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Marasmius fiardii
Fruiting bodies of Marasmius siccus emerging from decaying leaf litter. M. siccus and M. fiardii are very similar to each other morphologically. Photo credit: Laszlo Nagy at Clark U.

Within the framework of the CSP 'Metatranscriptomics of Forest Soil Ecosystems' project, we are aiming to explore the interaction of forest trees with communities of soil fungi, including ectomycorrhizal symbionts that dramatically affect tree growth, and saprotrophic soil fungi impacting carbon sequestration in forests. We are sequencing the genome of the most abundant fungal species harvested on studied long-term observatories to provide sufficient taxonomic coverage of fungal genomes to identify and analyze DNA and RNA samples sequenced from environmental samples.

Marasmius fiardii

Marasmius fiardii belongs to a group of litter-decomposing fungi recognizable by their small, parasol-like caps, white spore print, thin, fragile stipes and often strong coloration. The genus Marasmius has over 500 described species, with most of its diversity centered to tropical areas, where it's one of the most important microorganisms that reintroduce fallen leaves into the carbon cycle. They are often found on small twigs, leaves, although some species are thought to form mutualistic interactions with grasses.

The genome sequence of M. fiardii fills an important gap in the genomic catalogue of mushroom forming fungi. It's a representative of the Marasmiaceae, a hyper diverse clade of mostly litter-decomposing fungi with a world-wide distribution. As a representative of this large group, the genome of M. fiardii will contribute to our understanding of the biochemical and enzymatic properties of litter decomposers and their role in terrestrial ecosystems and global carbon cycling.

The 'Metatranscriptomics of Forest Soil Ecosystems' project is a large collaborative effort, led by the PI of this project, Francis Martin (INRA), aiming for master publication(s). As always, please contact the PIs associated with unpublished 1KFG genomes for permission prior to the use of any data in publications.