Martin, F. and Bonito G. 2013. Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms

Ten years of genomics for ectomycorrhizal fungi: what have we achieved and where are we headed?

Francis Martin and Gregory Bonito
17 January 2013, Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives; doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-33823-6_21


The science of edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms (EEMMs) is a rapidly advancing field, as has been clearly demonstrated in the previous chapters of this book. Agronomic aspects pertaining to the practice of EEMM cultivation are adapting to new data and insights from published studies. Major achievements of the past two decades of EEMM research include both genetic tools and a phylogenetic framework to discern EM species and their populations which have advanced our knowledge on fundamental aspects of EM biology, ecology, and evolution. As we discuss below, mycorrhizal genomics is well underway. Beginning with the genome sequencing of Laccaria bicolor and followed by that of the black truffle Tuber melanosporum, sequencing efforts are now underway on the genomes of more than 30 other ectomycorrhizal species (and hundreds of fungal pathogens, endophytes, and saprotrophs—see below). Technological advances are a major force driving science and human understanding of the natural world. Just as the invention of the telescope spawned astronomy and the microscope opened our eyes to microbiology, advances in modern technology (e.g., supercomputing, high-throughput DNA sequencing, nanotechnology) are revolutionizing global sciences. Major breakthroughs are expected in many disciplines. Yet, the emergence of genomics and related “-omics” sciences (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc.) are not ends in themselves, rather, they provide maps and tools to aid in our study and understanding of the molecular basis for EM symbiosis and ecosystem functioning. This generation of “-omics” science will address fundamental questions regarding signaling cascades and gene processes involved in the mycorrhizal phenomenon, including the formation of fungal fruiting bodies, and interacting factors (environmental, host, helper bacteria, pathogens). With such insights, new strategies for promoting mycorrhization and in developing selective host and fungal strains for EEMM production will arise. In this volume on “Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms,” the contributors provide essential background, reviews, and research on major topics concerning basic and applied facets of EEMM science. The first section of this book covers major topics pertaining to the ecology, biology, and systematics of EEMMs. In the second section, a global perspective on the propagation and cultivation of EEMM is given. Social, economic, and health aspects between EEMM and people are addressed in the third section. Here we attempt to synthesize some of the more recent advances in genomes, transcriptomics, and proteomics that are propelling EEMM science, and we assume the precarious task of speculating on the future of this field.


Martin F and Bonito G. 2012. Ten years of genomics for ectomycorrhizal fungi: what have we achieved and where are we headed? In: Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives. (ed. A Zambonelli and B Bonito), Soil Biology Series, Vol. 34 pp383-401. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg