The model white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has the extraordinary ability to degrade (to CO2) lignin and detoxify a variety of chemical pollutants. Whole genome sequencing of this fungus has revealed the presence of the largest P450ome in fungi comprising approx. 150 P450 genes, most of which have unknown function. On the basis of our genome-wide structural and evolutionary analysis, these P450 genes could be classified into 12 families and 23 subfamilies and under 11 fungal P450 clans. The analysis further revealed an extensive gene clustering with a total of 16 P450 clusters constituted of up to 11 members per cluster. In particular, evidence and role of gene duplications and horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of these P450 clusters have been discussed using two of the P450 families [CYP63 and CYP505 (where CYP is cytochrome P450)] as examples. In addition, the observed differential transcriptional induction of the clustered members of the CYP63 gene family, in response to different xenobiotic chemicals and carbon sources, indicated functional divergence within the P450 clusters, of this basidiomycete fungus.

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