Project description:We report the elucidation of the complete genome of the Neurospora crassa (Shear and Dodge) strain FGSC 73, a mat-a, trp-3 mutant strain. The genome sequence around the idiotypic mating type locus represents the only publicly available sequence for a mat-a strain. 40.42 Megabases are assembled into 358 scaffolds carrying 11,978 gene models.
Project description:Histone H1 variants, known as linker histones, are essential chromatin components in higher eukaryotes, yet compared to the core histones relatively little is known about their in vivo functions. The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa encodes a single H1 protein that is not essential for viability. To investigate the role of N. crassa H1, we constructed a functional FLAG-tagged H1 fusion protein and performed genomic and molecular analyses. Cell fractionation experiments showed that H1-3XFLAG is a chromatin binding protein. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation combined with sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed that H1-3XFLAG is globally enriched throughout the genome with a subtle preference for promoters of expressed genes. In mammals, the stoichiometry of H1 impacts nucleosome repeat length. To determine if H1 impacts nucleosome occupancy or nucleosome positioning in N. crassa, we performed micrococcal nuclease digestion in the wild-type and the [Formula: see text]hH1 strain followed by sequencing (MNase-seq). Deletion of hH1 did not significantly impact nucleosome positioning or nucleosome occupancy. Analysis of DNA methylation by whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (MethylC-seq) revealed a modest but global increase in DNA methylation in the [Formula: see text]hH1 mutant. Together, these data suggest that H1 acts as a nonspecific chromatin binding protein that can limit accessibility of the DNA methylation machinery in N. crassa.
Project description:Many fungi form complex three-dimensional fruiting bodies, within which the meiotic machinery for sexual spore production has been considered to be largely conserved over evolutionary time. Indeed, much of what we know about meiosis in plant and animal taxa has been deeply informed by studies of meiosis in Saccharomyces and Neurospora. Nevertheless, the genetic basis of fruiting body development and its regulation in relation to meiosis in fungi is barely known, even within the best studied multicellular fungal model Neurospora crassa. We characterized morphological development and genome-wide transcriptomics in the closely related species Neurospora crassa, Neurospora tetrasperma, and Neurospora discreta, across eight stages of sexual development. Despite diverse life histories within the genus, all three species produce vase-shaped perithecia. Transcriptome sequencing provided gene expression levels of orthologous genes among all three species. Expression of key meiosis genes and sporulation genes corresponded to known phenotypic and developmental differences among these Neurospora species during sexual development. We assembled a list of genes putatively relevant to the recent evolution of fruiting body development by sorting genes whose relative expression across developmental stages increased more in N. crassa relative to the other species. Then, in N. crassa, we characterized the phenotypes of fruiting bodies arising from crosses of homozygous knockout strains of the top genes. Eight N. crassa genes were found to be critical for the successful formation of perithecia. The absence of these genes in these crosses resulted in either no perithecium formation or in arrested development at an early stage. Our results provide insight into the genetic basis of Neurospora sexual reproduction, which is also of great importance with regard to other multicellular ascomycetes, including perithecium-forming pathogens, such as Claviceps purpurea, Ophiostoma ulmi, and Glomerella graminicola.
Project description:The mating-type locus of the haploid filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa is a regulatory region that controls entry into the sexual cycle and prevents formation of mixed mating-type heterokaryons in the vegetative phase. The locus consists of alternative sequences called A and a. The A mating-type DNA sequence of Neurospora crassa is composed of a region of 5301 base pairs that has little similarity to the sequence present at the mating-type locus in an a mating-type strain. However, the sequences flanking the mating-type locus in the A haploid and a haploid genome are essentially identical. The region of the A mating-type sequence required for expression of the heterokaryon incompatibility and sexual functions has been localized to a single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polypeptide of 288 amino acids. Sequence analysis of sterile, heterokaryon-compatible mutants reveals frameshift mutations in this same ORF. The putative 288-amino acid product has a region of similarity to the MAT alpha 1 polypeptide of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Project description:The genome from Neurospora crassa presented three open reading frames homologous to the genes coding for human AIF and AMID proteins, which are flavoproteins with oxidoreductase activities implicated in caspase-independent apoptosis. To investigate the role of these proteins, namely within the mitochondrial respiratory chain, we studied their cellular localization and characterized the respective null mutant strains. Efficiency of the respiratory chain was analyzed by oxygen consumption studies and supramolecular organization of the OXPHOS system was assessed through BN-PAGE analysis in the respective null mutant strains. The results demonstrate that, unlike in mammalian systems, disruption of AIF in Neurospora does not affect either complex I assembly or function. Furthermore, the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes of the mutant strains display a similar supramolecular organization to that observed in the wild type strain. Further characterization revealed that N. crassa AIF appears localized to both the mitochondria and the cytoplasm, whereas AMID was found exclusively in the cytoplasm. AMID2 was detected in both mitochondria and cytoplasm of the amid mutant strain, but was barely discernible in wild type extracts, suggesting overlapping functions for the two proteins.
Project description:A strain of Neurospora crassa was isolated by training the mould to grow on media containing high concentrations of Co(2+). This strain, the Co(R) strain, exhibited approximately tenfold the resistance of the parent strain to Co(2+) and Ni(2+) but not to Zn(2+) or Cu(2+). Co(2+) toxicity in the Co(R) strain was reversed by Mg(2+) but not by Fe(3+). Also, Co(2+) did not affect iron metabolism in this strain. It is suggested that the mechanism of resistance in the Co(R) strain involves an alteration in the pattern of iron metabolism such that the latter is no longer adversely affected by toxic concentrations of Co(2+). The Co(R) strain is genetically stable and is most probably a result of a resistance mutation in N. crassa induced by Co(2+).
Project description:In many cases, genes for commonly used genetic markers in model organisms have not been identified; therefore, it is of interest to identify the causative genes. Whole-genome sequencing was used to identify potential causative mutations for a col-4 allele of Neurospora crassa.
Project description:Efficient gene editing is a critical tool for investigating molecular mechanisms of cellular processes and engineering organisms for numerous purposes ranging from biotechnology to medicine. Recently developed RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas9 technology has been used for efficient gene editing in various organisms, but has not been tested in a model filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa.In this report, we demonstrate efficient gene replacement in a model filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa, with the CRISPR/Cas9 system. We utilize Cas9 endonuclease and single crRNA:tracrRNA chimeric guide RNA (gRNA) to: (1) replace the endogenous promoter of clr-2 with the ?-tubulin promoter, and (2) introduce a codon optimized fire fly luciferase under the control of the gsy-1 promoter at the csr-1 locus. CLR-2 is one of the core transcription factors that regulate the expression of cellulases, and GSY-1 regulates the conversion of glucose into glycogen. We show that the ?-tubulin promoter driven clr-2 strain shows increased expression of cellulases, and gsy-1-luciferase reporter strain can be easily screened with a bioluminescence assay.CRISPR/Cas9 system works efficiently in Neurospora crassa, which may be adapted to Neurospora natural isolates and other filamentous fungi. It will be beneficial for the filamentous fungal research community to take advantage of CRISPR/Cas9 tool kits that enable genetic perturbations including gene replacement and insertions.
Project description:A Neurospora crassa cosmid library of 12,000 clones (at least nine genome equivalents) has been created using an improved cosmid vector pLorist6Xh, which contains a bacteriophage lambda origin of replication for low-copy-number replication in bacteria and the hygromycin phosphotransferase marker for direct selection in fungi. The electrophoretic karyotype of the seven chromosomes comprising the 42.9-Mb N. crassa genome was resolved using two translocation strains. Using gel-purified chromosomal DNAs as probes against the new cosmid library and the commonly used medium-copy-number pMOcosX N. crassa cosmid library in two independent screenings, the cosmids were assigned to chromosomes. Assignments of cosmids to linkage groups on the basis of the genetic map vs. the electrophoretic karyotype are 93 +/- 3% concordant. The size of each chromosome-specific subcollection of cosmids was found to be linearly proportional to the size of the particular chromosome. Sequencing of an entire cosmid containing the qa gene cluster indicated a gene density of 1 gene per 4 kbp; by extrapolation, 11,000 genes would be expected to be present in the N. crassa genome. By hybridizing 79 nonoverlapping cosmids with an average insert size of 34 kbp against cDNA arrays, the density of previously characterized expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was found to be slightly <1 per cosmid (i.e., 1 per 40 kbp), and most cosmids, on average, contained an identified N. crassa gene sequence as a starting point for gene identification.
Project description:We report engineering Neurospora crassa to improve the yield of cellobiose and cellobionate from cellulose. A previously engineered strain of N. crassa (F5) with six of seven ?-glucosidase (bgl) genes knocked out was shown to produce cellobiose and cellobionate directly from cellulose without the addition of exogenous cellulases. In this study, the F5 strain was further modified to improve the yield of cellobiose and cellobionate from cellulose by increasing cellulase production and decreasing product consumption. The effects of two catabolite repression genes, cre-1 and ace-1, on cellulase production were investigated. The F5 ?ace-1 mutant showed no improvement over the wild type. The F5 ?cre-1 and F5 ?ace-1 ?cre-1 strains showed improved cellobiose dehydrogenase and exoglucanase expression. However, this improvement in cellulase expression did not lead to an improvement in cellobiose or cellobionate production. The cellobionate phosphorylase gene (ndvB) was deleted from the genome of F5 ?ace-1 ?cre-1 to prevent the consumption of cellobiose and cellobionate. Despite a slightly reduced hydrolysis rate, the F5 ?ace-1 ?cre-1 ?ndvB strain converted 75% of the cellulose consumed to the desired products, cellobiose and cellobionate, compared to 18% converted by the strain F5 ?ace-1 ?cre-1.