EVOGENE/CIME Seminar - Mechanisms of wood decay and soil organic matter decomposition in Agaricales. More diverse than we think?
Dimitrios Floudas, Lund University, Sweden
Dimitrios Floudas is a postdoctoral researcher at Lund University and interested in wood decomposition systems in fungi. His work combines genomic and experimental approaches to understand enzymatic systems involved in plant cell wall decomposition, their evolution and how different sets of enzymatic machineries enable different ecological strategies (Floudas et al. 2012 Science 336, 1715-1719).
Abstract The Agaricales is the most species rich order in mushroom forming fungi (Agaricomycetes). The high species diversity seen in Agaricales is accompanied by diverse nutritional strategies. Such strategies include wood decayers and litter decomposers but also symbionts, such as ectomycorrhizal species, lichen forming fungi and also destructive plant parasites. These strategies play crucial roles in carbon and nutrients cycling and in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Wood decayers in Agaricomycetes have been thought to cause either white rot or brown rot. Recently this dichotomous definition of wood decay has been challenged. Here, by utilizing comparative genomics in Agaricales and wood decomposition experiments, we further support this idea. Our results suggest that the brown rot – white rot dichotomy might be inadequate to fully cover the diversity of wood decay mechanisms in these fungi. In the second part of the presentation, I will focus on the less studied litter decomposers. In this ongoing project, we combine comparative genomics, transcriptomic analyses and soil organic matter decomposition experiments. Aim of the project is to get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in litter decomposition and the evolutionary processes that have shaped them.