Aphelids are a holomycotan group, represented exclusively by parasitoids infecting algae. They form a sister lineage to Fungi in the phylogenetic tree and represent a key group for reconstruction of the evolution of Holomycota and for analysis of the origin of Fungi. The newly assembled genome of Aphelidium insullamus (Holomycota, Aphelida) with a total length of 18.9 Mb, 7820 protein-coding genes and a GC percentage of 52.05% was obtained by a hybrid assembly based on Oxford Nanopore long reads and Illumina paired reads. In order to trace the origin and the evolution of fungal osmotrophy and its presence or absence in Aphelida, we analyzed the set of main fungal transmembrane transporters, which are proteins of the Major Facilitator superfamily (MFS), in the predicted aphelid proteomes. This search has shown an absence of a specific fungal protein family Drug:H + antiporters-2 (DAH-2) and specific fungal orthologs of the sugar porters (SP) family, and the presence of common opisthokont's orthologs of the SP family in four aphelid genomes. The repertoire of SP orthologs in aphelids turned out to be less diverse than in free-living opisthokonts, and one of the most limited among opisthokonts. We argue that aphelids do not show signs of similarity with fungi in terms of their osmotrophic abilities, despite the sister relationships of these groups. Moreover, the osmotrophic abilities of aphelids appear to be reduced in comparison with free-living unicellular opisthokonts. Therefore, we assume that the evolution of fungi-specific traits began after the separation of fungal and aphelid lineages, and there are no essential reasons to consider aphelids as a prototype of the fungal ancestor.

Translated title of the contributionК происхождению грибов: анализ MFS-транспортеров впервые собранного генома афелидий подчеркивает различие осмотротрофических способностей между афелидами и грибами
Original languageEnglish
Article number1021
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number10
StatePublished - 16 Oct 2023

    Research areas

  • Aphelida, Holomycota, MFS proteins, evolution, fungi, genome, osmotrophy, sugar porters

ID: 114766935