July 7, 2019  |  

Ectomycorrhizal ecology is imprinted in the genome of the dominant symbiotic fungus Cenococcum geophilum.

Authors: Peter, Martina and Kohler, Annegret and Ohm, Robin A and Kuo, Alan and Krützmann, Jennifer and Morin, Emmanuelle and Arend, Matthias and Barry, Kerrie W and Binder, Manfred and Choi, Cindy and Clum, Alicia and Copeland, Alex and Grisel, Nadine and Haridas, Sajeet and Kipfer, Tabea and LaButti, Kurt and Lindquist, Erika and Lipzen, Anna and Maire, Renaud and Meier, Barbara and Mihaltcheva, Sirma and Molinier, Virginie and Murat, Claude and Pöggeler, Stefanie and Quandt, C Alisha and Sperisen, Christoph and Tritt, Andrew and Tisserant, Emilie and Crous, Pedro W and Henrissat, Bernard and Nehls, Uwe and Egli, Simon and Spatafora, Joseph W and Grigoriev, Igor V and Martin, Francis M

The most frequently encountered symbiont on tree roots is the ascomycete Cenococcum geophilum, the only mycorrhizal species within the largest fungal class Dothideomycetes, a class known for devastating plant pathogens. Here we show that the symbiotic genomic idiosyncrasies of ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes are also present in C. geophilum with symbiosis-induced, taxon-specific genes of unknown function and reduced numbers of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. C. geophilum still holds a significant set of genes in categories known to be involved in pathogenesis and shows an increased genome size due to transposable elements proliferation. Transcript profiling revealed a striking upregulation of membrane transporters, including aquaporin water channels and sugar transporters, and mycorrhiza-induced small secreted proteins (MiSSPs) in ectomycorrhiza compared with free-living mycelium. The frequency with which this symbiont is found on tree roots and its possible role in water and nutrient transport in symbiosis calls for further studies on mechanisms of host and environmental adaptation.

Journal: Nature communications
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12662
Year: 2016

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