Junior Research Group Hennicke on July 14th 2016 (from left to right): Dr. Florian Hennicke (Group leader), Dr. Irina M. Solovyeva (Postdoc) and Robert Herzog (PhD student)

Junior Research Group „Genetics and Genomics of Fungi“

Group Leader  

Dr. Florian Hennicke


Robert Herzog           

Dr. Irina M. Solovyeva


Junior Research Group „Genetics and Genomics of Fungi“, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

Senckenberganlage 25 (mail), 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16 (visitors), 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Dr. Florian Hennicke
+49 (0)69-7542-1853

Dipl.-Biol. Robert Herzog

Dr. Irina M. Solovyeva 

Agrocybe aegerita as a model basidiomycete to study the molecular genetics of fruiting body morphogenesis

Project description
Besides the major goal to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling the complex process of fruiting body formation in Agaricomycetes, yield and quality increase in edible mushroom production are another important goal of model basidiomycete-based research. For exhibiting certain upsides, molecular genetics-based studies on fruiting body formation are currently performed with a few well-established model agaricomycete species, i.e. Coprinopsis cinerea, Schizophyllum commune and Agaricus bisporus. Unfortunately, they all also display considerable individual downsides. C. cinerea and S. commune are for example not marketable as edible mushrooms in western industrialised countries and they exhibit untypical fruiting body development traits compared to other Agaricomycetes. A. bisporus, on the other hand, cannot be considered a ’textbook’ basidiomycete. The black poplar mushroom Agrocybe aegerita (also referred to as A. cylindracea), which has also been employed as a transformation-accessible model fungus previously, is a commercially grown high-quality agaricomycete mushroom with the outstanding capability of monokaryotic fruiting. In order to explore the molecular genetics controlling agaricomycete fruiting body development using A. aegerita as a model system, we have selected a set of A. aegerita standard wild type strains. This includes a dikaryon, A. aegerita AAE-3, and a pair of mating-compatible monokaryotic strains derived from this dikaryon, the monokaryons A. aegerita AAE-3-13 and A. aegerita AAE-3-32, representing the extremes of the monokaryotic fruiting spectrum, which additionally brings along accessibility to a protoplast-based transformation procedure we developed. The selected strain set exhibits both ‘textbook’ basidiomycete and other highly beneficial features such as dikaryotic hyphae bearing clamps, a dikaryotic fruiting body formation which is completed after three weeks on standard agar media, as well as monokaryotic oidiation and monokaryotic fruiting in the same experimental set-up. Given the transformation accessibility of A. aegerita and the whole-genome of the selected A. aegerita standard wild type strains sequenced and in silico annotated, A. aegerita appears to become a promising modern model system to study monokaryotic and normal dikaryotic mushroom formation applying molecular genetics approaches.

Fruiting body formation of Agrocybe aegerita on agar medium