Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genome Biol. 2011 Nov 23;12(11):R116. doi: 10.1186/gb-2011-12-11-r116.

Genome sequence of the insect pathogenic fungus Cordyceps militaris, a valued traditional Chinese medicine.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Species in the ascomycete fungal genus Cordyceps have been proposed to be the teleomorphs of Metarhizium species. The latter have been widely used as insect biocontrol agents. Cordyceps species are highly prized for use in traditional Chinese medicines, but the genes responsible for biosynthesis of bioactive components, insect pathogenicity and the control of sexuality and fruiting have not been determined.

RESULTS:

Here, we report the genome sequence of the type species Cordyceps militaris. Phylogenomic analysis suggests that different species in the Cordyceps/Metarhizium genera have evolved into insect pathogens independently of each other, and that their similar large secretomes and gene family expansions are due to convergent evolution. However, relative to other fungi, including Metarhizium spp., many protein families are reduced in C. militaris, which suggests a more restricted ecology. Consistent with its long track record of safe usage as a medicine, the Cordyceps genome does not contain genes for known human mycotoxins. We establish that C. militaris is sexually heterothallic but, very unusually, fruiting can occur without an opposite mating-type partner. Transcriptional profiling indicates that fruiting involves induction of the Zn2Cys6-type transcription factors and MAPK pathway; unlike other fungi, however, the PKA pathway is not activated.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data offer a better understanding of Cordyceps biology and will facilitate the exploitation of medicinal compounds produced by the fungus.

PMID:
22112802
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3334602
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (10)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk