Genomic perspectives on the evolution of fungal entomopathogenicity in Beauveria bassiana

Sci Rep. 2012;2:483. doi: 10.1038/srep00483. Epub 2012 Jul 2.


The ascomycete fungus Beauveria bassiana is a pathogen of hundreds of insect species and is commercially produced as an environmentally friendly mycoinsecticide. We sequenced the genome of B. bassiana and a phylogenomic analysis confirmed that ascomycete entomopathogenicity is polyphyletic, but also revealed convergent evolution to insect pathogenicity. We also found many species-specific virulence genes and gene family expansions and contractions that correlate with host ranges and pathogenic strategies. These include B. bassiana having many more bacterial-like toxins (suggesting an unsuspected potential for oral toxicity) and effector-type proteins. The genome also revealed that B. bassiana resembles the closely related Cordyceps militaris in being heterothallic, although its sexual stage is rarely observed. A high throughput RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis revealed that B. bassiana could sense and adapt to different environmental niches by activating well-defined gene sets. The information from this study will facilitate further development of B. bassiana as a cost-effective mycoinsecticide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / genetics
  • Animals
  • Beauveria / genetics*
  • Beauveria / growth & development
  • Beauveria / metabolism
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cordyceps / genetics
  • Cordyceps / growth & development
  • Cordyceps / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Gene Order
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genomics
  • Insecta / microbiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptome


  • Fungal Proteins

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE32699