The genomes of more than 250 fungi have been sequenced till today.
Among the basal filamentous ascomycetes - a group of ascomycetes that includes e.g. truffles and morels - only one representative has been analysed so far: the truffle Tuber melanosporum.
"With 125 million base pairs, the truffle genome is unusually big, yet it is coding for relatively few genes, namely some 7,500," says Minou Nowrousian from the Department of General and Molecular Botany.
"Until now, it was not clear whether this is typical of basal filamentous ascomycetes or whether it is caused by the truffle's 'atypical' lifestyle." Unlike other filamentous ascomycetes, the truffle does not develop reproductive organs - so-called fruiting bodies - above ground but rather below ground.
Moreover, it only grows in symbiosis with plant roots (mycorrhiza). Pyronema
, on the other hand, is a typical representative of its group.