Revelations From Genome Sequence

To understand how filamentous fungi work and to understand their evolution means that one must have a complete genomic sequence whereby one can monitor gene expression and correlate it with metabolic and developmental phenotype. Because in the model eukaryotic microbes (yeast and Neurospora) most genes have been characterized based on mutant phenotypes, these were chosen for genome sequencing efforts in fungi (Galagan et al., 2003; Borkovich et al., 2004). The genome sequence of Neurospora was released in 2003 with the features of sequence given in Table 5.1. Although the Neurospora genome is, respectively, about 4 and 100 times shorter than those of fruit fly and man, the number of genes is high. The 43 megabase pair genome encodes about 10,000 genes, nearly twice as many genes as in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Many Neurospora genes lack homologues in yeast and may be specific for filamentous lifestyle. Approximately 14%

Table 5.1 Features of Neurospora crassa genome


38,639,769 bp 7

50 10,082 4200 424 74 44

1673 bp (481 amino acids)

Protein-coding genes

Protein-coding genes (> 100 amino acids)

tRNA genes

5S rRNA genes

Percent coding genes

Average gene size

% Protein-coding sequences

Similar to known sequences

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