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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58294. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058294. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Sequencing and comparative analysis of the straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) genome.

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National Engineering Research Center of Edible Fungi, Ministry of Science and Technology MOST, Shanghai, P. R. China.


Volvariella volvacea, the edible straw mushroom, is a highly nutritious food source that is widely cultivated on a commercial scale in many parts of Asia using agricultural wastes (rice straw, cotton wastes) as growth substrates. However, developments in V. volvacea cultivation have been limited due to a low biological efficiency (i.e. conversion of growth substrate to mushroom fruit bodies), sensitivity to low temperatures, and an unclear sexuality pattern that has restricted the breeding of improved strains. We have now sequenced the genome of V. volvacea and assembled it into 62 scaffolds with a total genome size of 35.7 megabases (Mb), containing 11,084 predicted gene models. Comparative analyses were performed with the model species in basidiomycete on mating type system, carbohydrate active enzymes, and fungal oxidative lignin enzymes. We also studied transcriptional regulation of the response to low temperature (4°C). We found that the genome of V. volvacea has many genes that code for enzymes, which are involved in the degradation of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. The molecular genetics of the mating type system in V. volvacea was also found to be similar to the bipolar system in basidiomycetes, suggesting that it is secondary homothallism. Sensitivity to low temperatures could be due to the lack of the initiation of the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, trehalose and glycogen biosyntheses in this mushroom. Genome sequencing of V. volvacea has improved our understanding of the biological characteristics related to the degradation of the cultivating compost consisting of agricultural waste, the sexual reproduction mechanism, and the sensitivity to low temperatures at the molecular level which in turn will enable us to increase the industrial production of this mushroom.

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