News from CRG
Fungi can sense environmental signals and react accordingly, changing their development, direction of growth, and metabolism. Sensory perception lies at the heart of adaptation to changing conditions, and helps fungi to improve growth and recycle organic waste, and to know when and how to infect a plant or animal host. New results based on characterizing and then conducting a comparative analysis of two genome sequences published online May 26, 2016 in the journal Current Biology shed new light on the evolution of sensory perception in fungi.
For the study, researchers sequenced and annotated Mucoromycotina genomes, specifically those of Phycomyces blakesleeanus and its relative Mucor circinelloides. The work was led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, in collaboration with scientists from 31 research centers and universities from 13 countries including the laboratory of Toni Gabaldón at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), and coordinated by scientists from the University of Sevilla in Spain. Capturing the genomic variation of fungi allows researchers to build a foundation for translating their genomic potential into practical applications. For example, understanding the mechanisms by which these environmental cues are sensed could provide insights on how some fungi can change their growth patterns to act as pathogens rather than benign organisms.
Corrochano et al. ‘Expansion of Signal Transduction Pathways in Fungi by Extensive Genome Duplication” Current Biology. May 26, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.038