The genome sequence of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa

James E. Galagan*, Sarah E. Calvo, Katherine A. Borkovich, Eric U. Selker, Nick O. Read, David Jaffe, William FitzHugh, Li Jun Ma, Serge Smirnov, Seth Purcell, Bushra Rehman, Timothy Elkins, Reinhard Engels, Shunguang Wang, Cydney B. Nielsen, Jonathan Butler, Matthew Endrizzi, Dayong Qui, Peter Ianakiev, Deborah Bell-PedersenMary Anne Nelson, Margaret Werner-Washburne, Claude P. Selitrennikoff, John A. Kinsey, Edward L. Braun, Alex Zelter, Ulrich Schulte, Gregory O. Kothe, Gregory Jedd, Werner Mewes, Chuck Staben, Edward Marcotte, David Greenberg, Alice Roy, Karen Foley, Jerome Naylor, Nicole Stange-Thomann, Robert Barrett, Sante Gnerre, Michael Kamal, Manolis Kamvysselis, Evan Mauceli, Cord Bielke, Stephen Rudd, Dmitrij Frishman, Svetlana Krystofova, Carolyn Rasmussen, Robert L. Metzenberg, David D. Perkins, Scott Kroken, Carlo Cogoni, Giuseppe Macino, David Catcheside, Weixi Li, Robert J. Pratt, Stephen A. Osmani, Colin P.C. DeSouza, Louise Glass, Marc J. Orbach, J. Andrew Berglund, Rodger Voelker, Oded Yarden, Michael Plamann, Stephan Seiler, Jay Dunlap, Alan Radford, Rodolfo Aramayo, Donald O. Natvig, Lisa A. Alex, Gertrud Mannhaupt, Daniel J. Ebbole, Michael Freitag, Ian Paulsen, Matthew S. Sachs, Eric S. Lander, Chad Nusbaum, Bruce Birren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1301 Scopus citations


Neurospora crassa is a central organism in the history of twentieth-century genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology. Here, we report a high-quality draft sequence of the N. crassa genome. The approximately 40-megabase genome encodes about 10,000 protein-coding genes-more than twice as many as in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and only about 25% fewer than in the fruiffly Drosophila melanogaster. Analysis of the gene set yields insights into unexpected aspects of Neurospora biology including the identification of genes potentially associated with red light photobiology, genes implicated in secondary metabolism, and important differences in Ca2+ signalling as compared with plants and animals. Neurospora possesses the widest array of genome defence mechanisms known for any eukaryotic organism, including a process unique to fungi called repeat-induced point mutation (RIP). Genome analysis suggests that RIP has had a profound impact on genome evolution, greatly slowing the creation of new genes through genomic duplication and resulting in a genome with an unusually low proportion of closely related genes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)859-868
Number of pages10
Issue number6934
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank J. Arnold, H. Inoue, G. Turner, B. Bowman, P. Harriman and P. Youderian for their support. We also thank Lion Bioscience, V. Aign and J. Hoheisel for making available the BAC libraries used during sequencing; M. Karasz for developing the web pages hosting the Neurospora Interpro analysis at MIPS; the Torrey Mesa Research Institute/Syngenta for providing genome data for C. heterostrophus, B. fuckeliana, G. verticillioides and G. zeae; and all members of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research sequencing group. Funding for the Neurospora genome project was provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, The Israel Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


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