Similar mutation rates buthighlydiverse mutation spectra in ascomycete and basidiomycete yeasts

Hongan Long, Megan G. Behringer, Emily Williams, Ronald Te, Michael Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Yeast species are extremely diverse and not monophyletic. Because the majority of yeast research focuses on ascomycetes, the mutational determinants of genetic diversity across yeast species are not well understood. By combining mutation-accumulation techniques withwhole-genome sequencing,weresolved the genomic mutation rate and spectrum of the oleaginous (oil-producing) 'red yeast' Rhodotorula toruloides, the first such study in the fungal phylum Basidiomycota.We find that the mutation spectrum is quite different from what has been observed in all other studied unicellular eukaryotes, but similar to that in most bacteria-a predominance of transitions relative to transversions. Rhodotorula toruloides has a significantly higher A:T!G:C transition rate- possibly elevated by the abundant flanking G/C nucleotides in the GC-rich genome, aswell as amuch lower G:C!T:A transversion rate. In spite of these striking differences, there are substantial consistencies between R. toruloides and the ascomycetemodel yeasts: a spontaneous base-substitutionmutation rate of 1.90-10-10 per site per cell division as well as an elevated mutation rate at nonmethylated 5'CpG3' sites. These results imply the evolution of variablemutation spectra in the face of similarmutation rates in yeasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3815-3821
Number of pages7
JournalGenome biology and evolution
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Mutation accumulation
  • Spontaneous mutation
  • Yeast evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Similar mutation rates buthighlydiverse mutation spectra in ascomycete and basidiomycete yeasts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this