31 October 2017

The biggest

Geneticists have deciphered the DNA of the largest organism on Earth

RIA News.

An international team of geneticists has deciphered the DNA of the largest organism on earth – ordinary dark mushrooms, whose mycelium can occupy an area of several hundred hectares of forest, and revealed the secrets of their survival, according to an article published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution (Sipos et al., Genome expansion and lineage-specific genetic innovations in the forest pathogenic fungi Armillaria).

"All types of opyat are among the most destructive pathogens in the forest, and they are the cause of the extinction and destruction of forests in many regions of the Earth. Today, ecologists are actively trying to find ways to combat this fungus and understanding how it works and works is the first step to solve this problem," said Laszlo Nagy from the VAN V Biological Research Center. Segede (in the press release White Rot Fungi's Size Explained by Breadth of Gene Families Involved – VM).


The largest and at the same time the oldest living creature on Earth is, oddly enough, a mushroom. At the end of the last century, ecologists working in the Malur Nature Reserve in Oregon discovered that all local dark honey mushrooms (Armillaria ostoyae) are part of one giant organism, whose area is about 880 hectares, age is about 2.5 thousand years, and total weight is about 600 tons.

This fungus has infected and destroyed countless trees throughout its existence, thanks to which the part of the forest where it grows has acquired a rather specific appearance, which gave out that the "culprit" of the mass death of representatives of the flora is the same colony of fungi.

Subsequently, scientists found dozens of other, less significant examples of mycelium that occupied huge areas, which indicated the adaptability of fungi to colonize huge living spaces. Nagy and his colleagues tried to uncover the secrets of the survival of the "Oregon monster", as media representatives called this mushroom, by deciphering its genome, as well as the DNA of several of its closest relatives.

Scientists, as Nagy says, were primarily interested in the genes responsible for the synthesis of special enzymes that help the "monster" decompose the walls of plant cells, extract nutrients from them and infect pine trees and other tree species with almost 100% probability.

The encoded genomes of the opyat helped biologists to find two dozen genes responsible for assembling molecules of such proteins, and to find many doubled and tripled sections of DNA, which, scientists believe, helped the dark opyat adapt to existence in the format of a giant single organism the size of a forest.

The study of the first set of genes, scientists hope, will allow us to create new methods of processing wood into biofuels and useful chemicals, and the doubled sections of the genome can help evolutionists understand how the first multicellular organisms on Earth arose and what role the future ancestors of fungi could play in their evolution.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version