Volume 17 Part 1 Article 4: Genomics of Mushroom-Forming Fungi

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 4
Year 2008
Title: Genomics of Mushroom-Forming Fungi
Authors: R. Ohm, J.F. de Jong, A.S.M. Sonnenberg, L.G. Lugones and H.A.B. Wösten

Abstract:

Relatively little is known about molecular processes underlying mushroom formation. Understanding these processes would allow us to improve commercial strains. In our laboratory, mushroom formation is being studied in Agaricus bisporus as well as in the model basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune. Recently, we have started a genome sequencing project of two parental strains of A. bisporus U1, while the S. commune genome is sequenced by the US Department of Energy. These sequences are invaluable to identify genes that are responsible for development and quality of the mushroom. To identify such genes, tags have been sequenced of RNA isolated from different developmental stages. By comparing these tags, genes have been identified that are specifically active at a particular stage of mushroom formation. For instance, genes SC7 and lccA, encoding a pathogenesis related PR1 protein and a laccase, respectively, are expressed in aggregates of S. commune. This was shown by fusing the respective promoters to a gene encoding a derivative of the red fluorescent protein dsRed. We identified the sites in these promoters that govern expression in the aggregate. These socalled promoter boxes are targets of regulatory proteins that are regulated by a master switch of mushroom formation. Identification of this master switch would allow us to induce mushroom formation on demand.

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