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Fungal Genet Biol. 2013 Apr;53:10-21. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Expression and phylogenetic analyses of the Gel/Gas proteins of Tuber melanosporum provide insights into the function and evolution of glucan remodeling enzymes in fungi.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi, Università degli Studi di Torino, Viale Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.


The β(1,3)-glucanosyltransferases of the GH72 family are redundant enzymes that are essential for the formation and dynamic remodeling of the fungal wall during different stages of the life cycle. Four putative genes encoding glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored β(1,3)-glucanosyltransferases, designated TmelGEL1, TmelGEL2, TmelGEL4 and TmelGAS4, have been annotated in the genome of Tuber melanosporum, an ectomycorrhizal fungus that also produces a hypogeous fruiting body (FB) of great commercial value (black truffle). This work focuses on the characterization and expression of this multigene family by taking advantage of a laser microdissection (LMD) technology that has been used to separate two distinct compartments in the FB, the hyphae and the asci containing the ascospores. Of the four genes, TmelGEL1 was the most up-regulated in the FB compared to the free-living mycelium. Inside the FB, the expression of TmelGEL1 was restricted to the hyphal compartment. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gel/Gas protein family of T. melanosporum was also carried out. A total of 237 GH72 proteins from 51 Ascomycotina and 3 Basidiomycota (outgroup) species were analyzed. The resulting tree provides insight into the evolution of the T. melanosporum proteins and identifies new GH72 paralogs/subfamilies. Moreover, it represents a starting point to formulate new hypotheses on the significance of the striking GH72 gene redundancy in fungal biology.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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