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J. Fungi, Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 50 articles

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18 pages, 721 KiB  
Review
Probiotic Yeasts: A Developing Reality?
by Vivian Tullio
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070489 (registering DOI) - 16 Jul 2024
Abstract
Yeasts are gaining increasing attention for their potential health benefits as probiotics in recent years. Researchers are actively searching for new yeast strains with probiotic properties (i.e, Debaryomyces hansenii; Kluyveromyces marxianus; Yarrowia lipolytica; Pichia hudriavzevii; and Torulaspora delbrueckii) [...] Read more.
Yeasts are gaining increasing attention for their potential health benefits as probiotics in recent years. Researchers are actively searching for new yeast strains with probiotic properties (i.e, Debaryomyces hansenii; Kluyveromyces marxianus; Yarrowia lipolytica; Pichia hudriavzevii; and Torulaspora delbrueckii) from various sources, including traditional fermented foods, the human gut, and the environment. This exploration is expanding the pool of potential probiotic yeasts beyond the well-studied Saccharomyces boulardii. Research suggests that specific yeast strains possess properties that could be beneficial for managing conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, skin disorders, and allergies. Additionally, probiotic yeasts may compete with pathogenic bacteria for adhesion sites and nutrients, thereby inhibiting their growth and colonization. They might also produce antimicrobial compounds that directly eliminate harmful bacteria. To achieve these goals, the approach that uses probiotics for human health is changing. Next-generation yeast probiotics are emerging as a powerful new approach in the field of live biotherapeutics. By using genetic engineering, scientists are able to equip these tools with specialized capabilities. However, most research on these probiotic yeasts is still in its early stages, and more clinical trials are needed to confirm their efficacy and safety for various health conditions. This review could provide a brief overview of the situation in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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15 pages, 17198 KiB  
Article
Antifungal Activity of Sesamol on Pestalotiopsis neglecta: Interfering with Cell Membrane and Energy Metabolism
by Weihu Ma, Jingyu Ji, Bowen Zhang, Wenzhuo Sun, Jinyan Zhao, Jie Zhang and Guocai Zhang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070488 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 170
Abstract
This paper investigated the inhibitory effect of Sesamol (Ses) on Pestalotiopsis neglecta. The potential inhibitory mechanisms were explored by observing changes in cell morphology, measuring alterations in cell membrane-related indices, as well as energy metabolism-related indices and changes in enzyme activities related [...] Read more.
This paper investigated the inhibitory effect of Sesamol (Ses) on Pestalotiopsis neglecta. The potential inhibitory mechanisms were explored by observing changes in cell morphology, measuring alterations in cell membrane-related indices, as well as energy metabolism-related indices and changes in enzyme activities related to virulence. The results show that Ses completely inhibited the growth of P. neglecta at 600 μg/mL (minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration), with an EC50 of 142 ± 13.22 μg/mL. As observed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Ses treatment resulted in the breakage and crumpling of P. neglecta cell membrane and organelle lysis. Ergosterol content and the total lipid in P. neglecta treated with 300 μg/mL Ses was 91.52% and 54% of that in the control groups, respectively. In addition, spores were stained, increased leakage of intracellular constituents at 260 nm, and decreased extracellular pH. This suggests damage to the cell membrane integrity and permeability. Furthermore, Ses decreased the ATP levels and key enzymes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, indicating interference with the fungal energy metabolism. Moreover, the activities of polygalacturonase (PG) and endoglucanase (EG) of P. neglecta treated with 300 μg/mL of Ses were only 28.20% and 29.13% of that in the control groups, respectively, indicating that Ses can reduce the virulence of P. neglecta. In conclusion, our results show that Ses should be considered as a potential plant-derived fungicide due to its ability to disrupt the morphology of P. neglecta, damage cell membrane integrity and permeability in P. neglecta, interfere with energy metabolism, and reduce its virulence, ultimately affecting the fungal growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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15 pages, 5750 KiB  
Article
The First Observation of the Filamentous Fungus Neurospora crassa Growing in the Roots of the Grass Brachypodium distachyon
by Krisztina Kollath-Leiß, Urska Repnik, Hannes Winter, Heinrich Winkelmann, Anna Sophia Freund and Frank Kempken
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070487 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2024
Viewed by 254
Abstract
The model organism Neurospora crassa has been cultivated in laboratories since the 1920s and its saprotrophic lifestyle has been established for decades. However, beyond their role as saprotrophs, fungi engage in intricate relationships with plants, showcasing diverse connections ranging from mutualistic to pathogenic. [...] Read more.
The model organism Neurospora crassa has been cultivated in laboratories since the 1920s and its saprotrophic lifestyle has been established for decades. However, beyond their role as saprotrophs, fungi engage in intricate relationships with plants, showcasing diverse connections ranging from mutualistic to pathogenic. Although N. crassa has been extensively investigated under laboratory conditions, its ecological characteristics remain largely unknown. In contrast, Brachypodium distachyon, a sweet grass closely related to significant crops, demonstrates remarkable ecological flexibility and participates in a variety of fungal interactions, encompassing both mutualistic and harmful associations. Through a comprehensive microscopic analysis using electron, fluorescence, and confocal laser scanning microscopy, we discovered a novel endophytic interaction between N. crassa and B. distachyon roots, where fungal hyphae not only thrive in the apoplastic space and vascular bundle but also may colonize plant root cells. This new and so far hidden trait of one of the most important fungal model organisms greatly enhances our view of N. crassa, opening new perspectives concerning the fungus‘ ecological role. In addition, we present a new tool for studying plant–fungus interspecies communication, combining two well-established model systems, which improves our possibilities of experimental design on the molecular level. Full article
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13 pages, 10363 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Fungicide Sensitivity of Phaeosphaeriopsis obtusispora That Causes Marginal Leaf Blight in Agave hybrid H.11648
by Weihuai Wu, Guihua Wang, Erli Li, Shibei Tan, Gang Xu, Xing Huang, Helong Chen, Yanqiong Liang, Rui Li, Jianfeng Qin and Kexian Yi
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070486 - 14 Jul 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Sisal is an important tropical cash crop in southern China. Unfortunately, it is threatened by various diseases. In 2022, a new disease tentatively named marginal leaf blight disease (MLBD) was first observed in sisal fields across Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, with an incidence [...] Read more.
Sisal is an important tropical cash crop in southern China. Unfortunately, it is threatened by various diseases. In 2022, a new disease tentatively named marginal leaf blight disease (MLBD) was first observed in sisal fields across Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, with an incidence rate ranging from 13% to 30%. In this work, to isolate and identify the pathogens causing MLBD, sisal leaves exhibiting the typical MLBD symptoms were collected, and nine strains were obtained. Pathogenicity tests, morphological observations, and phylogenetic analyses confirmed that two strains, namely 22GX1-3 and 22GD1-4, identified as Phaeosphaeriopsis obtusispora, were the causative pathogens of MLBD. Further investigations into the biological characteristics of P. obtusispora showed that its mycelia exhibited optimal growth on PDA medium, with the most favourable temperature and pH being 25 °C and 7.0, respectively. The mycelia could grow in temperatures ranging from 10 °C to 32 °C but ceased at 35 °C. Lactose and yeast extract powder were also identified as the optimal carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Additionally, the effectiveness of various control agents was assessed on a single strain, 22GX1-3. Among the twelve fungicides tested, difenoconazole was proven the most effective, with an EC50 value of 0.5045 µg/mL. To our knowledge, this is the first report for sisal MLBD caused by P. obtusispora. Our results provide crucial pieces of information for the development of effective management strategies to control sisal MLBD caused by P. obtusispora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Management of Plant Fungal Diseases)
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16 pages, 5207 KiB  
Article
Impact of tps1 Deletion and Overexpression on Terpene Metabolites in Trichoderma atroviride
by Xinyue Wang, Wenzhe Li, Shuning Cui, Yuanzheng Wu, Yanli Wei, Jishun Li and Jindong Hu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070485 - 14 Jul 2024
Viewed by 292
Abstract
Terpenoids are structurally diverse natural products that have been widely used in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. Research has shown that fungi produce a variety of terpenoids, yet fungal terpene synthases remain not thoroughly explored. In this study, the tps1 gene, a [...] Read more.
Terpenoids are structurally diverse natural products that have been widely used in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. Research has shown that fungi produce a variety of terpenoids, yet fungal terpene synthases remain not thoroughly explored. In this study, the tps1 gene, a crucial component of the terpene synthetic pathway, was isolated from Trichoderma atroviride HB20111 through genome mining. The function of this gene in the terpene synthetic pathway was investigated by constructing tps1-gene-deletion- and overexpression-engineered strains and evaluating the expression differences in the tps1 gene at the transcript level. HS-SPME-GC-MS analysis revealed significant variations in terpene metabolites among wild-type, tps1-deleted (Δtps1), and tps1-overexpressed (Otps1) strains; for instance, most sesquiterpene volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were notably reduced or absent in the Δtps1 strain, while nerolidol, β-acorenol, and guaiene were particularly produced by the Otps1 strain. However, both the Δtps1 and Otps1 strains produced new terpene metabolites compared to the wild-type, which indicated that the tps1 gene played an important role in terpene synthesis but was not the only gene involved in T. atroviride HB20111. The TPS1 protein encoded by the tps1 gene could function as a sesquiterpene cyclase through biological information and evolutionary tree analysis. Additionally, fungal inhibition assay and wheat growth promotion assay results suggested that the deletion or overexpression of the tps1 gene had a minimal impact on fungal inhibitory activity, plant growth promotion, and development, as well as stress response. This implies that these activities of T. atroviride HB20111 might result from a combination of multiple metabolites rather than being solely dependent on one specific metabolite. This study offers theoretical guidance for future investigations into the mechanism of terpenoid synthesis and serves as a foundation for related studies on terpenoid metabolic pathways in fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Fungal Secondary Metabolism, 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 3917 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic and Pathogenic Evidence Reveals Novel Host–Pathogen Interactions between Species of Lasiodiplodia and Citrus latifolia Dieback Disease in Southern Mexico
by Ricardo Santillán-Mendoza, Humberto Estrella-Maldonado, Lucero Marín-Oluarte, Cristian Matilde-Hernández, Gerardo Rodríguez-Alvarado, Sylvia P. Fernández-Pavía and Felipe R. Flores-de la Rosa
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070484 - 14 Jul 2024
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Mexico ranks second in the world for Persian lime (Citrus latifolia) exports, making it the principal citrus exporter within the national citrus industry, exporting over 600,000 tons per year. However, diseases are the main factor reducing production, resulting in significant economic [...] Read more.
Mexico ranks second in the world for Persian lime (Citrus latifolia) exports, making it the principal citrus exporter within the national citrus industry, exporting over 600,000 tons per year. However, diseases are the main factor reducing production, resulting in significant economic losses. Among these diseases, fungal diseases like dieback, caused by species of Lasiodiplodia, are an emerging issue in Persian lime. Symptoms include gummosis, twig and branch dieback, cankers, the necrosis of bark and wood, fruit mummification, and tree decline. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and pathogenicity of the fungal species associated with twig and branch dieback, cankers, and decline of Persian lime trees in southern Mexico, and to elucidate the current status of the Lasiodiplodia species causing the disease in Mexico. During June, July, and August of 2023, a total of the 9229 Persian lime trees were inspected across 230 hectares of Persian lime orchards in southern Mexico, and symptoms of the disease were detected in 48.78% of the trees. Branches from 30 of these Persian lime trees were collected. Fungal isolates were obtained, resulting in a collection of 40 strains. The isolates were characterized molecularly and phylogenetically through the partial regions of four loci: the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), the β-tubulin gene (tub2), the translation elongation factor 1-alpha gene (tef1-α), and the DNA-directed RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2). Additionally, pathogenicity was assessed, successfully completing Koch’s postulates on both detached Persian lime branches and certified 18-month-old Persian lime plants. Through multilocus molecular phylogenetic identification, pathogenicity, and virulence tests, five species were identified as causal agents: L. iraniensis, L. lignicola, L. mexicanensis, L. pseudotheobromae, and L. theobromae. This study demonstrates that in southern Mexico, at least five species of the genus Lasiodiplodia are responsible for dieback in Persian lime. Additionally, this is the first report of L. lignicola and L. mexicanensis as causal agents of the disease in citrus, indicating novel host interactions between species of Lasiodiplodia and C. latifolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Evolution, Biodiversity and Systematics)
11 pages, 2210 KiB  
Article
Development of an RNA Nanostructure for Effective Botrytis cinerea Control through Spray-Induced Gene Silencing without an Extra Nanocarrier
by Fangli Wu, Ling Yan, Xiayang Zhao, Chongrun Lv and Weibo Jin
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070483 - 14 Jul 2024
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Spray-induced gene silencing represents an eco-friendly approach for crop protection through the use of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to activate the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, thereby silencing crucial genes in pathogens. The major challenges associated with dsRNA are its limited stability and poor cellular [...] Read more.
Spray-induced gene silencing represents an eco-friendly approach for crop protection through the use of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to activate the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, thereby silencing crucial genes in pathogens. The major challenges associated with dsRNA are its limited stability and poor cellular uptake, necessitating repeated applications for effective crop protection. In this study, RNA nanoparticles (NPs) were proposed as effectors in plants and pathogens by inducing the RNAi pathway and silencing gene expression. RNA structural motifs, such as hairpin-loop, kissing-loop, and tetra-U motifs, were used to link multiple siRNAs into a long, single-stranded RNA (lssRNA). The lssRNA, synthesized in Escherichia coli, self-assembled into stable RNA nanostructures via local base pairing. Comparative analyses between dsRNA and RNA NPs revealed that the latter displayed superior efficacy in inhibiting spore germination and mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea. Moreover, RNA NPs had a more robust protective effect on plants against B. cinerea than did dsRNA. In addition, RNA squares are processed into expected siRNA in plants, thereby inhibiting the expression of the target gene. These findings suggest the potential of RNA NPs for use in plant disease control by providing a more efficient and specific alternative to dsRNA without requiring nanocarriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Postharvest Fungal Diseases)
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24 pages, 1195 KiB  
Review
Fungal Disease Tolerance with a Focus on Wheat: A Review
by Akerke Maulenbay and Aralbek Rsaliyev
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070482 - 13 Jul 2024
Viewed by 223
Abstract
In this paper, an extensive review of the literature is provided examining the significance of tolerance to fungal diseases in wheat amidst the escalating global demand for wheat and threats from environmental shifts and pathogen movements. The current comprehensive reliance on agrochemicals for [...] Read more.
In this paper, an extensive review of the literature is provided examining the significance of tolerance to fungal diseases in wheat amidst the escalating global demand for wheat and threats from environmental shifts and pathogen movements. The current comprehensive reliance on agrochemicals for disease management poses risks to food safety and the environment, exacerbated by the emergence of fungicide resistance. While resistance traits in wheat can offer some protection, these traits do not guarantee the complete absence of losses during periods of vigorous or moderate disease development. Furthermore, the introduction of individual resistance genes into wheat monoculture exerts selection pressure on pathogen populations. These disadvantages can be addressed or at least mitigated with the cultivation of tolerant varieties of wheat. Research in this area has shown that certain wheat varieties, susceptible to severe infectious diseases, are still capable of achieving high yields. Through the analysis of the existing literature, this paper explores the manifestations and quantification of tolerance in wheat, discussing its implications for integrated disease management and breeding strategies. Additionally, this paper addresses the ecological and evolutionary aspects of tolerance in the pathogen–plant host system, emphasizing its potential to enhance wheat productivity and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Management of Plant Fungal Diseases)
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12 pages, 1019 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology of Candidemia in Mashhad, Northeast Iran: A Prospective Multicenter Study (2019–2021)
by Somayeh Dolatabadi, Mohammad Javad Najafzadeh, Abbas Raeisabadi, Hossein Zarrinfar, Mahsa Jalali, Bram Spruijtenburg, Eelco F. J. Meijer, Jacques F. Meis, Cornelia Lass-Flörl and Theun de Groot
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070481 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Candidemia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in health care settings, and its epidemiology is changing. In the last two decades, the proportion of non-albicans Candida (NAC) yeasts in candidemia has increased. These yeasts more often display resistance to common [...] Read more.
Candidemia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in health care settings, and its epidemiology is changing. In the last two decades, the proportion of non-albicans Candida (NAC) yeasts in candidemia has increased. These yeasts more often display resistance to common antifungals. In many western countries, candidemia is mainly caused by susceptible C. albicans, while in resource-limited countries, including Iran, the candidemia species distribution is studied less often. Here, we investigated the species distribution, resistance levels, and characteristics of patients with candidemia in five hospitals in Mashhad (northeast Iran) for two years (2019–2021). Yeast isolates from blood were identified with MALDI-TOF MS and subjected to antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) using the broth microdilution method, while molecular genotyping was applied to Candida parapsilosis isolates. In total, 160 yeast isolates were recovered from 160 patients, of which the majority were adults (60%). Candidemia was almost equally detected in men (48%) and women (52%). Almost half of patients (n = 67, 49%) were from intensive care units (ICUs). C. parapsilosis (n = 58, 36%) was the most common causative agent, surpassing C. albicans (n = 52, 33%). The all-cause mortality rate was 53%, with C. albicans candidemia displaying the lowest mortality with 39%, in contrast to a mortality rate of 59% for NAC candidemia. With microbroth AFST, nearly all tested isolates were found to be susceptible, except for one C. albicans isolate that was resistant to anidulafungin. By applying short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping to C. parapsilosis, multiple clusters were found. To summarize, candidemia in Mashhad, Iran, from 2019 to 2021, is characterized by common yeast species, in particular C. parapsilosis, for which STR typing indicates potential nosocomial transmission. The overall mortality is high, while resistance rates were found to be low, suggesting that the high mortality is linked to limited diagnostic options and insufficient medical care, including the restricted use of echinocandins as the first treatment option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medically Relevant Species of Candida)
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20 pages, 7551 KiB  
Article
Four New Species of Jelly Fungi from Northeastern China
by Xia Wang and Tolgor Bau
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070480 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Four new species of jelly fungi were described from northeastern China based on morphological and molecular evidence. These new species were classified into the four genera Sirobasidium (Sirobasidium jilinense), Calocera (Calocera velutina), Dacrymyces (Dacrymyces jauensis), and Dacryopinax [...] Read more.
Four new species of jelly fungi were described from northeastern China based on morphological and molecular evidence. These new species were classified into the four genera Sirobasidium (Sirobasidium jilinense), Calocera (Calocera velutina), Dacrymyces (Dacrymyces jauensis), and Dacryopinax (Dacryopinax manghanensis). Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses were performed using a combined nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and nuc 28S rDNA (nrLSU) dataset for the construction of phylogenetic trees. Morphological descriptions, line illustrations, and the ecological habits of these new species are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Phylogeny and Ecology of Forest Fungi)
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14 pages, 5641 KiB  
Article
Temporal Dynamics of Airborne Concentrations of Ganoderma Basidiospores and Their Relationship with Environmental Conditions in Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)
by Juan Manuel López-Vásquez, Sandra Yulieth Castillo, León Franky Zúñiga, Greicy Andrea Sarria and Anuar Morales-Rodríguez
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070479 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Basal Stem Rot (BSR), caused by Ganoderma spp., is one of the most important emerging diseases of oil palm in Colombia and is so far restricted to only two producing areas in the country. However, despite the controls established to prevent its spread [...] Read more.
Basal Stem Rot (BSR), caused by Ganoderma spp., is one of the most important emerging diseases of oil palm in Colombia and is so far restricted to only two producing areas in the country. However, despite the controls established to prevent its spread to new areas, containment has not been possible. This study aimed to understand BSR’s propagation mechanisms and related environmental conditions by measuring Ganoderma basidiospores’ concentrations at various heights using four 7-day Burkard volumetric samplers in a heavily affected plantation. Meteorological data, including solar radiation, temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind speed, were also recorded. Analysis revealed higher basidiospore concentrations below 4 m, peaking at 02:00 h, with increased levels towards the study’s end. Spore concentrations were not directly influenced by temperature, humidity, or precipitation, but showed higher releases during drier periods. A significant correlation was found between wind speed and spore concentration, particularly below 1.5 m/s, though higher speeds might aid long-distance pathogen spread. This study highlights the complexity of BSR propagation and the need for continued monitoring and research to manage its impact on Colombia’s oil palm industry. Full article
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11 pages, 3206 KiB  
Article
CfHMG Differentially Regulates the Sexual Development and Pathogenicity of Colletotrichum fructicola Plus and Minus Strains
by Wei Zhang, Wenkui Liu, Xiaofei Liang, Rong Zhang, Mark L. Gleason and Guangyu Sun
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070478 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 324
Abstract
Colletotrichum fructicola shows morphological and genetic differences in plus and minus strains. However, the mechanism of the differentiation between two types of strains is still largely unclear. Our early transcriptome analysis revealed that CfHMG expression differed in plus and minus strains. To define [...] Read more.
Colletotrichum fructicola shows morphological and genetic differences in plus and minus strains. However, the mechanism of the differentiation between two types of strains is still largely unclear. Our early transcriptome analysis revealed that CfHMG expression differed in plus and minus strains. To define the functions of the CfHMG gene, we constructed gene deletion mutants by homologous recombination. We found that a CfHMG deletion mutant of the minus strain, CfHMG-M, could lead to a reduction in perithecium sizes and densities on media and sterile perithecium formation compared with the minus wild type (WT), whereas there was no effect for the plus mutant CfHMG-P. In co-cultures between CfHMG-P and minus WT, CfHMG-M and plus WT, or CfHMG-P and CfHMG-M, the quantities of perithecia were all reduced significantly. When conidial suspensions were inoculated on non-wounded apple fruit, it was found that the virulence of the minus mutant decreased significantly but not for the plus one. Further, we found that the virulence decrease in minus mutants was caused by a decrease in the conidium germination rate. Our results indicate that CfHMG of C. fructicola plays an important role in the mating line formation between the plus and minus strain for both strains and differentially regulates the perithecium size, density, fertilization, and virulence of the minus strain. The results are significant for further detecting the differentiated mechanisms between the plus and minus strains in Colletotrichum fungi. Full article
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23 pages, 4997 KiB  
Article
Development of a Shuttle Vector That Transforms at High Frequency for the Emerging Human Fungal Pathogen: Candida auris
by Brenden Determann II, Jianmin Fu and Brian L. Wickes
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070477 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Routine molecular manipulation of any organism is inefficient and difficult without the existence of a plasmid. Although transformation is possible in C. auris, no plasmids are available that can serve as cloning or shuttle vectors. C. auris centromeres have been well characterized [...] Read more.
Routine molecular manipulation of any organism is inefficient and difficult without the existence of a plasmid. Although transformation is possible in C. auris, no plasmids are available that can serve as cloning or shuttle vectors. C. auris centromeres have been well characterized but have not been explored further as molecular tools. We tested C. auris centromeric sequences to identify which, if any, could be used to create a plasmid that was stably maintained after transformation. We cloned all seven C. auris centromeric sequences and tested them for transformation frequency and stability. Transformation frequency varied significantly; however, one was found to transform at a very high frequency. A 1.7 Kb subclone of this sequence was used to construct a shuttle vector. The vector was stable with selection and maintained at ~1 copy per cell but could be easily lost when selection was removed, which suggested that the properties of the centromeric sequence were more Autonomously Replicating Sequence (ARS)-like than centromere-like when part of a plasmid. Rescue of this plasmid from transformed C. auris cells into E. coli revealed that it remained intact after the initial C. auris transformation, even when carrying large inserts. The plasmid was found to be able to transform all four clades of C. auris, with varying frequencies. This plasmid is an important new reagent in the C. auris molecular toolbox, which will enhance the investigation of this human fungal pathogen. Full article
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16 pages, 2458 KiB  
Article
Catalase Deactivation Increases Dermatophyte Sensitivity to ROS Sources
by Sebastian Jusuf and Michael K. Mansour
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070476 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 401
Abstract
As the leading cause of fungal skin infections around the globe, dermatophytes are responsible for a multitude of skin ailments, ranging from athlete’s foot to ringworm. Due to the combination of its growing prevalence and antifungal misuse, antifungal-resistant dermatophyte strains like Trichophyton indotineae [...] Read more.
As the leading cause of fungal skin infections around the globe, dermatophytes are responsible for a multitude of skin ailments, ranging from athlete’s foot to ringworm. Due to the combination of its growing prevalence and antifungal misuse, antifungal-resistant dermatophyte strains like Trichophyton indotineae have begun to emerge, posing a significant global health risk. The emergence of these resistant dermatophytes highlights a critical need to identify alternative methods of treating dermatophyte infections. In our study, we utilized a 405 nm LED to establish that blue light can effectively inactivate catalase within a variety of both susceptible and resistant dermatophytes. Through this catalase inactivation process, light-treated dermatophytes were found to exhibit increased sensitivity to reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing agents, improving the performance of antimicrobial agents such as H2O2 and amphotericin B. Our findings further demonstrate that light-induced catalase inactivation can inhibit the formation and polarized growth of hyphae from dermatophytes, suppressing biomass formation. Thus, by increasing ROS sensitization and inhibiting hyphal development, catalase-deactivating blue light offers a potential non-invasive and non-drug-reliant method of managing dermatophyte infections, opening new avenues for the potential treatment of these common infections in conjunction with existing treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Immunology and Vaccinology)
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14 pages, 5645 KiB  
Article
Updating the Species Diversity of Pestalotioid Fungi: Four New Species of Neopestalotiopsis and Pestalotiopsis
by Weishan Zhang, Yixuan Li, Lu Lin, Aoli Jia and Xinlei Fan
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070475 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Pestalotioid fungi are associated with a wide variety of plants around the world as pathogens, endophytes, and saprobes. In this study, diseased leaves and branches of plants were collected from Guizhou and Sichuan in China. Here, the fungal isolates were identified based on [...] Read more.
Pestalotioid fungi are associated with a wide variety of plants around the world as pathogens, endophytes, and saprobes. In this study, diseased leaves and branches of plants were collected from Guizhou and Sichuan in China. Here, the fungal isolates were identified based on a phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α) and the beta-tubulin (tub2) of ribosomal DNA, and the morphological characteristics. Ten Neopestalotiopsis isolates and two Pestalotiopsis isolates were obtained, and these isolates were further confirmed as four novel species (N. acericola, N. cercidicola, N. phoenicis, and P. guiyangensis) and one known species, N. concentrica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution of Forestry Fungi, 2nd Edition)
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20 pages, 4228 KiB  
Article
Halophilomyces hongkongensis, a Novel Species and Genus in the Lulworthiaceae with Antibacterial Potential, Colonizing the Roots and Rhizomes of the Seagrass Halophila ovalis
by Xiao Wang, Lorenzo Pecoraro, Jiawei Chen, Yang Tang, Sangwook Lee, Sheng Chen and Hongbin Liu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070474 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Seagrass serves as a quintessential reservoir for obligate marine Lulworthiaceae fungi. Our current knowledge of the mycological diversity associated with seagrass in Hong Kong remains poor. We analyzed the diversity of fungi associated with the most widely distributed seagrass species in Hong Kong [...] Read more.
Seagrass serves as a quintessential reservoir for obligate marine Lulworthiaceae fungi. Our current knowledge of the mycological diversity associated with seagrass in Hong Kong remains poor. We analyzed the diversity of fungi associated with the most widely distributed seagrass species in Hong Kong Halophila ovalis (Hydrocharitaceae), using a combination of culture-based methods and high-throughput amplicon sequencing. Halophilomyces hongkongensis, a novel fungal species in a newly proposed genus within the Lulworthiaceae family, was isolated from H. ovalis roots and rhizomes. The novel fungus showed distinct morphological characteristics, while both combined 18S-28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) phylogenetic trees based on maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods supported its discrimination from other existing Lulworthiaceae members. The ITS2 region in the Illumina sequencing results of multiple H. ovalis compartments, water, and adjacent non-seagrass sediments revealed continuous recruitment of H. hongkongensis by H. ovalis throughout the year despite dramatically fluctuating environmental conditions, with remarkably high proportions of this taxon found in root and rhizome internal tissues, possibly indicating a strong and specialized relationship established between the Lulworthiaceae fungal partner and its seagrass host. The inhibitory abilities exhibited by H. hongkongensis against Staphylococcus aureus SA29213 and ATCC 43300 (methicillin-resistant) may imply its capacity in producing (novel) antibacterial compounds. The discovery of H. hongkongensis as the first novel Lulworthiaceae taxon in Hong Kong, along with its distributional pattern in the seagrass meadow, provides valuable insights into the systematics and ecology of this strictly marine fungal family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Fungal Endophyte Research)
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8 pages, 3008 KiB  
Communication
Outbreak of Feline Sporotrichosis with Zoonotic Potential in the Seventh Health District of Maceió-AL
by Ana Paula de Castro Pires, Júllia de Oliveira Siqueira, Maria Rafaela Pereira Gomes, Janaína André da Silva, Alisson Luiz da Costa, João Paulo de Castro Marcondes and Aryanna Kelly Pinheiro Souza
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070473 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Sporotrichosis is a mycosis with zoonotic potential caused by species of Sporothrix. Once thought rare in northeastern Brazil, the disease has recently been spreading, leading to an emergency health issue. In this paper, we describe an outbreak of feline sporotrichosis in the [...] Read more.
Sporotrichosis is a mycosis with zoonotic potential caused by species of Sporothrix. Once thought rare in northeastern Brazil, the disease has recently been spreading, leading to an emergency health issue. In this paper, we describe an outbreak of feline sporotrichosis in the Seventh Health District of Maceió-AL. We collected samples from 23 domiciled and non-domiciled felines without regard for age, breed, sex, and neutering state. Skin samples were analyzed cytologically under a light microscope and seeded onto Sabouraud dextrose agar at 25 °C for from 15 to 30 days. Fifteen of the twenty-three cats with suspected skin lesions were positive for Sporothrix spp. on either cytological or microbiological evaluation. Most of the infected cats were male, young adults, non-neutered, with free access to external areas, and living in environments with poor sanitation, a high population density, and an accumulation of garbage and organic matter. Three owners were bitten or scratched by infected cats and subsequently developed suspicious cutaneous lesions suggestive of sporotrichosis. The epidemiological features of feline sporotrichosis in the outbreaks of Maceió seemed to share similarities with the data obtained from outbreaks in current hyperendemic areas. Identifying geographical sites of infection and providing compulsory notification of the disease is essential for avoiding an epidemic in Alagoas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diseases in Animals, 3rd Edition)
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14 pages, 3775 KiB  
Article
Evolution and Genetic Differentiation of Pleurotus tuoliensis in Xinjiang, China, Based on Population Genomics
by Peisong Jia, Yarmamat Nurziya, Ying Luo, Wenjie Jia, Qi Zhu, Meng Tian, Lei Sun, Bo Zhang, Zhengxiang Qi, Zhenhao Zhao, Yueting Dai, Yongping Fu and Yu Li
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070472 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Pleurotus tuoliensis is a unique species discovered in Xinjiang, China, which is recognized for its significant edible, medicinal, and economic value. It has been successfully incorporated into industrial production. Controversy has emerged concerning the evolution and environmental adaptability of this species due to [...] Read more.
Pleurotus tuoliensis is a unique species discovered in Xinjiang, China, which is recognized for its significant edible, medicinal, and economic value. It has been successfully incorporated into industrial production. Controversy has emerged concerning the evolution and environmental adaptability of this species due to inadequate interspecific ecology and molecular data. This study examines the germplasm resources of P. tuoliensis in the Xinjiang region. A total of 225 wild and cultivated strains of P. tuoliensis were gathered from seven representative regions. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that seven populations were notably segregated into three distinct groups, primarily attributed to environmental factors as the underlying cause for this differentiation. Population historical size data indicate that P. tuoliensis underwent two expansion events, one between 2 and 0.9 Mya (Miocene) and the other between 15 and 4 Mya (Early Pleistocene). The ancient climate fluctuations in the Xinjiang region might have contributed to the comparatively modest population size during the Pliocene epoch. Moreover, through the integration of biogeography and ancestral state reconstruction, it was determined that group C of P. tuoliensis emerged initially and subsequently dispersed to groups D and B, in that order. Subsequently, group D underwent independent evolution, whereas group B continued to diversify into groups A and EFG. The primary factor influencing this mode of transmission route is related to the geographical conditions and prevailing wind direction of each group. Subsequent research endeavors focused on assessing the domestication adaptability of P. tuoliensis to different substrates. It was found that the metabolic processes adapted during the domestication process were mainly related to energy metabolism, DNA repair, and environmental adaptability. Processes adapted to the host adaptability include responses to the host (meiosis, cell cycle, etc.) and stress in the growth environment (cysteine and methionine metabolism, sulfur metabolism, etc.). This study analyzed the systematic evolution and genetic differentiation of P. tuoliensis in Xinjiang. The identified loci and genes provide a theoretical basis for the subsequent improvement of germplasm resources and conducting molecular breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Evolution, Biodiversity and Systematics)
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25 pages, 4039 KiB  
Article
Broad-Spectrum Efficacy and Modes of Action of Two Bacillus Strains against Grapevine Black Rot and Downy Mildew
by Robin Raveau, Chloé Ilbert, Marie-Claire Héloir, Karine Palavioux, Anthony Pébarthé-Courrouilh, Tania Marzari, Solène Durand, Josep Valls-Fonayet, Stéphanie Cluzet, Marielle Adrian and Marc Fermaud
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070471 - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Black rot (Guignardia bidwellii) and downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) are two major grapevine diseases against which the development of efficient biocontrol solutions is required in a context of sustainable viticulture. This study aimed at evaluating and comparing the efficacy [...] Read more.
Black rot (Guignardia bidwellii) and downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) are two major grapevine diseases against which the development of efficient biocontrol solutions is required in a context of sustainable viticulture. This study aimed at evaluating and comparing the efficacy and modes of action of bacterial culture supernatants from Bacillus velezensis Buz14 and B. ginsengihumi S38. Both biocontrol agents (BCA) were previously demonstrated as highly effective against Botrytis cinerea in grapevines. In semi-controlled conditions, both supernatants provided significant protection against black rot and downy mildew. They exhibited antibiosis against the pathogens by significantly decreasing G. bidwellii mycelial growth, but also the release and motility of P. viticola zoospores. They also significantly induced grapevine defences, as stilbene production. The LB medium, used for the bacterial cultures, also showed partial effects against both pathogens and induced plant defences. This is discussed in terms of choice of experimental controls when studying the biological activity of BCA supernatants. Thus, we identified two bacterial culture supernatants as new potential biocontrol products exhibiting multi-spectrum antagonist activity against different grapevine key pathogens and having a dual mode of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol of Grapevine Diseases, 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 3010 KiB  
Article
Contrasting Patterns of Fungal and Bacterial Endophytes Inhabiting Temperate Tree Leaves in Response to Thinning
by Beiping Liu, Chunhuan Li, Xiuhai Zhao, Chunyu Zhang, Xinyi He, Laiye Qu and Naili Zhang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070470 - 5 Jul 2024
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The phyllosphere is an important but underestimated habitat for a variety of microorganisms, with limited knowledge about leaf endophytes as a crucial component of the phyllosphere microbiome. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of communities and co-occurrence networks of leaf endophytes in [...] Read more.
The phyllosphere is an important but underestimated habitat for a variety of microorganisms, with limited knowledge about leaf endophytes as a crucial component of the phyllosphere microbiome. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of communities and co-occurrence networks of leaf endophytes in response to forest thinning in a temperate forest. As we expected, contrasting responses of fungal and bacterial endophytes were observed. Specifically, the diversity of leaf endophytic fungi and the complexity of their co-occurrence networks increased significantly with thinning intensity, whereas the complexity of endophytic bacterial co-occurrence networks decreased. In particular, microbiota inhabiting damaged leaves seem to be more intensively interacting, showing an evident fungi–bacteria trade-off under forest thinning. In damaged leaves, besides the direct effects of thinning, thinning-induced changes in neighbor tree diversity indirectly altered the diversity of leaf fungal and bacterial endophytes via modifying leaf functional traits such as leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area. These findings provide new experimental evidence for the trade-offs between leaf endophytic fungi and bacteria under the different magnitudes of deforestation, highlighting their dependence on the presence or absence of leaf damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Communities in Various Environments)
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18 pages, 3517 KiB  
Article
Two-Sex Life Table Analysis for Optimizing Beauveria bassiana Application against Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
by Junaid Zafar, Rana Fartab Shoukat, Zhanpeng Zhu, Dongran Fu, Xiaoxia Xu and Fengliang Jin
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070469 - 4 Jul 2024
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a highly dispersive, polyphagous insect pest that severely defoliates crops. Excessive reliance on synthetic insecticides leads to ecological pollution and resistance development, urging scientists to probe eco-friendly biopesticides. Here, we explore the virulence of an entomopathogenic fungus, [...] Read more.
Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a highly dispersive, polyphagous insect pest that severely defoliates crops. Excessive reliance on synthetic insecticides leads to ecological pollution and resistance development, urging scientists to probe eco-friendly biopesticides. Here, we explore the virulence of an entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, against S. exigua, resulting in 88% larval mortality. Using an age–stage, two-sex life table, we evaluated the lethal and sublethal effects of B. bassiana on the demographic parameters of S. exigua, including survival, development, and reproduction. Sublethal (LC20) and lethal concentrations (LC50) of B. bassiana impacted the parental generation (F0), with these effects further influencing the demographic parameters of the first filial generation (F1). The infected F1 offsprings showed a reduced intrinsic rate of increase (r), mean generation time (T), and net reproduction rate (R0). Larval developmental duration varied significantly between the control (10.98 d) and treated groups (LC20: 10.42; LC50: 9.37 d). Adults in the treated groups had significantly reduced lifespans (M: 8.22; F: 7.32 d) than the control (M: 10.00; F: 8.22 d). Reduced fecundity was observed in the B. bassiana-infected groups (LC20: 313.45; LC50: 223.92 eggs/female) compared to the control (359.55 eggs/female). A biochemical assay revealed elevated levels of detoxification enzymes (esterases, glutathione S-transferases, and acetylcholinesterase) in the F0 generation after B. bassiana infection. However, the enzymatic activity remained non-significant in the F1 generation likely due to the lack of direct fungal exposure. Our findings highlight the enduring effects of B. bassiana on the biological parameters and population dynamics of S. exigua, stressing its use in eco-friendly management programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Entomopathogenic and Nematophagous Fungi)
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15 pages, 6117 KiB  
Article
MaAzaR, a Zn2Cys6/Fungus-Specific Transcriptional Factor, Is Involved in Stress Tolerance and Conidiation Pattern Shift in Metarhizium acridum
by Jinyuan Zhou, Siqin Wang, Yuxian Xia and Guoxiong Peng
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070468 - 4 Jul 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi are valuable sources of biological pesticides, with conidial yield and quality being pivotal factors determining their broad applications. AzaR, a fungus-specific zinc-cluster transcription factor, is known to regulate the biosynthesis of polyketone secondary metabolites in Aspergillus niger; however, its role [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi are valuable sources of biological pesticides, with conidial yield and quality being pivotal factors determining their broad applications. AzaR, a fungus-specific zinc-cluster transcription factor, is known to regulate the biosynthesis of polyketone secondary metabolites in Aspergillus niger; however, its role in pathogenic fungi remains unclear. This study investigated the role of MaAzaR in the growth, development, and environmental tolerance of Metarhizium acridum. MaAzaR deletion slowed down conidial germination rate, caused reduction in conidial yield, lowered fungal tolerance to UV radiation, did not affect fungal heat-shock tolerance, and increased fungal sensitivity to the cell-wall-destructive agent calcofluor white. Furthermore, MaAzaR deletion transformed microcycle conidiation to normal conidiation on the microcycle conidiation medium. Transcription profile analysis demonstrated that MaAzaR could regulate transformation of the conidiation pattern by controlling the expression of genes related to cell division, mycelium growth and development, and cell wall integrity. Thus, this study identified a new gene related to fungal conidiation and environmental tolerance, enriching our understanding of the molecular mechanism of microcycle conidiation and providing theoretical support and genetic resources for the development of high-yielding strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Entomopathogenic and Nematophagous Fungi)
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15 pages, 5196 KiB  
Article
A Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for the Rapid Detection of Didymella segeticola Causing Tea Leaf Spot
by Yiyi Tu, Yuchun Wang, Hong Jiang, Hengze Ren, Xinchao Wang and Wuyun Lv
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070467 - 3 Jul 2024
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Tea leaf spot caused by Didymella segeticola is an important disease that threatens the healthy growth of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) and results in reductions in the productivity and quality of tea leaves. Early diagnosis of the disease is particularly important [...] Read more.
Tea leaf spot caused by Didymella segeticola is an important disease that threatens the healthy growth of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) and results in reductions in the productivity and quality of tea leaves. Early diagnosis of the disease is particularly important for managing the infection. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay is an efficient diagnostic technique with the advantages of simplicity, specificity, and sensitivity. In this study, we developed a rapid, visual, and high-sensitivity LAMP assay for D. segeticola detection based on sequence-characterized amplified regions. Two pairs of amplification primers (external primers F3 and B3 and internal primers FIP and BIP) were designed based on a specific sequence in D. segeticola (NCBI accession number: OR987684). Compared to common pathogens of other genera in tea plants and other species in the Didymella genus (Didymella coffeae-arabicae, Didymella pomorum, and Didymella sinensis), the LAMP method is specific for detecting the species D. segeticola. The assay was able to detect D. segeticola at a minimal concentration of 1 fg/μL genomic DNA at an optimal reaction temperature of 65 °C for 60 min. When healthy leaves were inoculated with D. segeticola in the laboratory, the LAMP method successfully detected D. segeticola in diseased tea leaves at 72 h post inoculation. The LAMP assays were negative when the DNA samples were extracted from healthy leaves. Leaf tissues with necrotic lesions from 18 germplasms of tea plants tested positive for the pathogen by the LAMP assay. In summary, this study established a specific, sensitive, and simple LAMP method to detect D. segeticola, which provides reliable technical support for estimating disease prevalence and facilitates sustainable management of tea leaf spot. Full article
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13 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Bioactivity Assessment of Myrothecium Species (Stachybotryaceae) Crude Extracts against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae): A First Approach from This Phytopathogenic Fungi
by Carlos Granados-Echegoyen, José Abimael Campos-Ruiz, Rafael Pérez-Pacheco, Alfonso Vásquez-López, Ileana Vera-Reyes, Fabián Arroyo-Balán, Alberto Santillán-Fernández, Evert Villanueva-Sánchez, Clemente Villanueva-Verduzco, Alicia Fonseca-Muñoz, Fidel Diego-Nava and Yi Wang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070466 - 2 Jul 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Mosquitoes, as insect vectors, play a crucial role in transmitting viruses and parasites, leading to millions of human deaths in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of ethanolic extracts of three species within the genus Myrothecium ( [...] Read more.
Mosquitoes, as insect vectors, play a crucial role in transmitting viruses and parasites, leading to millions of human deaths in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of ethanolic extracts of three species within the genus Myrothecium (M. roridum, M. dimerum, and M. nivale) on Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae to assess the inhibitory effect on growth and development, as well as to determine mortality. We quantify the average lethal concentrations and provide a qualitative characterization of the chemical groups responsible for their potential. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, and terpenoids in the ethanolic extracts of the three fungal species. Tannins were found only in the extracts of M. dimerum and M. roridum. We observed a clear dependence of the effects of the crude extracts on mosquito larvae on the concentrations used and the duration of exposure. The toxic effect was observed after 48 h at a concentration of 800 ppm for both M. dimerum and M. nivale, while M. roridum showed effectiveness after 72 h. All three species within the genus Myrothecium exhibited 100% biological activity after 72 h of exposure at 600 ppm. At lower concentrations, there was moderate growth and development inhibitory activity in the insect life cycle. The study highlights the effectiveness of crude Myrothecium extracts in combating mosquito larvae, with effects becoming apparent between 48 and 72 h of exposure. This initial approach underscores the potential of the fungus’s secondary metabolites for further in-depth analysis of their individual effects or synergies between them. Full article
28 pages, 14494 KiB  
Article
Recognition of Davidsoniella virescens on Fagus sylvatica Wood in Poland and Assessment of Its Pathogenicity
by Tadeusz Kowalski and Piotr Bilański
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070465 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Davidsoniella virescens is so far only known in North America. However, recently in southern Poland, blackish growth consisting of fungal mycelia and sporulation structures was found on the wood of Fagus sylvatica. As a result of isolation, 17 cultures of this fungus [...] Read more.
Davidsoniella virescens is so far only known in North America. However, recently in southern Poland, blackish growth consisting of fungal mycelia and sporulation structures was found on the wood of Fagus sylvatica. As a result of isolation, 17 cultures of this fungus were obtained. All cultures produced an intense sweet odor. This fungus, both in situ and in vitro, abundantly produced perithecia with long necks and asexual stage. Particularly characteristic was the production of variable endoconidia in two types of phialophores differing mainly in the width of the collarette. The nucleotide sequences for five gene fragments of representative cultures were used in phylogenetic analyses: 18S; the internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2, including the 5.8S gene (ITS); 28S region of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA), β-tubulin 2 (TUB2) and translation elongation factor 1-α (TEF1). Based on morphological and phylogenetic analyses, the fungus on European beech in Poland was identified as Davidsoniella virescens. The optimal temperature for radial colony growth was 20 °C. However, the differences between colony diameter at 25 °C compared to that at the optimal temperature were not statistically significant. Six D. virescens isolates were used for pathogenicity assay. They were inoculated into wounds on stems of two-year-old seedlings of Fagus sylvatica and Acer saccharum (36 seedlings of each tree species). Final evaluation was performed 4 months after inoculation. No external symptoms were observed in any A. saccharum seedling, neither in the crown nor on the stem. However, 13.9% of F. sylvatica seedlings showed wilting symptoms throughout the entire crown within 3–6 weeks after inoculation. Moreover, after 4 months on the stems of 30.6% beech seedlings, necrotic lesions with a length of 1.3 to 7.2 cm were formed, without any symptoms of wilting. The most noticeable internal symptom was the discoloration of the wood, which was observed in all inoculated seedlings of both tree species. All D. virescens isolates caused greater wood discoloration in F. sylvatica than in A. saccharum. Most of the differences found in the extent of discoloration between host plants were statistically significant. The discoloration caused by all D. virescens isolates in F. sylvatica was significantly greater than in the control. However, none of the isolates tested on A. saccharum caused significantly greater wood discoloration compared to the control. Pathogenicity tests showed that the D. virescens isolates identified in southern Poland may pose a greater threat to native European beech than to foreign sugar maple. Full article
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21 pages, 6114 KiB  
Article
Unmasking the Antifungal Activity of Anacardium occidentale Leaf Extract against Candida albicans
by Luis F. Quejada, Andrea X. Hernandez, Luis C. Chitiva, Claudia P. Bravo-Chaucanés, Yerly Vargas-Casanova, Robson X. Faria, Geison M. Costa and Claudia M. Parra-Giraldo
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070464 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Invasive fungal disease causes high morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. Resistance to conventional antifungal drugs and the toxicity associated with high doses highlight the need for effective antifungal therapies. In this study, the antifungal potential of the ethanolic extract of Anacardium occidentale [...] Read more.
Invasive fungal disease causes high morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. Resistance to conventional antifungal drugs and the toxicity associated with high doses highlight the need for effective antifungal therapies. In this study, the antifungal potential of the ethanolic extract of Anacardium occidentale (Cashew Leaf) leaves were evaluated against Candida albicans and C. auris. The antifungal activity was tested by the broth microdilution method and growth kinetic test. To further explore its antifungal action mode, spectrofluorophotometry, confocal microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy were performed. Additionally, heterozygous knockout strains associated with resistance to oxidative stress were included in the study. We found that A. occidentale could inhibit the proliferation and growth of C. albicans at concentrations of 62.5 and 125 μg/mL. The doubling time was also drastically affected, going from 2.8 h to 22.5 h, which was also observed in C. auris. The extract induced the accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, while it did not show cytotoxicity or hemolytic activity at the concentrations evaluated. Our work preliminarily elucidated the potential mechanisms of A. occidentale against C. albicans on a cellular level, and might provide a promising option for the design of a new treatment for invasive candidiasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antifungal Drugs)
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14 pages, 3638 KiB  
Article
Phytotoxic Strains of Fusarium commune Isolated from Truffles
by Anton Zvonarev, Vasily Terentyev, Valentina Zhelifonova, Tatiana Antipova, Boris Baskunov, Aleksander Avtukh, Tatiana Abashina, Aleksey Kachalkin, Mikhail Vainshtein and Anna Kudryavtseva
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070463 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Most Fusarium species are known as endophytes and/or phytopathogens of higher plants and have a worldwide distribution. Recently, information discovered with molecular tools has been also published about the presence of these fungi in the microbiome of truffle fruiting bodies. In the present [...] Read more.
Most Fusarium species are known as endophytes and/or phytopathogens of higher plants and have a worldwide distribution. Recently, information discovered with molecular tools has been also published about the presence of these fungi in the microbiome of truffle fruiting bodies. In the present work, we isolated and identified three Fusarium strains from truffle fruiting bodies. All isolates were assigned to the same species, F. commune, and the strains were deposited in the All-Russian Collection of Microorganisms under accession numbers VKM F-5020, VKM F-5021, and VKM F-5022. To check the possible effects of the isolated strains on the plants, the isolates were used to infect sterile seedlings of Sarepta mustard (Brassica juncea L.). This model infection led to a moderate suppression of the photosynthetic apparatus activity and plant growth. Here, we present characteristics of the F. commune isolates: description of the conidial morphology, pigmentation, and composition of the mycelium fatty acids. Overall, this is the first description of the Fusarium cultures isolated from truffle fruiting bodies. Possible symbiosis of the F. commune strains with truffles and their involvement in the cooperative fatty acid production are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
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18 pages, 3136 KiB  
Article
Identification and Characterization of High-Molecular-Weight Proteins Secreted by Plasmodiophora brassicae That Suppress Plant Immunity
by Yanqun Feng, Xiaoyue Yang, Gaolei Cai, Siting Wang, Pingu Liu, Yan Li, Wang Chen and Wei Li
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070462 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Plasmodiophora brassicae is an obligate intracellular parasitic protist that causes clubroot disease on cruciferous plants. So far, some low-molecular-weight secreted proteins from P. brassicae have been reported to play an important role in plant immunity regulation, but there are few reports on its [...] Read more.
Plasmodiophora brassicae is an obligate intracellular parasitic protist that causes clubroot disease on cruciferous plants. So far, some low-molecular-weight secreted proteins from P. brassicae have been reported to play an important role in plant immunity regulation, but there are few reports on its high-molecular-weight secreted proteins. In this study, 35 putative high-molecular-weight secreted proteins (>300 amino acids) of P. brassicae (PbHMWSP) genes that are highly expressed during the infection stage were identified using transcriptome analysis and bioinformatics prediction. Then, the secretory activity of 30 putative PbHMWSPs was confirmed using the yeast signal sequence trap system. Furthermore, the genes encoding 24 PbHMWSPs were successfully cloned and their functions in plant immunity were studied. The results showed that ten PbHMWSPs could inhibit flg22-induced reactive oxygen burst, and ten PbHMWSPs significantly inhibited the expression of the SA signaling pathway marker gene PR1a. In addition, nine PbHMWSPs could inhibit the expression of a marker gene of the JA signaling pathway. Therefore, a total of 19 of the 24 tested PbHMWSPs played roles in suppressing the immune response of plants. Of these, it is worth noting that PbHMWSP34 can inhibit the expression of JA, ET, and several SA signaling pathway marker genes. The present study is the first to report the function of the high-molecular-weight secreted proteins of P. brassicae in plant immunity, which will enrich the theory of interaction mechanisms between the pathogens and plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Virulence of Plant Pathogenic Fungi)
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11 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Insights into Aspergillus fumigatus Colonization in Cystic Fibrosis and Cross-Transmission between Patients and Hospital Environments
by Laís Pontes, Ana Luisa Perini Leme Giordano, Franqueline Reichert-Lima, Caio Augusto Gualtieri Beraquet, Guilherme Leite Pigolli, Teppei Arai, José Dirceu Ribeiro, Aline Cristina Gonçalves, Akira Watanabe, Gustavo Henrique Goldman, Maria Luiza Moretti and Angélica Zaninelli Schreiber
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070461 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Background: Approximately 60% of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) are affected by Aspergillus fumigatus infection. This condition is correlated with a decline in lung function and is identified as an independent risk factor contributing to hospital admissions among CF patients. This study investigates [...] Read more.
Background: Approximately 60% of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) are affected by Aspergillus fumigatus infection. This condition is correlated with a decline in lung function and is identified as an independent risk factor contributing to hospital admissions among CF patients. This study investigates the dynamic interplay of A. fumigatus within the context of CF patients, tracing its evolution over time, with a specific emphasis on colonization dynamics. Methods: An analysis was conducted on 83 sequential A. fumigatus isolates derived from sputum samples of six patients receiving care at a renowned CF hospital in Brazil. Employing microsatellite genotyping techniques, alongside an investigation into cyp51A gene mutations, this research sheds light on the genetic variations, colonization, and resistance of A. fumigatus within the CF respiratory environment. Results: Our research findings indicate that CF patients can harbor A. fumigatus strains from the same clonal complexes for prolonged periods. Additionally, we identified that clinical isolates have the potential to spread among patients in the same healthcare facility, evidencing hospital contamination. Two patients who underwent long-term Itraconazole treatment did not show phenotypic resistance. However, one of these patients exhibited mutations in the cyp51A gene, indicating the need to monitor resistance to azoles in these patients colonized for long periods by A. fumigatus. We also observed co-colonization or co-infection involving multiple genotypes in all patients over time. Conclusion: This comprehensive examination offers valuable insights into the pathogenesis of A. fumigatus infections in CF patients, potentially shaping future therapeutic strategies and management approaches. This enhanced understanding contributes to our knowledge of A. fumigatus impact on disease progression in individuals with cystic fibrosis. Additionally, the study provides evidence of cross-contamination among patients undergoing treatment at the same hospital. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Investigators of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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10 pages, 826 KiB  
Case Report
Phenotypical Differences at the Physiological and Clinical Level between Two Genetically Closely Related Clavispora lusitaniae Strains Isolated from Patients
by Debora Casagrande Pierantoni, Simone Giuliano, Angela Conti, Laura Corte, Jacopo Angelini, Gianluigi Cardinali and Carlo Tascini
J. Fungi 2024, 10(7), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10070460 - 28 Jun 2024
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Abstract
The occurrence of non-albicans species within the genus Candida poses a major challenge in the clinical setting. Clavispora lusitaniae, formerly known as Candida lusitaniae, has gained attention due to its potential multidrug resistance, particularly to amphotericin B (AmB). While intrinsic resistance [...] Read more.
The occurrence of non-albicans species within the genus Candida poses a major challenge in the clinical setting. Clavispora lusitaniae, formerly known as Candida lusitaniae, has gained attention due to its potential multidrug resistance, particularly to amphotericin B (AmB). While intrinsic resistance to AmB is rare, secondary resistance may develop during treatment due to phenotypic rearrangement and the reorganization of the cell wall. Although there is evidence of genetic variability within C. lusitaniae, comprehensive genomic studies are lacking. This study examines the physiological differences within Candida species and focuses on the medical implications of this. Using two case reports, significant physiological and resistance differences between two strains of C. lusitaniae are demonstrated, highlighting the need for further research into genetic variability. While one strain showed higher resistance to antifungal drugs and slower growth compared to Strain 2, both strains showed minimal beta-D-glucan production, suggesting alternative pathogenic mechanisms. The study underlines the importance of understanding microbial adaptation and selection mechanisms, especially in the clinical setting, to effectively combat emerging drug resistance. Furthermore, research is needed to clarify the complex interplay between environmental causes, physiological traits, and the mechanisms of drug resistance in C. lusitaniae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidrug-Resistant Fungi: New Strategies for Diagnosis and Treatment)
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