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Gymnascella aurantiaca
Gymnascella aurantiaca (A) Yellow-to-orange colony with individual and clusters of mostly naked asci, (B) Magnified portion of colony showing solitary and confluent clusters of asci loosely surrounded by vegetative hyphae.
Image Credit: Kerry ODonnell

Gymnascella aurantiaca NRRL 5967 and Gymnascella citrina NRRL 5970
The whole genomes and transcriptomes of these two species were generated within the framework of the JGI 1000 Fungal Genomes CSP to provide reference data for the ascomycete family Gymnoascaceae (Pezizomycotina, Eurotiomycetes).  Members of the genus Gymnascella are distinguished from other Gymnoascaceae by the production of naked asci and ascospores or poorly differentiated, typically yellow fruiting bodies composed of asci loosely surrounded by vegetative hyphae.   Currah (1985) recognized 12 species that were distinguished largely based on differences in ascospore morphology.  All of the species are self-fertile or homothallic, including the type species G. aurantiaca. The available phylogeny, based on maximum parsimony analysis of partial nuclear ribosomal large subunit sequence data, strongly supports the monophyly of G. aurantiaca and G. citrina within the Gymnoascaceae (Untereiner et al. 2004).  However, monophyly of the genus remains to be determined.  Many Gymnascella species were previously classified within Arachniotus. Gymnastatins and dankastatins, which inhibit cancer cell growth, have been isolated and characterized from G. dankaliensis (Amagata et al. 2008).  The latter species and G. hyalinospora have been reported to cause rare mycotic infections in humans (Iwen et al. 2000). 
In addition to providing representatives of the Gymnoascaceae for the Fungal Tree of Life, the two draft genomes and transcriptomes provide the scientific community with an invaluable genomic resource for assessing the full metabolic potential of these fungi.