Thus, the study of the functioning of the oyster mushroom and of its strategies for adapting to its growth environment and for degrading lignin found in agricultural waste or decomposing wood in the natural environment, may be used for designing systems to enable the elimination of these contaminants from the environment.
The oyster mushroom is also a fungus the cultivation of which is widespread and so the study of its genetic organisation can give pointers to what is needed for many mushrooms not industrially grown in order for them to be produced as industrial crops, such as, for example, Boletus aereus.
More than 10 years of research
The Genetics and Microbiology Team at the Public University of Navarre, of which Professor Pisabarro belongs, has been working with the genetic material of the oyster mushroom since 1994.
Over this period, the Team has established the genetic bases that have made sequencing a viable project and they have managed to sequence about 350 thousand "letters" of the genome of this mushroom, corresponding to 1% of the total genome, a small part but a significant one for estimating the general parameters of the genome such as how many genes there are or how they are organised.
The complete genome for the oyster mushroom has 70 million "letters" or bases, distributed throughout two equivalent copies, given that this fungus has a double copy of each chromosome ?as humans do. However, the project of sequencing the complete genome involves the handling of a volume of 280 million letters, given the fact that each one of the two sets of genes has to be read several times in order to ensure a good result. It is like a complicated text that demands an assurance that there are no errors in what has been read.
To understand what this really involves, Pisabarro gives us an example: 70 million letters