|Arnold, A. Elizabeth|
Submitted to: Nature
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2006
Publication Date: 10/19/2006
Citation: James, T.Y., Kauff, F., Schoch, C., Matheny, B., Hofstetter, V., Cox, C.J., Celio, G., Guiedan, C., Fraker, E., Miadlikowska, J., Lumbsh, T., Rauhut, A., Reeb, V., Arnold, A., Amtoft, A., Stajich, J.E., Hosaka, K., Sung, G., Johnson, D., O'Rourke, B., Crockett, M., Binder, M., Curtis, J.M., Slot, J.C., Wang, Z., Wilson, A.W., Schueller, A., Longcore, J.E., O Donnell, K., Mozley-Standridge, S., Porter, D., Letcher, P.M., Powell, M.J., Taylor, J.W., White, M.M., Griffith, G.W., Davies, D.R., Humber, R.A., Morton, J.B., Sugiyama, J., Rossman, A.Y., Rogers, J.D., Pfister, D.H., Hewitt, D., Hansen, K., Hambleton, S., Shoemaker, R.A., Kohlmeyer, J., Volkmann-Kohlmeyer, B., Spotts, R.A., Serdani, M., Crous, P.W., Hughes, K.W., Matsuura, K., Langer, E., Langer, G., Untereiner, W.A., Lucking, R., Budel, B., Geiser, D.M., Aptroot, D.M., Diederich, P., Schmitt, I., Schultz, M., Yahr, R., Hibbett, D.S., Lutzoni, F., Mclaughlin, D.J., Spatafora, J.W., Vilgalys, R. 2006. Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny. Nature. 443:818-822. Interpretive Summary: In order to better understand the origin and evolutionary diversification of the true Fungi, we developed phylogenetic hypotheses for the fungi using data from six gene regions and nearly 200 species. Although all current classifications for the Fungi assume that the swimming flagellated Fungi called chytrids form an early-diverging natural group of Fungi, and imply that there was a single loss of the flagellum leading to the diversification of terrestrial Fungi, our results suggest that there have been at least three independent losses of the flagellum in the Fungi. The losses of swimming spores appeared to have coincided with the evolution of novel mechanisms of spore dispersal such as aerial dispersal in the Microsporidia, an enigmatic group of unicellular organisms that lack subcellular organelles called mitochondria. One of the major findings of this study suggests that the Microsporidia may be derived from a parasitic chytrid early in the evolution of the Fungi. Results of these basic studies will benefit agricultural scientists in that the predictive power of the robust phylogenetic framework will enable them to predict the biotechnological properties of novel fungi as they are discovered and characterized for the benefit of humankind.
Technical Abstract: The ancestors of fungi are believed to be simple aquatic forms with flagellated spores, similar to modern-day Chytridiomycete fungi (chytrids). Current classifications for the fungi assume that the chytrids form an early-diverging clade of Fungi, and imply that there was a single loss of the flagellum leading to the diversification of terrestrial fungi. Here we develop phylogenetic hypotheses for the fungi using data from six gene regions and nearly 200 species. Our results suggest that there have been at least three independent losses of the flagellum in the Fungi. The losses of swimming spores have coincided with the evolution of novel mechanisms of spore dispersal, such as aerial dispersal and polar tube eversion in the Microsporidia, which are unicellular forms that lack mitochondria. Our results suggest that the Microsporidia may be derived from an endoparasitic chytridiomycete similar to Rozella allomycis, on the earliest diverging branch on the Fungal tree.