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: Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kingston, Jamaica hybrid project to harness sun and wind

10 hours ago

A hybrid energy project in Kingston, Jamaica, aims to satisfy the need for money-saving renewable energy. U.S.-based WindStream Technologies recently announced the wind solar hybrid installation commissioned ...

Archaeologists excavate NY Colonial battleground

10 hours ago

Archaeologists are excavating an 18th-century battleground in upstate New York that was the site of a desperate stand by Colonial American troops, the flashpoint of an infamous massacre and the location of the era's largest ...

Google eyes Chrome on Windows laptop battery drain

17 hours ago

Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows has been said to have a problem for some time but this week comes news that Google will give it the attention others think the problem quite deserves. Namely, Google is to ...

Security contest techies say they hacked Tesla Model S

19 hours ago

The good news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. The bad news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. Ma Jie, writing in Bloomberg News, reported this week that the Tesla Model S sedan was the target ...

Water problems lead to riots, deaths in South Africa

21 hours ago

Three babies who died from drinking tap water contaminated by sewage have become a tragic symbol of South Africa's struggle to cope with a flood of people into cities designed under apartheid to cater to ...

Recommended for you

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

4 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

22 hours ago

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

User comments : 0