli were tested on C. albicans: estradiol (E2), media morphology, and irradiated and non-radiated plastic microfibers. Three stimuli were tested on N. crassa: plastic non-radiated microfibers, simulated microgravity, and cold shock. C. albicans was tested only on solid agar plates, while N. crassa was tested on both liquid and solid agar media. Specialized minimal media plates containing microfibers were made to test irradiated and non-radiated microfiber exposure. While C. albicans expressed no sensitivity to 0.1nM E2, it displayed three types of morphology when grown on either minimal, Spider, or YEPD media. N. crassa showed no sensitivity towards microfibers, but C. albicans exhibited varying degrees of inhibition for colony formation. Under simulated microgravity, N. crassa did not show significant morphological differences besides a possible increase in the amount of conidia present, however, results are inconclusive.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kirsten Treptow, Paige Camp, and Maya Leon are undergraduate student researchers at Valparaiso University.

Kirsten Treptow and Paige Camp major in Biology.

Maya Leon is a senior student with a major in Biology and Psychology.

Anita Coleman is a Biology major with a minor in Psychology.

Hailey Goodwin graduated with a B.S. in Human Biology (with a focus on human health and disease) at IU Bloomington. She is currently applying to graduate school for physician assistant studies.

Dr. Micheal K. Watters is a genetics professor at Valparaiso University who specializes in research on Neurospora crassa.

Dr. Patrice G. Bouyer is a biology professor at Valparaiso University whose current research involves Candida albicans.