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Schizophyllum commune - functional genomics

Institution: Institute of Microbiology
Microbial Phytopathology
Neugasse 25
07743 Jena
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Telephone: +49 (0)3641/949399
Fax: +49 (0)3641/949292

Soumya Madhavan

Fungi are involved in decomposing organic matter, nutrient cycling and nutrient exchange. Schizophyllum commune a wood rotting homobasidiomycete is considered as model organism. A big strain collection, released genome sequence, the good manageability make this fungus to a well known subject for studying sexual development, gene regulation and signaling systems.

In this study, S. commune is used for creating a knock-out strain with increased gene targeting efficiencies, the targeted construction of different gene deletions is going to be facilitated. This is achieved by reducing the heterologous recombination which, in homobasidiomycetes, greatly exceeds homologous recombination (HR). The homologous recombination enhanced strain is created by impairing one of the major DNA repair mechanisms, the non-homologous end joining pathway (NHEJ), by knocking out the ku70 gene which codes to one of the initiating proteins in this pathway. This S. commune also used to study the genes involved in complex organic molecule degradation, especially laccases. In this study, relative expression of the laccase and laccase-like genes (LO family) in S. commune were analysed using quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) under different conditions. Also, laccase enzyme activity was measuredTwo laccases and four laccase-like genes all of which are well conserved in S.commune were selected for studying differential regulation during fungal morphogenesis and in different sexual phases. Regulation of laccases during substrate utilization was tested using powdered black slate and lignin as the core C- sources. Higher laccase enzyme activity was seen in black slate cultures. A knock-out mutant of laccase 2 gene was created to learn the in-depth functional characterization and analyses. 

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