Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To elucidate the genetic bases of mycorrhizal lifestyle evolution, we sequenced new fungal genomes, including 13 ectomycorrhizal (ECM), orchid (ORM) and ericoid (ERM) species, and five saprotrophs, which we analyzed along with other fungal genomes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi have a reduced complement of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), as compared to their ancestral wood decayers. Nevertheless, they have retained a unique array of PCWDEs, thus suggesting that they possess diverse abilities to decompose lignocellulose. Similar functional categories of nonorthologous genes are induced in symbiosis. Of induced genes, 7-38% are orphan genes, including genes that encode secreted effector-like proteins. Convergent evolution of the mycorrhizal habit in fungi occurred via the repeated evolution of a 'symbiosis toolkit', with reduced numbers of PCWDEs and lineage-specific suites of mycorrhiza-induced genes.


  • Annegret Kohler
  • Alan Kuo
  • Laszlo G Nagy
  • Emmanuelle Morin
  • Kerrie W Barry
  • Francois Buscot
  • Cindy Choi
  • Nicolas Cichocki
  • Alicia Clum
  • Jan Colpaert
  • Alex Copeland
  • Mauricio D Costa
  • Jeanne Doré
  • Dimitrios Floudas
  • Gilles Gay
  • Mariangela Girlanda
  • Bernard Henrissat
  • Sylvie Herrmann
  • Jaqueline Hess
  • Nils Högberg
  • Hassine-Radhouane Khouja
  • Kurt LaButti
  • Urs Lahrmann
  • Anthony Levasseur
  • Erika A Lindquist
  • Anna Lipzen
  • Roland Marmeisse
  • Elena Martino
  • Claude Murat
  • Chew Y Ngan
  • Uwe Nehls
  • Jonathan M Plett
  • Anne Pringle
  • Robin A Ohm
  • Silvia Perotto
  • Martina Peter
  • Robert Riley
  • Francois Rineau
  • Joske Ruytinx
  • Asaf Salamov
  • Firoz Shah
  • Hui Sun
  • Mika Tarkka
  • Andrew Tritt
  • Claire Veneault-Fourrey
  • Alga Zuccaro
  • Igor V Grigoriev
  • David S Hibbett
  • Francis Martin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-U176
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch