US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Daniel Cullen

Daniel Cullen

Research Microbiologist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
United States

Phone: 608-231-9468
Contact Daniel Cullen

Current Research

Our main goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of the molecular genetics and physiology of wood decay fungi, particularly as it relates to mechanisms of lignocelulose degradation. Within this broad area, my labs seeks (a) to elucidate the underlying genetics of lignin degrading white rot fungi including the number, structure, organization and regulation of genes relevant to lignocellulose conversions, (b) to advance our understanding of the biochemistry of essential enzymes, (c) to fully develop fundamental genetics of a representative brown rot fungi, and (d) to advance our understanding of gene function via high throughput approaches suitable for whole genomes.Genome investigations have focused principally on the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and the brown rot fungus Postia placenta. However, our collaborations with the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute have recently expanded to include the related white rot fungi, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora ( and Phlebiopsis gigantea. In addition to their central role in carbon cycling, these wood decay fungi are representative of the basidiomycetes, a broad taxa including mycorrhizae, plant, human and animal pathogens, edible forms, and various saprophytes. Accordingly, my lab also contributes to large international teams examining the distribution and role of these fungi in forest soils, particularly following fire disturbance.

Research Interests

  • Molecular genetics of filamentous fungi
  • High throughput analysis of fungal transcriptomes and proteomes
  • Mechanisms of wood decay
  • Enzyme discovery for applications in bioenergy, bioremediation, and pulp and paper processing


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D. 1981
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.S. 1975

Professional Organizations

  • American Society for Microbiology, Member
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Editor
  • National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, Advisory Panels

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Common Button Mushroom Studied for Key Role in Recycling Carbon

Recent genome studies of Agaricus reveal specialized adaptations to litter- and soil-rich environments which may be used to remediate contaminat ...


Fast Forward' Genetics for Renewable Fuels

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory used mutagenesis, strain selection and genetic manipulation over a period of seven years to develo ...


Fungi Use Multiple Strategies for Deconstruction of Woody Biomass

A diverse array of enzymes catalyze the bioconversion of wood toward biofuels and other high-value products.


Gene Conservation Among Lignocellulose-Degrading Fungi

By examining the number, structure, and expression of fungal genes an international team of researchers have demonstrated conserved mechanisms o ...


Genetic basis of lignocellulose degradation

Exploiting the recent availability of fungal genomes, Forest Service researchers have developed computational approaches for the identification ...


Hidden Lives of Wood Decay Fungi Uncovered by Genome Sequencing

The decoded genomes of 12 species reveal a complex repertoire of proteins involved in the deconstruction of key polymers within wood cell walls


Patterns of Gene Expression Provide Insight into Wood Decay Mechanisms

Comparative examination of gene regulation reveals significant differences among brown rot fungi when colonizing different wood species.


Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi

Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products.


Last updated on : 12/17/2020