Daedalea quercina v1.0
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Daedalea quercina photographed by Balint Dima.

Daedalea quercina

This genome was sequenced as a part of the large-scale multi-genome JGI CSP Saprotrophic Agaricomycotina Project (SAP), which focuses on the diversity and evolution of decay mechanisms, organismal phylogenetic relationships, and developmental evolution. A large collaborative effort led by PI of this project, David Hibbett (Clark University) aims for master publication(s) of the SAP data analysis. Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished SAP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the SAP master paper(s).

Daedalea quercina is a member of the Polyporales, which has been classified in the family Fomitopsidaceae. However, the family-level classification of Polyporales is in flux, and will be revised with reference to phylogenetic analyses empowered by the availability of multiple genomes.

Daedalea quercina has been sequenced as part of the Saprotrophic Agaricomycotina Project, which aims to uncover the evolution of wood-decay in mushroom forming fungi, which include some of the most powerful wood-degrader organisms. As part of this project, whole genome sequences have been obtained for a phylogenetically diverse suite of saprotrophic species with a wide range of nutritional strategies.

The genus Daedalea causes a brown rot, utilizing cellulose in the substrate, but leaving the other major plant material, lignin intact, or slightly modified. It is highly specialized to decompose dead woody debris of oaks (Quercus spp., hence the specific epithet) and its distribution follows that of Quercus species. This is the first sequenced species with a strict host preference. It is well known that many fungal species - either parasites or wood-decayers - specialize on one or a few plant species, while others have a broader substrate range and are considered generalists. Detailed ecological data are available for a wide range of fungal species, however, the genetic background of substrate preference is not known.

The genome of this species will give us insights into the evolution of substrate specificity in fungi and the fate of the wood-decay enzymatic apparatus in highly substrate-specialized fungal species. Daedalea quercina is also of interest from a morphological standpoint. While most members of the Polyporales have a hymenophore (the structures supporting the spore-bearing tissue) that is poroid or gilled, D. quercina has a maze-like or "Daedaleoid" hymneophore. The generic name alludes to Daedalus, the architect of the labyrinth (and the father of Icarus).

Genome Reference(s)