Limited DNA Repair Gene Repertoire in Ascomycete Yeast Revealed by Comparative Genomics

Shira Milo, Reut Harari-Misgav, Einat Hazkani-Covo, Shay Covo, Jason Stajich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ascomycota is the largest phylogenetic group of fungi that includes species important to human health and wellbeing. DNA repair is important for fungal survival and genome evolution. Here, we describe a detailed comparative genomic analysis of DNA repair genes in Ascomycota. We determined the DNA repair gene repertoire in Taphrinomycotina, Saccharomycotina, Leotiomycetes, Sordariomycetes, Dothideomycetes, and Eurotiomycetes. The subphyla of yeasts, Saccharomycotina and Taphrinomycotina, have a smaller DNA repair gene repertoire comparing to Pezizomycotina. Some genes were absent from most, if not all, yeast species. To study the conservation of these genes in Pezizomycotina, we used the Gain Loss Mapping Engine algorithm that provides the expectations of gain or loss of genes given the tree topology. Genes that were absent from most of the species of Taphrinomycotina or Saccharomycotina showed lower conservation in Pezizomycotina. This suggests that the absence of some DNA repair in yeasts is not random; genes with a tendency to be lost in other classes are missing. We ranked the conservation of DNA repair genes in Ascomycota. We found that Rad51 and its paralogs were less conserved than other recombinational proteins, suggesting that there is a redundancy between Rad51 and its paralogs, at least in some species. Finally, based on the repertoire of UV repair genes, we found conditions that differentially kill the wine pathogen Brettanomyces bruxellensis and not Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In summary, our analysis provides testable hypotheses to the role of DNA repair proteins in the genome evolution of Ascomycota.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3409-3423
Number of pages15
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number12
StatePublished - 19 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


  • Ascomycetes
  • DNA repair
  • yeast


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