Comparative genomics reveals high biological diversity and specific adaptations in the industrially and medically important fungal genus Aspergillus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2017Researchpeer-review

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  • Author: de Vries, Ronald P.

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Riley, Robert

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Wiebenga, Ad

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Aguilar-Osorio, Guillermo

    Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

  • Author: Amillis, Sotiris

    University of Athens

  • Author: Uchima, Cristiane Akemi

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Anderluh, Gregor

    National Institute of Chemistry Ljubljana

  • Author: Asadollahi, Mojtaba

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Askin, Marion

    Leiden University

  • Author: Barry, Kerrie

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Battaglia, Evy

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Bayram, Özgür

    University of Göttingen

  • Author: Benocci, Tiziano

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Braus-Stromeyer, Susanna A.

    University of Göttingen

  • Author: Caldana, Camila

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Cánovas, David

    University of Seville

  • Author: Cerqueira, Gustavo C.

    Broad Institute

  • Author: Chen, Fusheng

    Huazhong Agricultural University

  • Author: Chen, Wanping

    Huazhong Agricultural University

  • Author: Choi, Cindy

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Clum, Alicia

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: dos Santos, Renato Augusto Corrêa

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: de Lima Damásio, André Ricardo

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Diallinas, George

    University of Athens

  • Author: Emri, Tamás

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Fekete, Erzsébet

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Flipphi, Michel

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Freyberg, Susanne

    University of Göttingen

  • Author: Gallo, Antonia

    CNR

  • Author: Gournas, Christos

    Demokritos National Centre for Scientific Research

  • Author: Habgood, Rob

    University of Nottingham

  • Author: Hainaut, Matthieu

    Aix-Marseille Université

  • Author: Harispe, María Laura

    Institut Pasteur de Montevideo

  • Author: Henrissat, Bernard

    Aix-Marseille Université

  • Author: Hildén, Kristiina S.

    University of Helsinki

  • Author: Hope, Ryan

    University of Nottingham

  • Author: Hossain, Abeer

    Dutch DNA Biotech

  • Author: Karabika, Eugenia

    University of St Andrews

  • Author: Karaffa, Levente

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Karányi, Zsolt

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Kraševec, Nada

    National Institute of Chemistry Ljubljana

  • Author: Kuo, Alan

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Kusch, Harald

    University of Göttingen

  • Author: LaButti, Kurt

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Lagendijk, Ellen L.

    Leiden University

  • Author: Lapidus, Alla

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Levasseur, Anthony

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

  • Author: Lindquist, Erika

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Lipzen, Anna

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Logrieco, Antonio F.

    CNR

  • Author: MacCabe, Andrew

    CSIC

  • Author: Mäkelä, Miia R.

    University of Helsinki

  • Author: Malavazi, Iran

    Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos

  • Author: Melin, Petter

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • Author: Meyer, Vera

    Technical University of Berlin

  • Author: Mielnichuk, Natalia

    University of Seville

  • Author: Miskei, Márton

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Molnár, Ákos P.

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Mulé, Giuseppina

    CNR

  • Author: Ngan, Chew Yee

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Orejas, Margarita

    CSIC

  • Author: Orosz, Erzsébet

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Ouedraogo, Jean Paul

    Leiden University

  • Author: Overkamp, Karin M.

    Dutch DNA Biotech

  • Author: Park, Hee Soo

    Kyungpook National University

  • Author: Perrone, Giancarlo

    CNR

  • Author: Piumi, Francois

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

  • Author: Punt, Peter J.

    Leiden University

  • Author: Ram, Arthur F. J.

    Leiden University

  • Author: Ramón, Ana

    Universidad de la Republica

  • Author: Rauscher, Stefan

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  • Author: Record, Eric

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

  • Author: Riaño-Pachón, Diego Mauricio

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Robert, Vincent A.R.G.

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Röhrig, Julian

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  • Author: Ruller, Roberto

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Salamov, Asaf

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Salih, Nadhira S.

    University of Nottingham

  • Author: Samson, Rob A.

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Sándor, Erzsébet

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Sanguinetti, Manuel

    Universidad de la Republica

  • Author: Schütze, Tabea

    Leiden University

  • Author: Sepčić, Kristina

    University of Ljubljana

  • Author: Shelest, Ekaterina

    Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute

  • Author: Sherlock, Gavin

    Stanford University

  • Author: Sophianopoulou, Vicky

    Demokritos National Centre for Scientific Research

  • Author: Squina, Fabio M.

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Sun, Jian-Hui

    United States Department of Energy

  • Author: Susca, Antonia

    CNR

  • Author: Todd, Richard B.

    Kansas State University

  • Author: Tsang, Adrian

    Concordia University

  • Author: Unkles, Shiela E.

    University of St Andrews

  • Author: van de Wiele, Nathalie

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: van Rossen-Uffink, Diana

    Leiden University

  • Author: de Castro Oliveira, Juliana Velasco

    Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais

  • Author: Vesth, Tammi Camilla

    Network Engineering of Eukaryotic Cell factories, Section for Synthetic Biology, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Visser, Jaap

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Author: Zhou, Miaomiao

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Andersen, Mikael Rørdam

    Network Engineering of Eukaryotic Cell factories, Section for Synthetic Biology, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, DK-2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Archer, David B.

    University of Nottingham

  • Author: Baker, Scott E.

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Author: Benoit, Isabelle

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Brakhage, Axel A.

    Friedrich Schiller University Jena

  • Author: Braus, Gerhard H.

    University of Göttingen

  • Author: Fischer, Reinhard

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  • Author: Frisvad, Jens Christian

    Fungal Chemodiversity, Section for Microbial and Chemical Ecology, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Goldman, Gustavo H.

    Universidade de Sao Paulo

  • Author: Houbraken, Jos

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Oakley, Berl R.

    University of Kansas

  • Author: Pócsi, István

    University of Debrecen

  • Author: Scazzocchio, Claudio

    Imperial College London

  • Author: Seiboth, Bernhard

    Vienna University of Technology

  • Author: vanKuyk, Patricia A.

    Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

  • Author: Wortman, Jennifer Russo

    Broad Institute

  • Author: Dyer, Paul S.

    University of Nottingham

  • Author: Grigoriev, Igor V.

    United States Department of Energy

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Background: 

The fungal genus Aspergillus is of critical importance to humankind. Species include those with industrial applications, important pathogens of humans, animals and crops, a source of potent carcinogenic contaminants of food, and an important genetic model. The genome sequences of eight aspergilli have already been explored to investigate aspects of fungal biology, raising questions about evolution and specialization within this genus.

Results: 

We have generated genome sequences for ten novel, highly diverse Aspergillus species and compared these in detail to sister and more distant genera. Comparative studies of key aspects of fungal biology, including primary and secondary metabolism, stress response, biomass degradation, and signal transduction, revealed both conservation and diversity among the species. Observed genomic differences were validated with experimental studies. This revealed several highlights, such as the potential for sex in asexual species, organic acid production genes being a key feature of black aspergilli, alternative approaches for degrading plant biomass, and indications for the genetic basis of stress response. A genome-wide phylogenetic analysis demonstrated in detail the relationship of the newly genome sequenced species with other aspergilli. 

Conclusions: 

Many aspects of biological differences between fungal species cannot be explained by current knowledge obtained from genome sequences. The comparative genomics and experimental study, presented here, allows for the first time a genus-wide view of the biological diversity of the aspergilli and in many, but not all, cases linked genome differences to phenotype. Insights gained could be exploited for biotechnological and medical applications of fungi.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalGenome Biology (Online Edition)
Volume18
Number of pages45
ISSN1474-7596
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Aspergillus, Comparative genomics, Fungal biology, Genome sequencing

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