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The genome sequence of the model ascomycete fungus Podospora anserina

Eric Espagne12, Olivier Lespinet12, Fabienne Malagnac123, Corinne Da Silva4, Olivier Jaillon4, Betina M Porcel4, Arnaud Couloux4, Jean-Marc Aury4, Béatrice Ségurens4, Julie Poulain4, Véronique Anthouard4, Sandrine Grossetete12, Hamid Khalili12, Evelyne Coppin12, Michelle Déquard-Chablat12, Marguerite Picard12, Véronique Contamine12, Sylvie Arnaise12, Anne Bourdais12, Véronique Berteaux-Lecellier12, Daniel Gautheret12, Ronald P de Vries5, Evy Battaglia5, Pedro M Coutinho6, Etienne GJ Danchin6, Bernard Henrissat6, Riyad EL Khoury7, Annie Sainsard-Chanet78, Antoine Boivin78, Bérangère Pinan-Lucarré9, Carole H Sellem7, Robert Debuchy12, Patrick Wincker4, Jean Weissenbach4 and Philippe Silar123*

Author Affiliations

1 Univ Paris-Sud, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, UMR8621, 91405 Orsay cedex, France

2 CNRS, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, UMR8621, 91405 Orsay cedex, France

3 UFR de Biochimie, Université de Paris 7 - Denis Diderot, case 7006, place Jussieu, 75005, Paris, France

4 Genoscope (CEA) and UMR 8030 CNRS-Genoscope-Université d'Evry, rue Gaston Crémieux CP5706, 91057 Evry, France

5 Microbiology, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Padulaan, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

6 UMR 6098, Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, CNRS/univ. Aix-Marseille I et II, Marseille, France

7 CNRS, Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, UPR 2167, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

8 Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, 91405, France

9 Institut de Biochimie et de Génétique Cellulaires, UMR 5095 CNRS/Université de Bordeaux 2, rue Camille St. Saëns, 33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France

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Genome Biology 2008, 9:R77  doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-5-r77

Published: 6 May 2008



The dung-inhabiting ascomycete fungus Podospora anserina is a model used to study various aspects of eukaryotic and fungal biology, such as ageing, prions and sexual development.


We present a 10X draft sequence of P. anserina genome, linked to the sequences of a large expressed sequence tag collection. Similar to higher eukaryotes, the P. anserina transcription/splicing machinery generates numerous non-conventional transcripts. Comparison of the P. anserina genome and orthologous gene set with the one of its close relatives, Neurospora crassa, shows that synteny is poorly conserved, the main result of evolution being gene shuffling in the same chromosome. The P. anserina genome contains fewer repeated sequences and has evolved new genes by duplication since its separation from N. crassa, despite the presence of the repeat induced point mutation mechanism that mutates duplicated sequences. We also provide evidence that frequent gene loss took place in the lineages leading to P. anserina and N. crassa. P. anserina contains a large and highly specialized set of genes involved in utilization of natural carbon sources commonly found in its natural biotope. It includes genes potentially involved in lignin degradation and efficient cellulose breakdown.


The features of the P. anserina genome indicate a highly dynamic evolution since the divergence of P. anserina and N. crassa, leading to the ability of the former to use specific complex carbon sources that match its needs in its natural biotope.