Phylogeny and comparative genome analysis of a Basidiomycete fungi
Fungi of the phylum Basidiomycota, make up some 37percent of the described fungi, and are important from the perspectives of forestry, agriculture, medicine, and bioenergy. This diverse phylum includes the mushrooms, wood rots, plant pathogenic rusts and smuts, and some human pathogens. To better understand these important fungi, we have undertaken a comparative genomic analysis of the Basidiomycetes with available sequenced genomes. We report a phylogeny that sheds light on previously unclear evolutionary relationships among the Basidiomycetes. We also define a `core proteome? based on protein families conserved in all Basidiomycetes. We identify key expansions and contractions in protein families that may be responsible for the degradation of plant biomass such as cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Finally, we speculate as to the genomic changes that drove such expansions and contractions.