Genomic and genetic insights into a cosmopolitan fungus, Paecilomyces variotii (Eurotiales)

Andrew S. Urquhart, Stephen J. Mondo, Miia R. Mäkelä, James K. Hane, Ad Wiebenga, Guifen He, Sirma Mihaltcheva, Jasmyn Pangilinan, Anna Lipzen, Kerrie Barry, Ronald P. De Vries, Igor V. Grigoriev, Alexander Idnurm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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Species in the genus Paecilomyces, a member of the fungal order Eurotiales, are ubiquitous in nature and impact a variety of human endeavors. Here, the biology of one common species, Paecilomyces variotii, was explored using genomics and functional genetics. Sequencing the genome of two isolates revealed key genome and gene features in this species. A striking feature of the genome was the two-part nature, featuring large stretches of DNA with normal GC content separated by AT-rich regions, a hallmark of many plant-pathogenic fungal genomes. These AT-rich regions appeared to have been mutated by repeat-induced point (RIP) mutations. We developed methods for genetic transformation of P. variotii, including forward and reverse genetics as well as crossing techniques. Using transformation and crossing, RIP activity was identified, demonstrating for the first time that RIP is an active process within the order Eurotiales. A consequence of RIP is likely reflected by a reduction in numbers of genes within gene families, such as in cell wall degradation, and reflected by growth limitations on P. variotii on diverse carbon sources. Furthermore, using these transformation tools we characterized a conserved protein containing a domain of unknown function (DUF1212) and discovered it is involved in pigmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3058
Number of pages21
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberDEC
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation
  • Byssochlamys spectabilis
  • DUF1212
  • Eurotiales
  • Genome defense
  • LeuA
  • Mitochondrial membrane carrier


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