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: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 2479 orthologous genes among all three species. Expression of key meiosis genes and sporulation genes, corresponded to developmental differences among these Neurospora species during sexual development. Screening N. crassa knockout crosses of genes selected for their expression differences across species, eight genes, whose functions were previously unknown, are found to be critical for the successful formation of perithecia. The absence of these genes in mutant 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 multicelluar ascomycetes, including fungal pathogens closely related to Neurospora in the Sordariomycetes, such as Fusarium spp, Magnaporthe oryzae, and Nectria haematococca mRNA were sampled and compared from eight time points across sexual reproduction in three Neurospora species
Project description:Long non protein coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified in many different organisms and cell types. Emerging examples emphasize the biological importance of these RNA species but their regulation and functions remain poorly understood. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, the annotation and characterization of lncRNAs is incomplete.We have performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis of Neurospora crassa by using ChIP-seq, RNA-seq and polysome fractionation datasets. We have annotated and characterized 1478 long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) and 1056 natural antisense transcripts, indicating that 20% of the RNA Polymerase II transcripts of Neurospora are not coding for protein. Both classes of lncRNAs accumulate at lower levels than protein-coding mRNAs and they are considerably shorter. Our analysis showed that the vast majority of lincRNAs and antisense transcripts do not contain introns and carry less H3K4me2 modifications than similarly expressed protein coding genes. In contrast, H3K27me3 modifications inversely correlate with transcription of protein coding and lincRNA genes. We show furthermore most lincRNA sequences evolve rapidly, even between phylogenetically close species.Our transcriptome analyses revealed distinct features of Neurospora lincRNAs and antisense transcripts in comparison to mRNAs and showed that the prevalence of noncoding transcripts in this organism is higher than previously anticipated. The study provides a broad repertoire and a resource for further studies of lncRNAs.
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:Transcription factors (TFs) are key nodes of regulatory networks in eukaryotic organisms, including filamentous fungi such as Neurospora crassa. The 178 predicted DNA-binding TFs in N. crassa are distributed primarily among six gene families, which represent an ancient expansion in filamentous ascomycete genomes; 98 TF genes show detectable expression levels during vegetative growth of N. crassa, including 35 that show a significant difference in expression level between hyphae at the periphery versus hyphae in the interior of a colony. Regulatory networks within a species genome include paralogous TFs and their respective target genes (TF regulon). To investigate TF network evolution in N. crassa, we focused on the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) TF family, which contains nine members. We performed baseline transcriptional profiling during vegetative growth of the wild-type and seven isogenic, viable bZIP deletion mutants. We further characterized the regulatory network of one member of the bZIP family, NCU03905. NCU03905 encodes an Ap1-like protein (NcAp-1), which is involved in resistance to multiple stress responses, including oxidative and heavy metal stress. Relocalization of NcAp-1 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus was associated with exposure to stress. A comparison of the NcAp-1 regulon with Ap1-like regulons in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus showed both conservation and divergence. These data indicate how N. crassa responds to stress and provide information on pathway evolution.
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:1. Neurospora crassa catabolic dehydroquinase has been purified from N. crassa and Escherichia coli. 2. Protein-sequence and gel-electrophoretic data show that apparently pure, homogeneous native dehydroquinase is a mixture of intact and proteinase-cleaved enzyme monomers. 3. Protein-sequence data and steady-state kinetics show that the catabolic dehydroquinase gene of N. crassa is expressed with fidelity in E. coli.
Project description:Hemicellulose, the second most abundant plant biomass fraction after cellulose, is widely viewed as a potential feedstock for the production of liquid fuels and other value-added materials. Degradation of hemicellulose by filamentous fungi requires production of many different enzymes, which are induced by biopolymers or its derivatives and regulated mainly at the transcriptional level through transcription factors (TFs). Neurospora crassa has been shown to express and secrete plant cell wall associated enzymes. To better understand genes specifically associated with degradation of hemicellulose, we identified 353 genes by transcriptome analysis of N. crassa wild type strain grown on beechwood xylan. Exposure to xylan induces 9 of the 19 predicted hemicellulase genes. The xylanolytic phenotype of strains with deletions in genes identified from the secretome and transcriptome analysis of wild type showed that none were essential for growth on beechwood xylan. The transcription factor XlnR/Xyr1 in Aspergillus and Trichoderma species is considered to be the major transcriptional regulator of genes encoding both cellulases and hemicellulases. We identified a xlnR/xyr1 homolog in N. crassa, NCU06971, termed xlr-1 (xylanase regulator 1). Deletion of xlr-1 in N. crassa abolishes the growth on xylan and xylose, but growth on cellulose was indistinguishable from wild type. To determine regulatory mechanisms associated with hemicellulose degradation, we explored the transcriptional regulon of XLR-1 under xylose and xylanolytic versus cellulolytic conditions. XLR-1 regulated only some predicted hemicellulase genes in N. crassa and was required for a full induction of several cellulase genes. Hemicellulase gene expression was induced by a combination of release from carbon catabolite repression (CCR) and induction. However, in N. crassa, xlr-1 is subject to non-CRE-1 mediated CCR. This systematic analysis provides the similarities and differences of hemicellulose degradation and regulation mechanisms used by N. crassa in comparison to other filamentous fungi. Four-condition experiments (minimal medium, xylan medium,xylose and Avicel medium) of mutant strain(xlr-1) compared to wild type strain; Cy3 and Cy5 dye swap
Project description:A diverse array of organisms from bacteria to humans may have evolved the ability to tell time in the presence or absence of external environmental cues. In the lowly bread mould, Neurospora crassa, biomolecular reactions involving the white-collar-1 (wc-1), white-collar-2 (wc-2), and frequency (frq) genes and their products constitute building blocks of a biological clock. Here we use genetic network models to explain quantitatively, from a systems perspective, how these building blocks interact, and how a complex trait like clock oscillation emerges from these interactions. We use a recently developed method of genetic network identification to find an ensemble of oscillating network models quantitatively consistent with available RNA and protein profiling data on the N. crassa clock. Predicted key features of the N. crassa clock system are a dynamically frustrated closed feedback loop, cooperativity in frq gene activation, and/or WC-1/WC-2 protein complex deactivation and substantial posttranscriptional enhancement of wc-1 RNA lifetime. Measuring the wc-1 mRNA lifetime provides a critical test of the genetic networks.
Project description:Colony development, which includes hyphal extension, branching, anastomosis, and asexual sporulation, is a fundamental aspect of the life cycle of filamentous fungi; genetic mechanisms underlying these phenomena are poorly understood. We conducted transcriptional profiling during colony development of the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, using 70-mer oligonucleotide microarrays. Relative mRNA expression levels were determined for six sections of defined age excised from a 27-h-old N. crassa colony. Functional category analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in cell membrane biosynthesis, polar growth, and cellular signaling was enriched at the periphery of the colony. The relative expression of genes involved in protein synthesis and energy production was enriched in the middle section of the colony, while sections of the colony undergoing asexual development (conidiogenesis) were enriched in expression of genes involved in protein/peptide degradation and unclassified proteins. A cross-examination of the N. crassa data set with a published data set of Aspergillus niger revealed shared patterns in the spatiotemporal regulation of gene orthologs during colony development. At present, less than 50% of genes in N. crassa have functional annotation, which imposes the chief limitation on data analysis. Using an evolutionary approach, we observed that the expression of phylogenetically conserved groups of genes was enriched in the middle section of an N. crassa colony whereas expression of genes unique to euascomycete species and of N. crassa orphan genes was enriched at the colony periphery and in the older, conidiating sections of a fungal colony.