Data Mining Fungal Genomes

The notion that control mechanisms of fungal multicellular developmental biology are probably very different from those known in animals and plants that emerges from the work described so far is supported by sequence searches of genomic databases. The unique cell biology of filamentous fungi has clearly caused control of their multicellular development to evolve in a radically different fashion from that in animals and plants. There are no Wnt, Hedgehog, Notch, TGF, p53, SINA or NAM sequences in fungi (Moore et al., 2005; Moore and Meskauskas, 2006), but there are presumably analogous or homologous processes in fungal multicellular structures that need to be regulated.

Unfortunately, the demonstration that developmental control sequences of animals and plants lack fungal homologues leaves us knowing nothing about the molecules that do govern multicellular development in fungi. Yet these are the molecules and mechanisms that generate fungal fruit bodies. The molecular control elements of development are the things with which the environment interacts to cause its effects. While we remain ignorant of the basic control processes of fungal developmental biology we will also remain ignorant of the way environment impacts on fungal biology.

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