Fungal reproduction is regulated by themating-type (MAT1) locus,which typically comprises two idiomorphic genes. The presence of one or both allelic variants at the locus determines the reproductive strategy in fungi-homothallism versus heterothallism. It has been hypothesized that self-fertility viahomothallism iswidespread in lichen-forming fungi. To test this hypothesis,we characterized theMAT1 locus of41 genomes of lichen-formingfungi representing awide range of growth forms andreproductive strategies in the class Lecanoromycetes, the largest group of lichen-forming fungi. Our results show the complete lack of genetic homothallism suggesting that lichens evolved from a heterothallic ancestor.We argue that this may be related to the symbiotic lifestyle of these fungi, and may be a key innovation that has contributed to the accelerated diversification rates in this fungal group.

Whole-Genome Sequence Data Uncover Widespread Heterothallism in the Largest Group of Lichen-Forming Fungi

Dal Grande F.;
2019

Abstract

Fungal reproduction is regulated by themating-type (MAT1) locus,which typically comprises two idiomorphic genes. The presence of one or both allelic variants at the locus determines the reproductive strategy in fungi-homothallism versus heterothallism. It has been hypothesized that self-fertility viahomothallism iswidespread in lichen-forming fungi. To test this hypothesis,we characterized theMAT1 locus of41 genomes of lichen-formingfungi representing awide range of growth forms andreproductive strategies in the class Lecanoromycetes, the largest group of lichen-forming fungi. Our results show the complete lack of genetic homothallism suggesting that lichens evolved from a heterothallic ancestor.We argue that this may be related to the symbiotic lifestyle of these fungi, and may be a key innovation that has contributed to the accelerated diversification rates in this fungal group.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3440827
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