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Åke Olson

Åke Olson
Ph.D. Molecular Genetics


My expertise is in the field of molecular genetics and genomics of fungi. Over the last years have I studied different aspects of fungal biology at the molecular level with emphasis on phytopathogens. I am interested in fungal interactions with dead and living plants as well as fungal-fungal interactions. In my studies I use both classical genetic and genomic approaches.

University education:          

2002-10-29, Associate Professor (Docent) at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala Sweden.

1997-06-06, Ph. D. Molecular Genetics, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden. Thesis: Molecular Responses to Cold Stress, Regulation of low temperature-induced genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Supervisor Prof. Tapio Palva.

Present position:                  

2013-04-01 – Director of Biocentrum, SLU, 20%.

2004-07-01 – Researcher (Forskare), Permanent, 80% research time.

Current projects

Genomics of Heterobasidion annosum species complex.

In collaboration with, Jan Stenlid, Mårten Lind, Magnus Karlsson, Mikael Brandström-Durling, Kerstin Dalman , Kajsa Himmelstrand.

Effects of genetic distance on epistasis and fitness in the root-rot fungus Heterobasidion parviporum.

In collaboration with, Pierre-Henri Clergeot, Mikael Brandström-Durling, Nicolas Rode.

Future Norway Spruce with minimal root rot. Identification, validation and implementation of genetic markers for root rot resistance in Norway spruce.

In collaboration with, Jan Stenlid, Malin Elfstrand, Bo Karlsson.

Biological control of Thekopsora areolata in Swedish spruce orchards.

In collaboration with, Malin Elfstrand, Curt Almqvist.

Population genetics of Thekopsora areolata

In collaboration with, Berit Samils, Hernán Dario Capador Barreto.

Selected publications

Elfstrand, M. Zhou, L. Baison, J. Olson, Å. Lundén, K. Karlsson, B. Wu, H. X. Stenlid J. Rosario García Gil, M. (2020) Genotypic variation in Norway spruce correlates to fungal community in vegetative buds. Molecular Ecology 29: 199-213.

Hu, Y. Chen, Y. Wei, H. Chen, Y, Jiang, B. Tong, X. Olson, Å. Shen, J. Song, Q. Zhu, L. Wang, E. Zhong, L. Wang, M. (2019) First report of Neofusicoccum parvum causing stem canker and necrosis of Phoebe sheareri in Zhejiang province, China. Plant Disease 103: 1780-1780

Clergeot, P.-H. Rode, N. O. Glémin, S. Durling, M. B. Ihrmark, K. Olson, Å. (2019) Estimating the Fitness Effect of Deleterious Mutations During the Two Phases of the Life Cycle: A New Method Applied to the Root-Rot Fungus Heterobasidion parviporum. Genetics 211:963-976

Berlin, A. Nordström Källström, H. Lindgren, A. Olson, Å. (2018) Scientific evidence for sustainable plant disease protection strategies for the main arable crops in Sweden. A systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence 7: 31.

Chen, Z-Q. Lundén, K. Karlsson, B. Vos, I. Olson, Å. Lundqvist, S-O. Stenlid J. Wu, H. X. Rosario García Gil, M. Elfstrand, M. (2018) Early selection for resistance to Heterobasidion parviporum in Norway spruce is not likely to adversely affect growth and wood quality traits in late‑age performance. Euro. J. of Forest Res. 137:517-525 2-018-1120-5

Liu, B. Krishnaswamyreddy, S. Muraleedharan, M.N. Olson, Å. Broberg, A. Ståhlberg, J. Sandgren, M. (2018) Side-by-side biochemical comparison of two lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases from the white-rot fungus Heterobasidion irregulare on their activity against crystalline cellulose and glucomannan. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0203430

Capador, H. Samils, B. Olson, Å. (2018) Development of microsatellite markers for Thekopsora areolata, the causal agent of cherry spruce rust. Forest Pathology. 2018;e12413.

Hu, Y. Kim, S. Jeon, J, Elfstrand, M. Stenlid, J. Lee, Y-H. Olson, Å. (2017) Characterisation of a Heterobasidion irregulare endo-rhamnogalacturonase that mediate growth on pectin. Journal of Phytopathology 166:34-43. DOI:10.1111/jph.12657

Liu, B., Olson, Å., Wu, M., Broberg, A., and Sandgren, M. (2017) Biochemical studies of two lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases from the white-rot fungus Heterobasidion irregulare and their roles in lignocellulose degradation. PLoS One 12, e0189479

Nemesio-Gorriz M, Hammerbacher A, Ihrmark K, Källman T, Olson Å, Lascoux M, Stenlid J, Gershenzon J, Elfstrand M. (2016) Different Alleles of a Gene Encoding Leucoanthocyanidin Reductase (PaLAR3) Influence Resistance against the Fungus Heterobasidion parviporum in Picea abies. Plant Physiol. 171:2671-81

Dima, B. Lindström, H. Liimatainen, K. Olson, Å. Soop, K. Kytövuori, I. Dahlberg, A. Niskanen, T. (2016) Typification of Friesian names in Cortinarius sections Anomali, Spilomei and Bolares, and description of two new species from northern Europe. Mycological Progress

Bödeker, ITM. Lindahl, BD. Olson, Å. Clemmensen, KE.  (2016) Mycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal guilds compete for the same organic substrates but affect decomposition differently. Functional Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12677

Van der Nest MA. Olson Å. Karlsson M. Lind M. Dalman K. Brandström Durling M. Elfstrand M. Wingfield BD. Stenlid J. (2014) Gene expression associated with intersterility in Heterobasidion. Fungal Genetics and Biology 73: 104-119.doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2014.10.008

Hansson D. Wubshet S. Olson Å. Karlsson M. Staerk D. Broberg A. (2014) Secondary metabolite comparison of the species within the Heterobasidion annosum s.l. complex. Phytochemistry 108: 243-251. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.08.028 .

Himmelstrand K. Olson Å. Brandström Durling M. Karlsson M. Stenlid J. (2014) Intronic and plasmid-derived regions contribute to the large mitochondrial genome size of Agaricomycetes. Current Genetics 60: 303-313. DOI: 10.1007/s00294-014-0436-z

Van der Nest MA. Olson Å. Lind M. Vélëz H. Dalman K. Brandström Durling M. Karlsson M. Stenlid J. (2014) Distribution and evolution of het gene homologs in basidiomycota. Fungal Genet. Biol. 64:45-57.

Bödeker, ITM. Clemmensen, KE. de Boer, W. Olson, Å. Lindahl, BD. (2014) Ectomycorrhizal fungi drive enzymatic oxidation in humus layers of northern forest ecosystems with low nitrogen availability. New Phytologist 203 (1) 245-256. DOI:10.1111/nph.12791

Hu Y. Stenlid J. Elfstrand M. Olson Å. (2013) Evolution of RNA interference proteins dicer and argonaute in Basidiomycota, Mycologia 2013 13-171. doi:10.3852/13-171

James T. Sun S. Li W. Kuo H-C. Lee Y-H. Asiegbu F. O. Olson Å. (2013) Polyporales genomes reveal the genetic architecture underlying tetrapolar and bipolar mating systems. Mycologia 2013 13-162. doi:10.3852/13-162

Van Diepen* L. Olson* Å. Ihrmark K. Stenlid J. James T. (2013) Extensive Trans-Specific Polymorphism at the Mating Type Locus of the Root Decay Fungus Heterobasidion. Mol. Biol. Evol. 30 (10): 2286-2301. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst126 *Equal contribution.

Nystedt, B. Street, N. R. Wetterbom, A. Zuccolo, A. Lin, Y.-C, Scofield, D.G. Vezzi, F. Delhomme, N. Giacomello, S. Alexeyanko, A. Vicedomini, R. Sahlin, K. Sherwood, E. Elfstrand, M. Gramzow, L. Holmberg, K. Hällman, J. Keech, O. Karlsson, L. Koriabine, M. Kucukoglu, M. Käller, M. Luthman, J. Lysholm, F. Nittylä, T. Olson, Å. Rilakovic, N. Ritland, C. Rosselló, J.A.Sena, J. Svennson, T. Talavera-lópez, C. Theiben, G. Arvestad, L. Bhalerao, R. Bohlman, J. Bousquet, J. Garcia Gil, R. Hvidsten, T.R. de Jong, P. MacKay, J. Morganate, M. Ritland, K. Sundberg, B. Thompson, S.L. Van der Peer, Y. Andersson, B. Nilsson, O. Ingvarsson, P.K. Lundeberg, J. Jansson, S. (2013) The Norway spruce genome sequence gives insights into conifer genome evolution. Nature 497, 579-584. doi:10.1038/nature12211.

Dalman, K. Himmelstrand, K. Olson, Å. Lind, M. Brandström-Durling, M. Stenlid, J. (2013) A genome wide association study identifies genomic regions for virulence in the non-model organism Heterobasidion annosum s.s. PloS ONE 8, e53525.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053525

Hansson, D. Menkis, A. Olson, Å. Stenlid, J. Broberg, A. Karlsson, M. (2012) Biosynthesis of fomannoxin in the root rotting pathogen Heterobasidion occidentale. Phytochemistry 84, 31-39.

Lind, M. van der Nest, M. Olson, Å. Brandström-Durling, M. Stenlid, J. (2012) A 2nd generation linkage map of Heterobasidion annosum s.l. based on in silico anchoring of AFLP markers. PloS ONE 7, e48347.

Hansson, D. Menkis, A. Himmelstrand, K. Thelander, M. Olson, Å. Stenlid, J. Karlsson, M. Broberg A. (2012) Sesquiterpenes from the conifer root rot pathogen Heterobasidion occidentale. Phytochemistry 82, 158-165.

Olson, Å. Aerts A. Asiegbu F. Belbahri L. Bouzid O. Broberg A. Canbäck B. Coutinho P.M. Cullen D. Dalman K. Deflorio G. van Diepen L.T.A. Dunand C. Duplessis S. Durling M. Gonthier P. Grimwood J. Fossdal C.G. Hansson D. Henrissat B. Hietala A. Himmelstrand K. Hoffmeister D. Högberg N. James T.Y. Karlsson M. Kohler A. Kües U. Lee Y-H. Lin Y-C. Lind M. Lindquist E. Lombard V. Lucas S. Lundén K. Morin E. Murat C. Park J. Raffaello T. Rouzé P. Salamov A. Schmutz J. Solheim H. Ståhlberg J. Vélëz H. de Vries R.P. Wiebenga A. Woodward S. Yakovlev I. Garbelotto M. Martin F. Grigoriev I.V. Stenlid J. (2012) Insight into trade-off between wood decay and parasitism from the genome of a fungal forest pathogen. New Phytologist 194, 1001-1013.

Arnerup, J. Lind, M. Olson, Å. Stenlid, J Elfstrand, M. (2011) The pathogenic white-rot fungus Heterobasidion parviporum triggers non-specific defence responses in the bark of Norway spruce. Tree Physiology 31, 1262-1272.

Book chapters

Olson, Å (2015) RNAi Function and Diversity in Fungi. In Biochenmstry and Molecular Biology, 3rd Edition The Mycota III (Ed.) Hoffmeister D. Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Pp. 31-45. 

Lind, M. Stenlid J. and Olson, Å. (2014) Heterobasidion annosum s.l.Genomics. In Advances in Botanical Research. Vol. 70.  (Ed.) Martin FM. ACADEMIC PRESS LTD. Oxford, UK pp. 371-396.  DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-397940-7.00012-4



Researcher at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology; Division of Forest Pathology
Telephone: +4618-671876
Postal address:
Skoglig mykologi och växtpatologi , Box 7026
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Almas Allé 5, Uppsala