Rapid Accumulation of Mutations in Growing Mycelia of a Hypervariable Fungus Schizophyllum commune

Aleksandra V. Bezmenova, Elena A. Zvyagina, Anna V. Fedotova, Artem S. Kasianov, Tatiana V. Neretina, Aleksey A. Penin, Georgii A. Bazykin, Alexey S. Kondrashov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune has the highest level of genetic polymorphism known among living organisms. In a previous study, it was also found to have a moderately high per-generation mutation rate of 2×10-8, likely contributing to its high polymorphism. However, this rate has been measured only in an experiment on Petri dishes, and it is unclear how it translates to natural populations. Here, we used an experimental design that measures the rate of accumulation of de novo mutations in a linearly growing mycelium. We show that S. commune accumulates mutations at a rate of 1.24×10-7 substitutions per nucleotide per meter of growth, or ∼2.04×10-11 per nucleotide per cell division. In contrast to what has been observed in a number of species with extensive vegetative growth, this rate does not decline in the course of propagation of a mycelium. As a result, even a moderate per-cell-division mutation rate in S. commune can translate into a very high per-generation mutation rate when the number of cell divisions between consecutive meiosis is large.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2279-2286
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


    • Schizophyllum commune
    • mutation rate
    • somatic mutation rate


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