Keller, Nancy P. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Giles, Steven S. Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Bennett, Joan W. Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Fungal kingdom
- Economic importance
- Genomic analysis
- Fungal genome projects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of the entire genetic content of fungal organisms. Fungal genomics is a discipline that developed out of advances in automated nucleic acid sequencing and computer technology. In the case of fungal genomics, the objective of the DNA sequencing and analysis is the determination of the genomes of species in the kingdom Fungi. Fungal genomics seeks to establish the set of genes that makes a fungus specifically a fungus, as well as to determine what these species have in common with other organisms. Current genomics projects (see table) seek to determine the entire genetic makeup of a given species by sequencing many overlapping fragments of DNA (at least 100,000 for a fungus), piecing these fragments together by computer, looking at the consensus sequence to identify genes and other regions of interest, and attempting to work out what these genes might do. Ultimately, this information is integrated into models of transcription (transcriptomics), protein expression (proteomics), and metabolic pathways (metabolomics). Sometimes, the transcription, protein expression, and metabolic modeling stages of a genome project are called functional genomics. The deciphering of the resultant information has engaged computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians as well as biologists and chemists in a new discipline that is called bioinformatics. See also: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Genomics; Mycology
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