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Home • Leucoagaricus gongylophorus AL2 v1.0
Leucoagaricus gongylophorus mycelium
Leucoagaricus gongylophorus mycelium growing on an agar plate [photo credit: Caitlin Carlson].
Leucoagaricus gongylophorus mycelium
Another view of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus mycelium growing on an agar plate [photo credit: Caitlin Carlson].
Atta laevigata
L. gongylophorus is isolated from the fungus gardens of Atta laevigata leaf-cutter ants [photo credit: Lily Khadempour]

Leucoagaricus gongylophorus is a basidiomycete fungus in the family Agaricaceae. This strain of L. gongylophorus was isolated from Atta laevigata fungus garden in Botucatu, SP, Brazil. This ant incorporates a wide diversity of plants into its fungus gardens, and is able to incorporate both grasses and dicots. The workers cut leaves then return it to their fungus garden where their cultivar L. gongylophorus enzymatically digests the plant material into usable sources of energy for the ants, which it provides to them through gongylidia, specialized hyphal swellings that the ants eat. Our aim is to compare this fungal genome to that of strains isolated from grass-cutter ant colonies (L. gongylophorus AB2) and dicot-cutter ant colonies (L. gongylophorus AS2) to determine if there is adaptation to grass vs. dicot deconstruction within this species. Since dicots and grasses differ in terms of their cell wall composition, we aim to identify genes of interest that may be responsible for the fungus' ability to break down grass and dicots, and this strain holds special interest since it represents a transitional species from dicot-specialization to grass-specialization. The identified genes can potentially be used in industrial bioenergy production for grass and dicot deconstruction.