Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First map of chromosome terminals of higher fungi

Date:
November 21, 2009
Source:
Basque Research
Summary:
Scientists have described for the first time how the telomeres and adjacent sequences of the oyster fungus are organized.

Doctor in biology from the UPNA, Ms Gϊmer Pιrez Garrido studied and described for the first time how the telomeres and adjacent sequences of the oyster fungus (Pleurotus ostreatus) are organised. Her PhD thesis, "Organisation of the telomeric and subtelomeric regions of the basidiomycete Pleurotus ostreatus." The aim was to get to know more thoroughly how the genetic material of this type of fungus is organised and compare it with other organisms. In fact, the telomere sequence of P. ostreatus is identical to that of human telomeres.

Chromosomes (stores of genetic information in the cells) have special structures known as telomeres at their ends, the size and integrity of which are essential for the survival of the cell. In all the cells of higher organisms (including humans) the size of the telomeres gets smaller after each cell division, to the point of reaching a minimum size which triggers the death of the cell and contributes to the ageing of the organism. Thus, for the life of a cell, the length of the telomeres is something akin to the upper part of an hourglass, a timepiece so well conserved over time that we humans share it with organisms as evolutionary distant as fungi.

The oyster fungus, together with the common mushroom, is the fungus with the greatest production and consumption worldwide. Likewise this fungus is of great biotechnological interest for its capacity to produce enzymes and degrade industrial and agricultural waste. Over the last ten years, the Genetics and Microbiology Research Group (GIGM), financed under projects by the National Research Plan, has made the oyster fungus a model system for studying this type of fungus -- P. ostreatus being the first edible fungus for which the genome has been sequenced, in a joint project between the UPNA as coordinator, and the Joint Genome Institute at the Department of Energy of the United States of America, and in which more than 20 laboratories worldwide are taking part.

Their function has special relevance in tumour processes and in ageing: under normal circumstances, when the cell ages the telomeric DNA gets shorter; the moment arrives when the cell cannot divide further and so triggers a series of responses that leads to the death of the cell. Tumour cells, however, continue to divide indefinitely. Avoiding this indefinite division of cancer cells would be perfect and, in fact, much of current research targets precisely this area.

The most relevant results of the research on the telomeres of the oyster fungus are as follows. Firstly, it was observed that these sequences are identical to the human ones and are repeated between 25 and 150 times. Nothing was known about the telomeres of this basidiomycete, P. ostreatus, and they first had to see how the telomeric DNA sequences in humans were organised in order to tackle the sequencing of this fungus. Having the pattern of the former, they discovered that it was similar for P. ostreatus.

Secondly, it was observed that in the regions adjacent to the telomeres of the fungus, which are more complex, dynamic and variable than the telomeres themselves, genes similar to those described in other higher organisms were found, including some associated with diseases involving premature ageing and the Werner syndrome in humans.

Finally, it was shown that, the regions adjacent to the telomeres, genes participating specifically in the type of life of the fungus (laccase genes which code for lignin-degrading enzymes, essential for the biology of this kind of white rot fungi in wood). The presence of these specific genes in the variable regions adjacent to the telomeres may explain the capacity for adaptation of the organisms in different environments and help in understanding evolutionary processes.

The results of this PhD are the first of their kind published and will enable advances to be made in the genetic improvement programmes of edible mushrooms and in the study of the comparative genomics of fungi and higher organisms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Basque Research. "First map of chromosome terminals of higher fungi." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119111413.htm>.
Basque Research. (2009, November 21). First map of chromosome terminals of higher fungi. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119111413.htm
Basque Research. "First map of chromosome terminals of higher fungi." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119111413.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins