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Transcriptional response of mushrooms to artificial sun exposure

Cite this dataset

Krah, Franz-Sebastian et al. (2022). Transcriptional response of mushrooms to artificial sun exposure [Dataset]. Dryad.


Climate change causes increased tree mortality leading to canopy loss and thus sun-exposed forest floors. Sun exposure creates extreme temperatures and radiation, with potentially more drastic effects on forest organisms than the current increase in mean temperature. Such conditions might potentially negatively affect the maturation of mushrooms of forest fungi. A failure of reaching maturation would mean no sexual spore release and, thus, entail a loss of genetic diversity. However, we currently have a limited understanding of the quality and quantity of mushroom-specific molecular responses caused by sun exposure. Thus, to understand the short-term responses towards enhanced sun exposure, we exposed mushrooms of the wood-inhabiting forest species Lentinula edodes, while still attached to their mycelium and substrate, to artificial solar light (ca. 30 °C and 100.000 lux) for 5, 30, and 60 minutes. We found significant differentially expressed genes at 30 and 60 minutes. Eukaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG) class enrichment pointed to defense mechanisms. The 20 most significant differentially expressed genes showed the expression of heat-shock proteins, an important family of proteins under heat stress. Although preliminary, our results suggest mushroom-specific molecular responses to tolerate enhanced sun exposure as expected under climate change. Whether mushroom-specific molecular responses are able to maintain fungal fitness under opening forest canopies remains to be tested.


Experiment subjecting mushrooms to solar heating while still attached to the substrate.

Here attached are data and R Script to run core analyses performed in this article.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: HE 7849/3-1

Bavarian Forest National Park

Bavarian Forest National Park