Fruit Bodies Their Production and Development in Relation to Environment

David Moore, Alan C. Gange, Edward G. Gange and Lynne Boddy

Contents 1. Introduction 80

1.1 Fungal Morphogenesis 80

1.2 Morphogenetic Control Elements 84

1.3 Importance of Sexual Reproduction 85

2. Physiological Factors Favouring Fruit Body Production 86

2.1 Carbohydrates 86

2.2 Nitrogen Sources 86

2.3 Nutrient Capture 87

2.4 Non-Nutritional Environmental Variables 91

2.5 Fruiting in the Natural Environment 94

3. Fruit Body Survival 96

4. Principles of Fungal Developmental Biology 98

4.1 Underlying Principles 98

4.2 Modelling Hyphal Growth and Fruit Body Formation 99

4.3 Data Mining Fungal Genomes 99 References 99

Abstract Sexual reproduction is important because it generates genetic variation, offers an escape from DNA parasites and provides a means to repair DNA damage. Many fungi exhibit particular patterns of sexual fruit body morphogenesis but the characteristics differ between species. However, it is possible to generalise that within developing fruit body tissues, fungal cells embark on a particular course of differentiation in response to the interaction of their intrinsic genetic programme with external physical signals (light, temperature, gravity, humidity), and/or chemical signals from the environment and other regions of the developing structure. Fruit body morphogenesis is affected by carbon and mineral nutrient availability, and environmental variables including temperature, water availability, CO2, light and interactions

British Mycological Society Symposia Series © 2008 The British Mycologica! Society

Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

with other fungi and bacteria. Changes in the seasonal pattern of fruiting in the UK can be detected from field records made in the last 50 years, and while not all species behave in the same way, mean first fruiting date is now significantly earlier and mean last fruiting date is now significantly later, which results in an extended fruiting season. Significant numbers of species that previously only fruited in autumn now also fruit in spring. Such analyses show that relatively simple field observations of fungi can detect climate change, and that fungal responses are sufficiently sensitive to react to the climate change that has already occurred by adapting their pattern of development. Unfortunately, though it is possible to deduce the decisive steps in development that are open to influence, the molecular controls that normally regulate those steps remain unknown. Extensive genomic analysis shows that sequences crucial to multicellular development in animals or plants do not occur in fungal genomes, so we are ignorant of the basic control processes of fungal multicellular developmental biology.

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