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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Phylogeonomics and Ecogenomics of the Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

  • Author(s): Kuo, Alan
  • Grigoriev, Igor V.
  • Kohler, Annegret
  • Martin, Francis
  • et al.

Mycorrhizal fungi play critical roles in host plant health, soil community structure and chemistry, and carbon and nutrient cycling, all areas of intense interest to the US Dept. of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To this end we are building on our earlier sequencing of the Laccaria bicolor genome by partnering with INRA-Nancy and the mycorrhizal research community in the MGI to sequence and analyze 2 dozen mycorrhizal genomes of numerous known mycorrhizal orders and several ecological types (ectomycorrhizal [ECM], ericoid, orchid, and arbuscular). JGI has developed and deployed high-throughput pipelines for genomic, transcriptomic, and re-sequencing, and platforms for assembly, annotation, and analysis. In the last 2 years we have sequenced 21 genomes of mycorrhizal fungi, and resequenced 6 additional strains of L. bicolor. Most of this data is publicly available on JGI MycoCosm?s Mycorrhizal Fungi Portal (, which provides access to both the genome data and tools with which to analyze the data. These data allow us to address long-standing issues in mycorrhizal evolution and ecology. For example, a major observation of mycorrhizal evolution is that each of the major ecological types appears to have evolved independently in multiple fungal clades. Using an ecogenomic approach we provide preliminary evidence that 2 clades (Cantharellales and Sebacinales) of a single symbiotic ecotype (orchid) utilize some common regulatory (protein tyrosine kinase) and metabolic (lipase) paths, the latter of which may be the product of HGT. Using a phylogenomic approach we provide preliminary evidence that a particular ecotype (ericoid) may have evolved more than once within a major clade (Leotiomycetes).

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