Wallemia genome paper appears in Fungal Genetics and Biology, 3/12

The first publication from our 2010 JGI CSP project “Phylogenomics and the origin and diversification of kingdom Fungi” (J. Spatafora, PI; D. Ahren, M. C. Aime, S. Baker, M. L. Berbee, DSH, T. Y. James, P. Letcher, F. Lutzoni, D. McLaughlin, R. Roberson, A. Tunlid, R. Vilgalys, Co-PIs) has appeared in Fungal Genetics and Biology. This study reports the genome of an enigmatic basidiomycete, Wallemia sebi. Kathe Hodge has a nice blog entry about a Wallemia culture that she found growing in maple syrup, which reflects its xerophilic capabilities.

Wallemia has been very difficult to place in the fungal phylogeny; single gene analyses put it in various positions within the Basidiomycota (or even as the sister group of the Ascomycota; see the 2006 study by Matheny et al., cited below). Genome-scale analyses now suggest that Wallemia is the sister group of the Agaricomycotina (mushroom-forming Fungi; Fig. 1), which is consistent with its possession of dolipore septa with unusual parenthesomes resembling those of Tremellomycetes (Fig. 3).

Padamsee, M., T. K. A. Kumar, R. Riley, M. Binder, A. Boyd, A. M. Calvo, K. Furukawa, C. Hesse, S. Hohmann, T. Y. James, K. LaButti, A. Lapidus, E. Lindquist, S. Lucas, K. Miller, S. Shantappa, I. V. Grigoriev, D. S. Hibbett, D. J. McLaughlin, J. W. Spatafora, and M. C. Aime. 2012. The genome of the xerotolerant mold Wallemia sebi reveals adaptations to osmotic stress and suggests cryptic sexual reproduction. Fungal Genetics and Biology 49: 217-226. PDF

Matheny, P. B., J. A. Gossman, P. Zalar, T. K. Arun Kumar, and D. S. Hibbett. 2006. Resolving the phylogenetic position of the Wallemiomycetes: an enigmatic major lineage of Basidiomycota. Canadian Journal of Botany 84: 1794-1805. PDF

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