Pterula gracilis CBS309.79 v1.0
Photo of Pterula gracilis CBS309.79 v1.0
Photo Credit: Jens H. Petersen

The genome of Pterula gracilis has been sequenced as part of the 1000 Fungal Genomes Project, which aims to strengthen our understanding of phylogenetic relationships and functional diversity among fungi. The genus Pterula is a member of the Agaricales, the largest order of mushroom-forming fungi with some 14000 described species. It is a small genus, with ca. 50 species world-wide, however, it represents an important milestone in the evolution of complex morphologies in mushroom-forming fungi. Pterula spp. produce simple whitish coral- or hair-like fruiting bodies. Some species are unbranched, simple filiform while others have dichotomously branched fruiting bodies that can reach several centimeters in diameter. They belong to a small family (Pterulaceae) that contains some 14 genera of crust- or coral-like fungi. Crust- and coral-like fruiting bodies represent a plesiomorphic condition in the Agaricales: the genomic data produced for this species during this project will help understanding the origins of more derived mushroom morphologies in the Agaricales. It has been hypothesized that coralloid morphologies represent a transitional state toward the evolution of gilled mushrooms.