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Abstract Detail

Gene regulatory networks in fungal development and morphogenesis - towards fungal evo-devo

Townsend, Jeffrey [1], Wang, Zheng [2], Trail, Frances [3].

The ancestral levels of transcription and the evolution of sexual phenotypes in filamentous fungi: a systems-biological approach toward inference of evolving gene regulatory networks.

Changes in gene expression have been hypothesized to play an important role in the evolution of divergent morphologies. To test this hypothesis in a model system, we examined differences in fruiting body morphology of five filamentous fungi in the Sordariomycetes, culturing them in a common garden environment and profiling genome-wide gene expression at five developmental stages. We reconstructed ancestral gene expression phenotypes, identifying genes with the largest evolved increases in gene expression across development. Conducting knockouts and performing phenotypic analysis in two divergent species typically demonstrated altered fruiting body development in the species that had evolved increased expression. Our evolutionary approach to finding relevant genes proved far more efficient than other gene deletion studies targeting whole genomes or gene families. Combining gene expression measurements with knockout phenotypes facilitated the refinement of Bayesian networks of the genes underlying fruiting body development, regulation of which is one of the least understood processes of multicellular development. Genome-wide gene expression data across developmental processes of interest in multiple species can expedite the advancement of integrative synthetic and systems biology strategies to reveal regulatory networks underlying fungal development. We have challenged these Bayesian networks to explain the fungal asexual-sexual switch, a dynamic and environmentally-sensitive developmental regulatory apparatus that has been understudied because of the widespread use of media designed to suppress one or the other developmental process. Gene regulatory networks incorporating time course expression data, comparative genomics, and species phylogeny make it possible to integrate reductive approaches and systems biology for understanding fungal development within an evolutionary frame. Dynamic model-based iterative experiment is a promising strategy toward revealing the genetic basis of fungal morphological development and its evolution.

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Related Links:
Using evolutionary genomics, transcriptomics, and systems biology to reveal gene networks underlying fungal development

1 - Yale University, Biostatistics and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 135 College St, Suite 200, #222, New Haven, Connecticut, 06510, United States
2 - Dept of Biostatistics, 135 College St, Suite 200, #222, New Haven, CT, 06510, United States
3 - Michigan State University, Department Of Plant Biology, 612 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI, 48824.0, United States

Developmental biology
systems biology

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY1, Gene regulatory networks in fungal development and morphogenesis - towards fungal evo-devo
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: SY1007
Abstract ID:1123
Candidate for Awards:None

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