July 7, 2019  |  

Genome expansion and lineage-specific genetic innovations in the forest pathogenic fungi Armillaria.

Authors: Sipos, György and Prasanna, Arun N and Walter, Mathias C and O'Connor, Eoin and Bálint, Balázs and Krizsán, Krisztina and Kiss, Brigitta and Hess, Jaqueline and Varga, Torda and Slot, Jason and Riley, Robert and Bóka, Bettina and Rigling, Daniel and Barry, Kerrie and Lee, Juna and Mihaltcheva, Sirma and LaButti, Kurt and Lipzen, Anna and Waldron, Rose and Moloney, Nicola M and Sperisen, Christoph and Kredics, László and Vágvölgyi, Csaba and Patrignani, Andrea and Fitzpatrick, David and Nagy, István and Doyle, Sean and Anderson, James B and Grigoriev, Igor V and Güldener, Ulrich and Münsterkötter, Martin and Nagy, László G

Armillaria species are both devastating forest pathogens and some of the largest terrestrial organisms on Earth. They forage for hosts and achieve immense colony sizes via rhizomorphs, root-like multicellular structures of clonal dispersal. Here, we sequenced and analysed the genomes of four Armillaria species and performed RNA sequencing and quantitative proteomic analysis on the invasive and reproductive developmental stages of A.?ostoyae. Comparison with 22 related fungi revealed a significant genome expansion in Armillaria, affecting several pathogenicity-related genes, lignocellulose-degrading enzymes and lineage-specific genes expressed during rhizomorph development. Rhizomorphs express an evolutionarily young transcriptome that shares features with the transcriptomes of both fruiting bodies and vegetative mycelia. Several genes show concomitant upregulation in rhizomorphs and fruiting bodies and share cis-regulatory signatures in their promoters, providing genetic and regulatory insights into complex multicellularity in fungi. Our results suggest that the evolution of the unique dispersal and pathogenicity mechanisms of Armillaria might have drawn upon ancestral genetic toolkits for wood-decay, morphogenesis and complex multicellularity.

Journal: Nature ecology & evolution
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0347-8
Year: 2017

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