Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gap closed in the genetic map of kingdom fungi

23.09.2013
Research team sequences genome of Pyronema confluens

Today, the genomes of more than 250 fungi have been sequenced. Among the basal filamentous ascomycetes – a group of ascomycetes that includes e.g. truffles and morels – only one representative has been analysed so far: the truffle Tuber melanosporum.


Fruiting bodies of Pyronema confluens are shown. The diameter of the fungus' reproductive organs indicated here is half a millimeter. Credit: Stefanie Traeger

"With 125 million base pairs, the truffle genome is unusually big, yet it is coding for relatively few genes, namely some 7,500," says Minou Nowrousian from the Department of General and Molecular Botany. "Until now, it was not clear whether this is typical of basal filamentous ascomycetes or whether it is caused by the truffle's 'atypical' lifestyle."

Unlike other filamentous ascomycetes, the truffle does not develop reproductive organs – so-called fruiting bodies – above ground but rather below ground. Moreover, it only grows in symbiosis with plant roots (mycorrhiza). Pyronema, on the other hand, is a typical representative of its group.

Intermediary evolutionary stage

The genome of Pyronema confluens contains 50 million base pairs and some 13,000 genes; it is thus smaller than that of the truffle, and yet it contains more genes. These findings confirm the truffle's special position and provide new insights into the evolution of ascomycetes. "Pyronema confluens bears a stronger resemblance to higher ascomycetes than to the truffle," concludes Minou Nowrousian. However, the scientists have also discovered differences to higher ascomycetes, for example in the DNA sequence containing the genetic blueprint for mating type genes. Mating type genes are the main regulators of sexual development and, in Pyronema confluens, they do not show the standardised structure that is typical for higher ascomycetes. "Pyronema confluens may represent an intermediary evolutionary stage in the evolution of mating type genes," says the Bochum biologist.

Light-activated genes

One characteristic feature of the fungus under investigation is the fact that it produces fruiting bodies only in light. Fittingly, the researchers discovered genes in the Pyronema genome containing blueprints for photoreceptors for different wavelengths of visible light. The activity of some of those genes increased in light.

Pyronema – a typical representative of its systematic group

Project funding

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) funded the project headed by PD Dr Minou Nowrousian (NO 407/4-1).
Bibliographic record

Traeger S, Altegoer F, Freitag M, Gabaldon T, Kempken F, Kumar F, Marcet-Houben M, Pöggeler S, Stajich JE, Nowrousian M (2013) The genome and development-dependent transcriptomes of Pyronema confluens: a window into fungal evolution. PLoS Genet 9(9): e1003820. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003820
Further information

PD Dr Minou Nowrousian
Department of General and Molecular Botany
Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology at the Ruhr-Universität
44780 Bochum, Germany
phone: +49/234/32-24588
e-mail: minou.nowrousian@rub.de

Dr. Minou Nowrousian | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>