Genomic insights into the carbohydrate catabolism of Cairneyella variabilis gen. nov. sp. nov., the first reports from a genome of an ericoid mycorrhizal fungus from the southern hemisphere Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper describes a novel species of ericoid mycorrhizal fungus from Australia, Cairneyella variabilis, Midgley and Tran-Dinh, gen. nov. sp. nov. The genome of C. variabilis was sequenced and a draft genome assembled. The draft genome of C. variabilis is 52.4 Mbp in length, and to our knowledge, this is the first study to present a genome of an ericoid mycorrhizal fungus from the southern hemisphere. Using the SignalP and dbCAN bioinformatic pipelines, a study of the catabolic potential of C. variabilis was undertaken and showed genes for an array of degradative enzymes, most of which appear to be secreted from the hyphae, to access a suite of different carbon sources. Isolates of C. variabilis have been previously shown to utilise cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), cellobiose, xylan, pectin, starch and tannic acid for growth, and in the current study, putative enzymes for these processes were revealed. These enzymes likely play key roles in nutrient cycling and other edaphic processes in heathland environments. ITS phylogenetic analyses showed C. variabilis to be distinct from the fungi of the "Hymenoscyphus ericae aggregate".


  • Midgley, DJ
  • Rosewarne, CP
  • Greenfield, P
  • Li, D
  • Vockler, CJ
  • Hitchcock, CJ
  • Sawyer, NA
  • Brett, R
  • Edwards, J
  • Pitt, JI
  • Nai, T-D

publication date

  • 2016