Basidiomycete fungi are essential for degradation of wood in natural ecosystems and are a crucial part of the global carbon cycle. Though many fungal genomes have been sequenced, providing insights into the process of wood decay, in most studies, only a single isolate was investigated with no real indication whether this isolate is representative of its species. This project focuses on the diversity of isolates of the white rot basidiomycete Dichomitus squalens, which can colonize both hardwoods and softwoods. Commonly found in North America, D. squalens is known as Western Red Rot and causes significant damage to Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa). Rather than comparing specific aspects of the wood decay process in the selected isolates, the researchers aim to analyze their differences in a systems biology fashion. The team expects the data will demonstrate to which extent a single basidiomycete isolate can be considered a true reflection of the ability of the species with respect to this topic and as such will serve as a reference for studies in other basidiomycetes.
Proposer’s Name: Ronald de Vries