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Genome sequence of bread mold revealed by international team, including Hebew University researcher

erials with applications in agriculture and elsewhere, said Prof. Yarden. Genetic engineering techniques could be applied to specific genes, for example, in order to yield improved or new natural materials which could be used in antibiotic medications.

According to Prof. Yarden, there are more than a million types of fungi, found everywhere that life exists. There are those which cause diseases in humans, animals and plants as well as those which are poisonous and which can even be used to create biological weapons. On the other hand, there are many "positive" fungi as well, including those used in creating antibiotics. And there are fungi which function as "factories" for the creation of proteins used in industry, such as in laundry soaps and food products.

A point revealed by the research group is that Neurospora has a number of highly efficient defensive mechanisms which protect it against "foreign" elements, such as viruses or other foreign DNA. A surprise finding in the research was that the Neurospora, which is not a disease-causing fungus, has many genes which are identical to those found in fungi which are parasitical and disease-causing, a fact which poses several questions about the evolution of fungi exhibiting different lifestyles.


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Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-2-5882904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
30-Apr-2003


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