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BMC Genomics. 2006 Jul 12;7:177.

Comparative EST analysis provides insights into the basal aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii.

Author information

1
Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Av, Prof, Lineu Prestes 748, São Paulo, SP 05508-000, Brazil. kribi@iq.usp.br

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Blastocladiella emersonii is an aquatic fungus of the Chytridiomycete class, which is at the base of the fungal phylogenetic tree. In this sense, some ancestral characteristics of fungi and animals or fungi and plants could have been retained in this aquatic fungus and lost in members of late-diverging fungal species. To identify in B. emersonii sequences associated with these ancestral characteristics two approaches were followed: (1) a large-scale comparative analysis between putative unigene sequences (uniseqs) from B. emersonii and three databases constructed ad hoc with fungal proteins, animal proteins and plant unigenes deposited in Genbank, and (2) a pairwise comparison between B. emersonii full-length cDNA sequences and their putative orthologues in the ascomycete Neurospora crassa and the basidiomycete Ustilago maydis.

RESULTS:

Comparative analyses of B. emersonii uniseqs with fungi, animal and plant databases through the two approaches mentioned above produced 166 B. emersonii sequences, which were identified as putatively absent from other fungi or not previously described. Through these approaches we found: (1) possible orthologues of genes previously identified as specific to animals and/or plants, and (2) genes conserved in fungi, but with a large difference in divergence rate in B. emersonii. Among these sequences, we observed cDNAs encoding enzymes from coenzyme B12-dependent propionyl-CoA pathway, a metabolic route not previously described in fungi, and validated their expression in Northern blots.

CONCLUSION:

Using two different approaches involving comparative sequence analyses, we could identify sequences from the early-diverging fungus B. emersonii previously considered specific to animals or plants, and highly divergent sequences from the same fungus relative to other fungi.

PMID:
16836762
PMCID:
PMC1550239
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2164-7-177
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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