Morchella importuna SCYDJ1-A1 v1.0

Within the framework of the 1000 Fungal Genomes (1K FG) project, we are sequencing a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse suite of mycorrhizal and plant-associated fungi (Basidiomycota and Ascomycota). Analyses of these genomes will provide new insights into the diversity of mechanisms for the mycorrhizal symbiosis. A large collaborative effort led by PI’s of these projects, Francis Martin (INRA) and Joey Spatafora (OSU), aim for master publication(s) of the MGI and 1K FG data analyses and other fungal-plant associations.

Morchella importuna (strain SCYDJ1-A1)

Species in the ascomycete genus Morchella are economically important gourmet mushrooms (commonly known as morels) and are distributed broadly across the globe. Many species in this genus form ectomycorrhizal relationships with plants, helping plants obtain water and minerals from soil. However, unlike most species in this genus, the artificial cultivation of Morchella importuna (strain SCYDJ1-A1) is rather feasible in common farm soil. This strain was derived from an ancestor wild-collected mushroom in eastern Tibetan Plateau, and was domesticated by our research group in the Soil and Fertilizer Institute, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China. Morchella importuna strain SCYDJ1-A1 can now readily form fruiting bodies in farm plots with steady yield, and is being promoted as a commercial mushroom strain. Its saprophytic life style contrasts the ectomycorrhizal life style of many other species of Morchella, for which associations and interactions with plants are often essential at certain stages. By comparing with the genomes of other morchella (e.g. M. conica), we hope to identify the genetic basis in relation to the difference between a free-living and a symbiotic fruiting lifestyle. The obtained information might also be inspiring for the goal to domesticate more morchella species.

The 1KFG projects is a large collaborative efforts aiming for master publication(s). As always, please contact the PI associated with unpublished 1KFG genomes for permission prior to the use of any data in publications.