Broad geographical and ecological diversity from similar genomic toolkits in the ascomycete genus Tetracladium

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jennifer L Anderson, L. Marvanova


The ascomycete genus Tetracladium is best known for containing aquatic hyphomycetes, which are important decomposers in stream food webs. However, some species of Tetracladium are thought to be multifunctional and are also endobionts in plants. Suprisingly, Tetracladium sequences are increasingly being reported from metagenomics and metabarcoding studies of both plants and soils world-wide. It is not clear how these sequences are related to the described species and little is known about the non-aquatic biology of these fungi. Here, the genomes of 24 Tetracladium strains, including all described species, were sequenced and used to resolve relationships among taxa and to improve our understanding of ecological and genomic diversity in this group. All genome-sequenced Tetracladium fungi form a monophyletic group. Conspecific strains of T. furcatum from both aquatic saprotrophic and endobiont lifestyles and a putative cold-adapted clade are identified. Analysis of ITS sequences from water, soil, and plants from around the world reveals that multifunctionality may be widespread through the genus. Further, frequent reports of these fungi from extreme environments suggest they may have important but unknown roles in those ecosystems....Continue Reading

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