Diploid-dominant life cycles characterize the early evolution of Fungi | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences thumbnail
Diploid-dominant life cycles characterize the early evolution of Fungi | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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major evolutionary trends in the non-Dikarya fungi by phylogenomic analysis of 69 newly generated draft genome sequences of the zoosporic (flagellated) lineages of true fungi The resulting k-mer and allele frequency (AF) histograms (SI Appendix, Fig. S8) were systematically binned by ploidy based on
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Summary

This study challenges the assumption that fungi have a haploid-dominant life cycle and shows that many fungal lineages actually have diploid-dominant life cycles. The researchers analyzed the genomes of zoosporic fungi and found that they frequently exhibit diploidy. They also found that early-diverging fungal lineages share ancestral traits with animals, suggesting a closer kinship between fungi and animals than previously thought. The study provides insights into the early evolution of fungi and highlights the need for further research on the life cycles of different fungal lineages.

Top Highlights

  • major evolutionary trends in the non-Dikarya fungi by phylogenomic analysis of 69 newly generated draft genome sequences of the zoosporic (flagellated) lineages of true fungi
  • The resulting k-mer and allele frequency (AF) histograms (SI Appendix, Fig. S8) were systematically binned by ploidy based on their similarity to canonical examples of k-mer (Fig. 3A) and AF (Fig. 3B) histograms, in addition to measured density of heterozygous positions (i.e., single-nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) postfiltering.
  • It has been assumed that fungi are characterized by a haploid-dominant life cycle with a general absence of mitosis in the diploid stage (haplontic life cycles)
  • We show, using the estimated heterozygosity of these genomes, that many fungal lineages have diploid-dominant life cycles (diplontic). This finding forces us to rethink the early evolution of the fungal cell.
  • Most of the described species in kingdom Fungi are contained in two phyla, the Ascomycota and the Basidiomycota (subkingdom Dikarya)

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