Conserved hypothetical proteins
Predicted proteins (no similarity to known sequences) 40 Adapted from Galagan et al. (2003).
of Neurospora genes match proteins in either plants or animals, suggesting a closer relation of filamentous fungi to higher forms than to yeast. A surprise revelation was that N. crassa has homologs of phytochrome, required for red-far red sensing in plants. The fungus shares genes with complex organisms that measure time (biological clock). The fungus has methylated sequences, relics of transposons. Another revelation is that though a saprophyte, Neurospora possesses genes for virulence factors and enzymes for plant cell wall digestion required for fungal pathogenesis, raising the possibility if this fungus, hitherto considered to be a saprophyte, could be an endophyte or an opportunistic plant parasite. Further similarity in the two types of fungi is suggested by genes for secondary metabolite production; for example, gibberellin biosynthesis and polyketide metabolism are present. The fungus has mechanisms that inactivate duplicated (repeated) sequences in the sexual cycle (Chapter 9). Many methylated DNA sequences, generally associated with duplicated genes are present, indicating relics of transposons.
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