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Sci Rep. 2012;2:483. doi: 10.1038/srep00483. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Genomic perspectives on the evolution of fungal entomopathogenicity in Beauveria bassiana.

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Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China.


The ascomycete fungus Beauveria bassiana is a pathogen of hundreds of insect species and is commercially produced as an environmentally friendly mycoinsecticide. We sequenced the genome of B. bassiana and a phylogenomic analysis confirmed that ascomycete entomopathogenicity is polyphyletic, but also revealed convergent evolution to insect pathogenicity. We also found many species-specific virulence genes and gene family expansions and contractions that correlate with host ranges and pathogenic strategies. These include B. bassiana having many more bacterial-like toxins (suggesting an unsuspected potential for oral toxicity) and effector-type proteins. The genome also revealed that B. bassiana resembles the closely related Cordyceps militaris in being heterothallic, although its sexual stage is rarely observed. A high throughput RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis revealed that B. bassiana could sense and adapt to different environmental niches by activating well-defined gene sets. The information from this study will facilitate further development of B. bassiana as a cost-effective mycoinsecticide.

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