Genome sequence of Podospora anserina reveals unsuspected ability to use complex carbon sources

May 06, 2008

The model fungus Podospora anserina (P. anserina) has undergone substantial evolution since its separation from Neurospora crassa, as revealed from the Podospora draft genome sequence published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, Genome Biology. The study also shows that the Podospora genome contains a large, highly specialised set of genes potentially involved in the breakdown of complex carbon sources, which may have potential use in biotechnology applications.

P. anserina is a dung-inhabiting, saprophytic fungus used to study areas of eukaryotic and fungal biology, including ageing and sexual development. Eric Espagne, Olivier Lespinet and Fabienne Malagnac from the Institute of Genetics and Microbiology in Paris and a team of researchers from France and The Netherlands used a whole genome shotgun and assembly approach to produce a 10X draft sequence of the fungus.

The researchers found evidence that P. anserina has undergone dynamic evolution since it diverged from its close relative N. crassa. They found evidence of extensive gene loss and gene shuffling, as well as substantial gene duplication. In addition, the transcription machinery of P. anserina produced a large number of RNAs that could potentially have regulatory roles. Further investigation of these non-conventional transcripts is required and could lead to the discovery of novel regulatory mechanisms, specifically during mycelium growth or accompanying the differentiation of the multicellular fructification produced during sexual reproduction.

The research team also discovered that P. anserina contains a large array of genes that may allow the fungus to use the natural carbon sources found wherever it grows. For example, the fungus carries genes potentially involved in the breakdown of the plant polymers cellulose and lignin, which may have future applications in biotechnology.

Espagne concludes: “As for other saprophytic fungi, the P. anserina genome sequence has opened new avenues in the comprehensive study of a variety of biological processes … It also demonstrates how P. anserina is well adapted at the genome level to its natural environment, which was confirmed by the analysis of growth profiles. This result emphasizes the necessity to study several less well-tracked organisms in addition to those well known in the scientific community, as these may yield unexpected new insights into biological phenomena of general interest.”

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Researchers combat bias in next-generation DNA sequencing

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

4 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

8 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

8 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

Researchers combat bias in next-generation DNA sequencing

31 minutes ago

Ever since scientists completed mapping the entire human genome in 2003, the field of DNA sequencing has seen an influx of new methods and technologies designed to help scientists in their search for genetic ...

11 new species come to light in Madagascar

5 hours ago

Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the ...

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

May 23, 2015

Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.