Background: Agrocybe aegerita is an agaricomycete fungus with typical mushroom features, which is commercially cultivated for its culinary use. In nature, it is a saprotrophic or facultative pathogenic fungus causing a white-rot of hardwood in forests of warm and mild climate. The ease of cultivation and fructification on solidified media as well as its archetypal mushroom fruit body morphology render A. aegerita a well-suited model for investigating mushroom developmental biology.
Results: Here, the genome of the species is reported and analysed with respect to carbohydrate active genes and genes known to play a role during fruit body formation. In terms of fruit body development, our analyses revealed a conserved repertoire of fruiting-related genes, which corresponds well to the archetypal fruit body morphology of this mushroom. For some genes involved in fruit body formation, paralogisation was observed, but not all fruit body maturation-associated genes known from other agaricomycetes seem to be conserved in the genome sequence of A. aegerita. In terms of lytic enzymes, our analyses suggest a versatile arsenal of biopolymer-degrading enzymes that likely account for the flexible life style of this species. Regarding the amount of genes encoding CAZymes relevant for lignin degradation, A. aegerita shows more similarity to white-rot fungi than to litter decomposers, including 18 genes coding for unspecific peroxygenases and three dye-decolourising peroxidase genes expanding its lignocellulolytic machinery.
Conclusions: The genome resource will be useful for developing strategies towards genetic manipulation of A. aegerita, which will subsequently allow functional genetics approaches to elucidate fundamentals of fruiting and vegetative growth including lignocellulolysis.
Keywords: Agaricales; Basidiomycetes; Carbohydrate active enzymes; Comparative genomics; Developmental biology; Fruit body; Mushroom; White-rot.