Peniophora sp. CONTA v1.0
Peniophora cinerea
Image Credit: http://www.myco-vaud.ch/gallery/smv-2009/Peniophora_cinerea_GB_WEB
Peniophora cinerea Image Credit: http://www.myco-vaud.ch/gallery/smv-2009/Peniophora_cinerea_GB_WEB

The genus Peniophora contains aggressive wood-decayers and some plant pathogenic fungi mostly found on twigs and branches (often high up on standing trees) of various gymno- and angiosperms. They form flat, crust-like fruiting bodies of dull to vivid reddish colors and have been a focus of intense taxonomic interest. Nevertheless, the taxonomy and species recognition in Peniophora is still in a major flux with several species and species complexes only partially defined. The genus forms its own family (Peniophoraceae) along with some smaller genera within the Russulales, a diverse clade of mostly ectomycorrhizal but also saprotrophic and parasitic mushroom-forming fungi.

Species of Peniophora are very efficient white-rotters of wood and have been shown to produce a wide array of laccases. Thus, the genome of this species will help understanding the evolution of plant cell wall decomposing machinery in Agaricomycetes and potentially contribute to the isolation of efficient enzymes for biotechnological purposes.

Peniophora was sequenced as part of the 1000 Fungal Genomes project. Family-level relationships are currently poorly understood in the Russulales, so we are hoping that it will help understanding the evolution of Russulales in greater detail.

This sequencing project was aimed at Lophodermium nitens, but was later found to be an uncharacterized strain of Peniophora.