TitleExplorative Meta-Analysis of 377 Extant Fungal Genomes Predicted a Total Mycobiome Functionality of 42.4 Million KEGG Functions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsStarke, R, Čapek, P, Morais, D, Jehmlich, N, Baldrian, P
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology

Unveiling the relationship between taxonomy and function of the microbiome is crucial to determine its contribution to ecosystem functioning. However, while there is a considerable amount of information on microbial taxonomic diversity, our understanding of its relationship to functional diversity is still scarce. Here, we used a meta-analysis of completely annotated extant genomes of 377 taxonomically distinct fungal species to predict the total fungal microbiome functionality on Earth with accumulation curves (ACs) of all known functions from the level 3 of KEGG Orthology using both parametric and non-parametric estimates in an explorative data-mining approach. The unsaturated model extrapolating functional diversity as a function of species richness described the ACs significantly better than the saturated model that assumed a limited total number of functions, which suggested the presence of widespread and rare functions. Based on previous estimates of 3.8 million fungal species on Earth, we propagated the unsaturated model to predict a total of 42.4 ± 0.5 million KEGG level 3 functions of which only 0.06% are known today. Our approach not only highlights the presence of widespread and rare functions but points toward the necessity of novel and more sophisticated methods to unveil the entirety of functions to fully understand the involvement of the fungal microbiome in ecosystem functioning.