Blurred boundaries: lifestyle lessons from ectomycorrhizal fungal genomes.
Jonathan M. Plett and Francis Martin
31 January 2011, Trends Genet. 27(1):14-22; doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2010.10.005. Epub 25-November-2010
Soils contain a multitude of fungi with vastly divergent lifestyles ranging from saprotrophic to mutualistic and pathogenic. The recent release of many fungal genomes has led to comparative studies that consider the extent to which these lifestyles are encoded in the genome. The genomes of the symbiotic fungi Laccaria bicolor and Tuber melanosporum are proving especially useful in characterizing the genetic foundation of mutualistic symbiosis. New insights gleaned from these genomes, as compared to their saprotrophic and pathogenic cousins, have helped to redefine and shape our understanding of the nature of the symbiotic lifestyle. Here we detail the current state of research into this complex relationship and discuss avenues for future exploration.
Plett JM, Martin F. Blurred boundaries: lifestyle lessons from ectomycorrhizal fungal genomes. Trends Genet. 2011 Jan;27(1):14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2010.10.005. Epub 2010 Nov 27. Review. PubMed PMID: 21112661.