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  1. Baldauf, Sandra (Ed.)
    Abstract Improved sequencing technologies have profoundly altered global views of fungal diversity and evolution. High-throughput sequencing methods are critical for studying fungi due to the cryptic, symbiotic nature of many species, particularly those that are difficult to culture. However, the low coverage genome sequencing (LCGS) approach to phylogenomic inference has not been widely applied to fungi. Here we analyzed 171 Kickxellomycotina fungi using LCGS methods to obtain hundreds of marker genes for robust phylogenomic reconstruction. Additionally, we mined our LCGS data for a set of nine rDNA and protein coding genes to enable analyses across species for which no LCGS data were obtained. The main goals of this study were to: 1) evaluate the quality and utility of LCGS data for both phylogenetic reconstruction and functional annotation, 2) test relationships among clades of Kickxellomycotina, and 3) perform comparative functional analyses between clades to gain insight into putative trophic modes. In opposition to previous studies, our nine-gene analyses support two clades of arthropod gut dwelling species and suggest a possible single evolutionary event leading to this symbiotic lifestyle. Furthermore, we resolve the mycoparasitic Dimargaritales as the earliest diverging clade in the subphylum and find four major clades of Coemansia species. Finally, functional analyses illustrate clear variation in predicted carbohydrate active enzymes and secondary metabolites (SM) based on ecology, that is biotroph versus saprotroph. Saprotrophic Kickxellales broadly lack many known pectinase families compared with saprotrophic Mucoromycota and are depauperate for SM but have similar numbers of predicted chitinases as mycoparasitic. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Ma, Li-Jun (Ed.)
    Abstract Fungi have evolved over millions of years and their species diversity is predicted to be the second largest on the earth. Fungi have cross-kingdom interactions with many organisms that have mutually shaped their evolutionary trajectories. Zygomycete fungi hold a pivotal position in the fungal tree of life and provide important perspectives on the early evolution of fungi from aquatic to terrestrial environments. Phylogenomic analyses have found that zygomycete fungi diversified into two separate clades, the Mucoromycota which are frequently associated with plants and Zoopagomycota that are commonly animal-associated fungi. Genetic elements that contributed to the fitness and divergence of these lineages may have been shaped by the varied interactions these fungi have had with plants, animals, bacteria, and other microbes. To investigate this, we performed comparative genomic analyses of the two clades of zygomycetes in the context of Kingdom Fungi, benefiting from our generation of a new collection of zygomycete genomes, including nine produced for this study. We identified lineage-specific genomic content that may contribute to the disparate biology observed in these zygomycetes. Our findings include the discovery of undescribed diversity in CotH, a Mucormycosis pathogenicity factor, which was found in a broad set of zygomycetes. Reconciliation analysis identified multiple duplication events and an expansion of CotH copies throughout the Mucoromycotina, Mortierellomycotina, Neocallimastigomycota, and Basidiobolus lineages. A kingdom-level phylogenomic analysis also identified new evolutionary relationships within the subphyla of Mucoromycota and Zoopagomycota, including supporting the sister-clade relationship between Glomeromycotina and Mortierellomycotina and the placement of Basidiobolus as sister to other Zoopagomycota lineages. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024