New results on fungal genetics

September 09, 2019

Several fungal species from the order Trichosporonales are of interest for industrial applications because they might be used for the production of biofuels. However, to explore their biotechnological potential it is necessary to learn more about their biology. An team of researchers led by Associate Professor Minou Nowrousian from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Botany of the Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) has now analyzed 24 genomes of Trichosporonales fungi with a focus on genes that are important for sexual development. The study was performed in collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Joseph Heitman from Duke University, USA, who has an ongoing collaboration with the RUB and has been a visiting professor with the RUB Research School

The researchers published their results in the journal "Plos Genetics" on 6 September 2019.

The genes that regulate sexual development in fungi are called mating type genes. They must differ between mating partners to allow successful cell fusion. In fungi of the basidiomycetes, which comprise the Trichosporonales, but also well-known mushrooms like the button mushroom, the mating type genes are often located at two different positions within the genome, which are called mating type loci. However, there are species with fused mating type loci, where both loci are physically linked on the same chromosome. The chromosomes that contain the mating type loci often have functions similar to sex chromosomes in animals and plants.

Discovery of novel features

The team from Germany and the USA has analyzed the mating type genes in 24 species of the order Trichosporonales, and discovered physically linked mating type loci with previously unknown features.

The results showed that all analyzed Trichosporonales species have fused mating type loci with properties that are different than the properties of previously analyzed fused mating type loci in other basidiomycetes. Both the order of the genes within the fused loci as well as the sequences of the genes are highly conserved, in contrast to fused mating type loci in other basidiomycetes. This is unusual, because mating type as well as sex chromosomes tend to degenerate during evolution. The mechanisms that stabilize the Trichosporonales mating type loci will be analyzed in future studies.
-end-


Ruhr-University Bochum

Related Chromosomes Articles from Brightsurf:

Cancer's dangerous renovations to our chromosomes revealed
Cancer remodels the architecture of our chromosomes so the disease can take hold and spread, new research reveals.

Y chromosomes of Neandertals and Denisovans now sequenced
An international research team led by Martin Petr and Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has determined Y chromosome sequences of three Neandertals and two Denisovans.

Female chromosomes offer resilience to Alzheimer's
Women live longer than men with Alzheimer's because their sex chromosomes give them genetic protection from the ravages of the disease.

New protein complex gets chromosomes sorted
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have identified a novel protein complex that regulates Aurora B localization to ensure that chromosomes are correctly separated during cell division.

Breaking up is hard to do (especially for sex chromosomes)
A team of scientists at the Sloan Kettering Institute has discovered how the X and Y chromosomes find one another, break, and recombine during meiosis even though they have little in common.

Exchange of arms between chromosomes using molecular scissors
The CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors work like a fine surgical instrument and can be used to modify genetic information in plants.

How small chromosomes compete with big ones for a cell's attention
Scientists at the Sloan Kettering Institute have solved the puzzle of how small chromosomes ensure that they aren't skipped over during meiosis, the process that makes sperm and egg.

GPS for chromosomes: Reorganization of the genome during development
The spatial arrangement of genetic material within the cell nucleus plays an important role in the development of an organism.

Extra chromosomes in cancers can be good or bad
Extra copies of chromosomes are typical in cancerous tumor cells, but researchers taking a closer look find that some extra copies promote cancer growth while others actually inhibit cancer metastasis.

X marks the spot: recombination in structurally distinct chromosomes
A recent study from the laboratory of Stowers Investigator Scott Hawley, PhD, has revealed more details about how the synaptonemal complex performs its job, including some surprising subtleties in function.

Read More: Chromosomes News and Chromosomes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.