Dr. Linda J. Harris

Image Linda J. Harris
Research Scientist

Molecular pathologist studying Fusarium infection of cereals

Current research and/or projects

I am applying genomics and molecular biology to understand how the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum interacts with and infects cereal crops, and to characterize the biosynthesis and regulation of secondary metabolites, especially mycotoxins, of Fusarium species.

Research and/or project statements

Durable Fusarium Resistance

Mycotoxin biosynthesis and regulation in Fusarium graminearum

Characterization of new phytotoxic cyclic peptides of Fusarium graminearum

Genomic diversity and mycotoxigenic potential of Fusarium species in Canada

Professional activities / interests

Peer review panelist for EU Horizon 2020, 7th Framework Programme, Austrian Science Fund, USDA/ARS program and the Pathogen Biology & Genetics Research Area Committee of the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI).

Conference organization - Chairperson of the National and local organizing committees of the 2009 6th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight (CWFHB), member of organizing committees of the 12th European Fusarium Seminar in 2013,  2011 7th CWFHB, and 2012 MycoRed North American Workshop.

Member of Editorial Board of the journal Genes & Genomics

Education and awards

B.Sc. Biochemistry (Chemistry), Simon Fraser University

Ph.D. Genetics, University of British Columbia

International experience and/or work

NSERC Postdoctoral fellow, lab of Dr. Vicki Chandler, University of Oregon

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

Xue, A.G., Chen, Y., Seifert, K., Guo, W., Blackwell, B.A., Harris, L.J., Overy, D.P. (2019) Prevalence of Fusarium species causing head blight of spring wheat, barley and oat in Ontario during 2001-2017. Can. J. Plant Pathology, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1582560

Bahadoor, A., Brauer, E.K., Bosnich, W., Schneiderman, D., Johnston, A., Aubin, Y., Blackwell, B.A., Melanson, J.E., Harris, L.J. (2018) Gramillin A and B: Cyclic lipopeptides identified as the nonribosomal biosynthetic products of Fusarium graminearum. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 140: 16783-16791. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b10017

Kebede, A.Z., Johnston, A., Schneiderman, D., Bosnich, W., Harris, L.J. (2018) Transcriptome profiling of two maize inbreds with distinct responses to Gibberella ear rot disease to identify candidate resistance genes. BMC Genomics 19: 131. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-018-4513-4

Luo, K., DesRoches, C.-L., Johnston, A., Harris, L.J., Zhao, H.-Y., Ouellet, T. (2017) Multiple metabolic pathways for metabolism of l-tryptophan in Fusarium graminearum. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 63: 921-927. DOI: 10.1139/cjm-2017-0383

Gunter, A.B., Hermans, A., Bosnich, W., Johnson, D.A., Harris, L.J., Gleddie, S. (2016) Protein engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae transporter Pdr5p identifies key residues that impact Fusarium mycotoxin export and resistance to inhibition. Microbiology Open, 5: 979-991. DOI: 10.1002/mbo3.381

Bahadoor, A., Schneiderman, D., Gemmill, L., Bosnich, W., Blackwell, B., Melanson, J.E., McRae, G., Harris, L.J. (2016) Hydroxylation of longiborneol by a Clm2-encoded CYP450 monooxygenase to produce culmorin in Fusarium graminearum. Journal of Natural Products, 79 (1), pp. 81-88. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00676

Kennedy, M.A., Moffat, T.C., Gable, K., Ganesan, S., Niewola-Staszkowska, K., Johnston, A., Nislow, C., Giaever, G., Harris, L.J., Loewith, R., Zaremberg, V., Harper, M.-E., Dunn, T., Bennett, S.A.L., Baetz, K. (2016) A signaling lipid associated with Alzheimer's disease promotes mitochondrial dysfunction. Scientific Reports 6: 19332. DOI: 10.1038/srep19332

Kebede, A.Z., Woldemariam, T., Reid, L.M., Harris, L.J. (2016) Quantitative trait loci mapping for Gibberella ear rot resistance and associated agronomic traits using genotyping-by-sequencing in maize. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 129: 17-29. DOI: 10.1007/s00122-015-2600-3

Harris, L.J., Balcerzak, M., Johnston, A., Schneiderman, D., Ouellet, T. (2016) Host-preferential Fusarium graminearum gene expression during infection of wheat, barley, and maize. Fungal Biology 120: 111-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2015.10.010

Subramaniam, R., Narayanan, S., Walkowiak, S., Wang, L., Joshi, M., Rocheleau, H., Ouellet, T., Harris, L.J. (2015) Leucine metabolism regulates TRI6 expression and affects deoxynivalenol production and virulence in Fusarium graminearum. Molecular Microbiology 98: 760-769. DOI: 10.1111/mmi.13155

Ghobakhlou, A.-F., Johnston, A., Harris, L., Antoun, H., Laberge, S. (2015) Microarray transcriptional profiling of Arctic Mesorhizobium strain N33 at low temperature provides insights into cold adaption strategies. BMC Genomics 16: 383. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1611-4

Lysøe, E., Harris, L.J., Walkowiak, S., Subramaniam, R., Divon, H.H., Riiser, E.S., Llorens, C., Gabaldón, T., Kistler, H.C., Jonkers, W., Kolseth, A.-K., Nielsen, K.F., Thrane, U., Frandsen, R.J.N. (2014) The genome of the generalist plant pathogen Fusarium avenaceum is enriched with genes involved in redox, signaling and secondary metabolism. PLoS ONE 9: e112703. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112703

Miller, J.D., Schaafsma, A.W., Bhatnagar, D., Bondy, G., Carbone, I., Harris, L.J., Harrison, G., Munkvold, G.P., Oswald, I.P., Pestka, J.J., Sharpe, L., Sumarah, M.W., Tittlemier, S.A., Zhou, T. (2014) Mycotoxins that affect the North American agri-food sector: State of the art and directions for the future. World Mycotoxin Journal 7: 63-82. DOI: 10.3920/WMJ2013.1624

Kennedy, M.A., Gable, K., Niewola-Staszkowska, K., Abreu, S., Johnston, A., Harris, L.J., Reggiori, F., Loewith, R., Dunn, T., Bennett, S.A.L., Baetz, K. (2014) A neurotoxic glycerophosphocholine impacts PtdIns-4, 5-bisphosphate and TORC2 signaling by altering ceramide biosynthesis in yeast. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004010. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004010

Li, Y., Harris, L., Dooner, H.K. (2013) TED, an autonomous and rare maize transposon of the Mutator superfamily with a high gametophytic excision frequency. Plant Cell 25: 3251-3265. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.113.116517

Kant, P., Gulati, A., Harris, L., Gleddie, S., Singh, J., Pauls, K.P. (2012) Transgenic corn plants with modified ribosomal protein l3 show decreased ear rot disease after inoculation with Fusarium graminearum. Australian Journal of Crop Science 6: 1598-1605.

Balcerzak, M., Harris, L.J., Subramaniam, R., Ouellet, T. (2012) The feruloyl esterase gene family of Fusarium graminearum is differentially regulated by aromatic compounds and hosts. Fungal Biology 116:  478-488. DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2012.01.007

Qi, P.-F., Johnston, A., Balcerzak, M., Rocheleau, H., Harris, L.J., Long, X.-Y., Wei, Y.-M., Zheng, Y.-L., Ouellet, T. (2012) Effect of salicylic acid on Fusarium graminearum, the major causal agent of fusarium head blight in wheat. Fungal Biology 116: 413-426. DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2012.01.001

Mohammadi, M., Anoop, V., Gleddie, S., Harris, L.J. (2011) Proteomic profiling of two maize inbreds during early gibberella ear rot infection. Proteomics 11: 3675-3684. DOI: 10.1002/pmic.201100177

Nasmith, C.G., Walkowiak, S., Wang, L., Leung, W.W.Y., Gong, Y., Johnston, A., Harris, L.J., Guttman, D.S., Subramaniam, R. (2011) Tri6 is a global transcription regulator in the phytopathogen Fusarium graminearum. PLoS Pathogens 7: e1002266. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002266

Xu, Y., Badea, C., Tran, F., Frick, M., Schneiderman, D., Robert, L., Harris, L., Thomas, D., Tinker, N., Gaudet, D., Laroche, A. (2011) Next-Gen sequencing of the transcriptome of triticale. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterisation and Utilisation 9: 181-184. DOI: 10.1017/S1479262111000281

Berthelet, S., Usher, J., Shulist, K., Hamza, A., Maltez, N., Johnston, A., Fong, Y., Harris, L.J., Baetz, K. (2010) Functional genomics analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae iron responsive transcription factor Aft1 reveals iron-independent functions. Genetics 185: 1111-1128. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.110.117531

McCormick, S.P., Alexander, N.J., Harris, L.J. (2010) CLM1 of Fusarium graminearum encodes a longiborneol synthase required for culmorin production. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76:  136-141. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02017-09

Subramaniam, R., Nasmith, C.G., Harris, L.J., Ouellet, T. (2009) Insight into Fusarium-cereal pathogenesis. In: Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, pp. 319-336.

Taylor, R.D., Saparno, A., Blackwell, B., Anoop, V., Gleddie, S., Tinker, N.A., Harris, L.J. (2008) Proteomic analyses of Fusarium graminearum grown under mycotoxin-inducing conditions. Proteomics 8: 2256-2265. DOI: 10.1002/pmic.200700610

Cuomo, C.A., Güldener, U., Xu, J.-R., Trail, F., Turgeon, B.G., Di Pietro, A., Walton, J.D., Ma, L.-J., Baker, S.E., Rep, M., Adam, G., Antoniw, J., Baldwin, T., Calvo, S., Chang, Y.-L., DeCaprio, D., Gale, L.R., Gnerre, S., Goswami, R.S., Hammond-Kosack, K., Harris, L.J., Hilburn, K., Kennell, J.C., Kroken, S., Magnuson, J.K., Mannhaupt, G., Mauceli, E., Mewes, H.-W., Mitterbauer, R., Muehlbauer, G., Münsterkötter, M., Nelson, D., O'Donnell, K., Ouellet, T., Qi, W., Quesneville, H., Roncero, M.I.G., Seong, K.-Y., Tetko, I.V., Urban, M., Waalwijk, C., Ward, T.J., Yao, J., Birren, B.W., Kistler, H.C. (2007) The Fusarium graminearum genome reveals a link between localized polymorphism and pathogen specialization. Science 317: 1400-1402. DOI: 10.1126/science.1143708

Miller, S.S., Reid, L.M., Harris, L.J. (2007) Colonization of maize silks by Fusarium graminearum, the causative organism of gibberella ear rot. Canadian Journal of Botany 85: 369-376. DOI: 10.1139/B07-027

Harris, L.J., Alexander, N.J., Saparno, A., Blackwell, B., McCormick, S.P., Desjardins, A.E., Robert, L.S., Tinker, N., Hattori, J., Piché, C., Schernthaner, J.P., Watson, R., Ouellet, T. (2007) A novel gene cluster in Fusarium graminearum contains a gene that contributes to butenolide synthesis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 44: 293-306. DOI: 10.1016/j.fgb.2006.11.001

Harris, L.J., Saparno, A., Johnston, A., Prisic, S., Xu, M., Allard, S., Kathiresan, A., Ouellet, T., Peters, R.J. (2005) The maize An2 gene is induced by Fusarium attack and encodes an ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase. Plant Molecular Biology 59: 881-894. DOI: 10.1007/s11103-005-1674-8

McCormick, S.P., Harris, L.J., Alexander, N.J., Ouellet, T., Saparno, A., Allard, S., Desjardins, A.E. (2004) Tri1 in Fusarium graminearum Encodes a P450 oxygenase. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70: 2044-2051. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.70.4.2044-2051.2004

Miller, S.S., Chabot, D.M.P., Ouellet, T., Harris, L.J., Fedak, G. (2004) Use of a Fusarium graminearum strain transformed with green fluorescent protein to study infection in wheat (Triticum aestivum). Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 26: 453-463. DOI: 10.1080/07060660409507165

Harris, L.J., Gleddie, S.C. (2001) A modified Rp13 gene from rice confers tolerance of the Fusarium graminearum mycotoxin deoxynivalenol to transgenic tobacco. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 58: 173-181. DOI: 10.1006/pmpp.2001.0326

Harris, L.J., Desjardins, A.E., Plattner, R.D., Nicholson, P., Butler, G., Young, J.C., Weston, G., Proctor, R.H., Hohn, T.M. (1999) Possible role of trichothecene mycotoxins in virulence of Fusarium graminearum on maize. Plant Disease 83: 954-960. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS.1999.83.10.954