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Home • Entomortierella echinosphaera CBS 575.75 v1.0
Bluntly spined terminal chlamydospores of Entomortierella echinosphaera CBS 575.75. [Image source: Wagner et al., 2013, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734968/" target="_new">https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734968/</a>, available under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/legalcode" target="_new">CC BY-NC-ND 3.0</a>]
Bluntly spined terminal chlamydospores of Entomortierella echinosphaera CBS 575.75. [Image source: Wagner et al., 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734968/, available under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

The genome of Entomortierella echinosphaera CBS575.75 was sequenced by JGI through the ZygoLife Community Sequencing Project 1978 – “Genomics of the early diverging lineages of fungi and their transition to terrestrial, plant-based ecologies” (http://zygolife.org/home/). Zygomyceteous fungi are an ancient and diverse group of sexual and filamentous fungi, whose evolutionary history and ecological associations remain poorly resolved.

The ZygoLife project aims to: 1) reconstruct the genealogical relationships of this early diverging branch in the fungal tree of life; 2) resolve the origins of symbiotic relationships between plants and zygomycetes; 3) reveal how complex body plans evolved in the group; 4) elucidate mechanisms of mating genetics between organisms with complex and differing life cycles, and; 5) develop genomic barcodes to facilitate identification of unknown fungi. Towards these goals we are sequencing genomes of diverse representative zygomycete taxa.

Mortierellomycotina is composed of a single family, Mortierellaceae, which are industrially important given their unique lipid and fatty acid metabolism. These fungi are diverse in their ecology and are common inhabitants of soils and plants, and may associate with arthropods or other fungi. Despite these observations, many aspects of their basic biology and ecology remain poorly understood.

Entomortierella is one of 13 genera in the Mortierellaceae (Vandepol et al. 2020). In addition to be isolated from soils and decomposing plant materials, Entomortierella can be isolated from ant pellets, termite nests, and vermicompost. Entomortierella echinosphaera CBS 575.75 was originally isolated from soil in the Netherlands (Plaäts-Nit. 1976), and produces bluntly spined intercalary or terminal chlamydospores (Wagner et al. 2013). More recently, this isolate was shown to produce unique lipase enzymes shown to be efficient organic synthesis catalysts (Kotogán et al. 2018).


Kotogán, A.; Zambrano, C.; Kecskeméti, A.; Varga, M.; Szekeres, A.; Papp, T.; Vágvölgyi, C.; Takó, M. 2018. An Organic Solvent-Tolerant Lipase with Both Hydrolytic and Synthetic Activities from the Oleaginous Fungus Mortierella echinosphaera. Int. J. Mol. Sci.  19, 1129. Doi: 10.3390/ijms19041129

Plaäts-Nit. (1976), In: Persoonia 9(1):91

Vandepol N, Liber J, Desiro A, Na H, Kennedy M, Barry K, Grigoriev IV, Miller A, O’Donnell K, Stajich J, Bonito G. 2020.  Resolving the Mortierellaceae phylogeny through synthesis of multi-gene phylogenetics and phylogenomics. Fungal Diversity. doi.org/10.1007/s13225-020-00455-5

Wagner L, Stielow B, Hoffmann K, Petkovits T, Papp T, Vágvölgyi C, de Hoog GS, Verkley G, Voigt K. 2013. A comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the Mortierellales (Mortierellomycotina) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA. Persoonia. 30:77-93. doi: 10.3767/003158513X666268.