Anaerobic fungi contain more than one copy of genes encoding (hemi-)cellulases in their genome. The arrangement of these genes on the chromosomes was not known. A genomic DNA (gDNA) library of Piromyces sp. E2 was screened with different probes specific for (hemi-)cellulolytic enzymes. This screening resulted in three gDNA clones with genes encoding glycoside hydrolase enzymes of families 1 (β-glucosidase), 6 (exoglucanase) and 26 (mannanase). Each clone contained two or more genes of the same family. Comparison of the gene copies on a clone revealed that they were highly homologous, and in addition, 54-75% of the substitutions was synonymous. One of the mannanase genes contained an intron. PCR with selected primers resulted in a gDNA clone with a new representative (cel9B) of glycoside hydrolase family 9 (endoglucanase). Comparison with cel9A revealed that cel9B had 67% homology on the nucleotide level. Furthermore, three introns were present. All results of this paper taken together provided evidence for duplications of (hemi-)cellulolytic genes, which resulted in clusters of almost identical genes arranged head-to-tail on the genome. In contrast to other eukaryotes, this phenomenon appears frequently in anaerobic fungi.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Harhangi, B., Akhmanova, A., Steenbakkers, P., Jetten, M., van der Drift, C., & Op Den Camp, H. (2003). Genomic DNA analysis of genes encoding (hemi-)cellulolytic enzymes of the anaerobic fungus Piromyces sp. E2. Gene, 314(1-2), 73–80. doi:10.1016/S0378-1119(03)00705-4