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J. Fungi, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 79 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Although melanins are among the great pigments of nature, their structure is still unknown. Fungal melanins are a potent defense against diverse host effector immune responses, and they reduce the efficacy of certain antifungals. Cryptococcus neoformans forms melanin only in the presence of exogenous phenolic substrates, which facilitates the study of this enigmatic polymer. Melanin “ghosts” of fungal cells, such as those derived from C. neoformans, reveal structural details and provide a platform for diverse deep analyses, such as by atomic force microscopy and mass spectrometry. View this paper
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Article
Genome Sequence Analysis of the Oleaginous Yeast, Rhodotorula diobovata, and Comparison of the Carotenogenic and Oleaginous Pathway Genes and Gene Products with Other Oleaginous Yeasts
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040320 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Rhodotorula diobovata is an oleaginous and carotenogenic yeast, useful for diverse biotechnological applications. To understand the molecular basis of its potential applications, the genome was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq and Ion Torrent platforms, assembled by AbySS, and annotated using the JGI annotation [...] Read more.
Rhodotorula diobovata is an oleaginous and carotenogenic yeast, useful for diverse biotechnological applications. To understand the molecular basis of its potential applications, the genome was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq and Ion Torrent platforms, assembled by AbySS, and annotated using the JGI annotation pipeline. The genome size, 21.1 MB, was similar to that of the biotechnological “workhorse”, R. toruloides. Comparative analyses of the R. diobovata genome sequence with those of other Rhodotorula species, Yarrowia lipolytica, Phaffia rhodozyma, Lipomyces starkeyi, and Sporidiobolus salmonicolor, were conducted, with emphasis on the carotenoid and neutral lipid biosynthesis pathways. Amino acid sequence alignments of key enzymes in the lipid biosynthesis pathway revealed why the activity of malic enzyme and ATP-citrate lyase may be ambiguous in Y. lipolytica and L. starkeyi. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship between R. diobovata and R. graminis WP1. Dot-plot analysis of the coding sequences of the genes crtYB and ME1 corroborated sequence homologies between sequences from R. diobovata and R. graminis. There was, however, nonsequential alignment between crtYB CDS sequences from R. diobovata and those from X. dendrorhous. This research presents the first genome analysis of R. diobovata with a focus on its biotechnological potential as a lipid and carotenoid producer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeast Biorefineries)
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Article
Aequorin as a Useful Calcium-Sensing Reporter in Candida albicans
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040319 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 773
Abstract
In Candida albicans, calcium ions (Ca2+) regulate the activity of several signaling pathways, especially the calcineurin signaling pathway. Ca2+ homeostasis is also important for cell polarization, hyphal extension, and plays a role in contact sensing. It is therefore important [...] Read more.
In Candida albicans, calcium ions (Ca2+) regulate the activity of several signaling pathways, especially the calcineurin signaling pathway. Ca2+ homeostasis is also important for cell polarization, hyphal extension, and plays a role in contact sensing. It is therefore important to obtain accurate tools with which Ca2+ homeostasis can be addressed in this fungal pathogen. Aequorin from Aequorea victoria has been used in eukaryotic cells for detecting intracellular Ca2+. A codon-adapted aequorin Ca2+-sensing expression system was therefore designed for probing cytosolic Ca2+ flux in C. albicans. The availability of a novel water-soluble formulation of coelenterazine, which is required as a co-factor, made it possible to measure bioluminescence as a readout of intracellular Ca2+ levels in C. albicans. Alkaline stress resulted in an immediate influx of Ca2+ from the extracellular medium. This increase was exacerbated in a mutant lacking the vacuolar Ca2+ transporter VCX1, thus confirming its role in Ca2+ homeostasis. Using mutants in components of a principal Ca2+ channel (MID1, CCH1), the alkaline-dependent Ca2+ spike was greatly reduced, thus highlighting the crucial role of this channel complex in Ca2+ uptake and homeostasis. Exposure to the antiarrhythmic drug amiodarone, known to perturb Ca2+ trafficking, resulted in increased cytoplasmic Ca2+ within seconds that was abrogated by the chelation of Ca2+ in the external medium. Ca2+ import was also dependent on the Cch1/Mid1 Ca2+ channel in amiodarone-exposed cells. In conclusion, the aequorin Ca2+ sensing reporter developed here is an adequate tool with which Ca2+ homeostasis can be investigated in C. albicans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives for Candidiasis)
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Review
Trichoderma and the Plant Heritable Priming Responses
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040318 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
There is no doubt that Trichoderma is an inhabitant of the rhizosphere that plays an important role in how plants interact with the environment. Beyond the production of cell wall degrading enzymes and metabolites, Trichoderma spp. can protect plants by inducing faster and [...] Read more.
There is no doubt that Trichoderma is an inhabitant of the rhizosphere that plays an important role in how plants interact with the environment. Beyond the production of cell wall degrading enzymes and metabolites, Trichoderma spp. can protect plants by inducing faster and stronger immune responses, a mechanism known as priming, which involves enhanced accumulation of dormant cellular proteins that function in intracellular signal amplification. One example of these proteins is the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) that are triggered by the rise of cytosolic calcium levels and cellular redox changes following a stressful challenge. Transcription factors such as WRKYs, MYBs, and MYCs, play important roles in priming as they act as regulatory nodes in the transcriptional network of systemic defence after stress recognition. In terms of long-lasting priming, Trichoderma spp. may be involved in plants epigenetic regulation through histone modifications and replacements, DNA (hypo)methylation, and RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). Inheritance of these epigenetic marks for enhanced resistance and growth promotion, without compromising the level of resistance of the plant’s offspring to abiotic or biotic stresses, seems to be an interesting path to be fully explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Trichoderma-Plant Beneficial Interactions)
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Article
Investigating Host Preference of Root Endophytes of Three European Tree Species, with a Focus on Members of the Phialocephala fortiniiAcephala applanata Species Complex (PAC)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040317 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
Host preference of root endophytes of the three European tree species of Norway spruce (Picea abies), common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), and sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) were investigated in two forest stands near Zurich, Switzerland. The focus was [...] Read more.
Host preference of root endophytes of the three European tree species of Norway spruce (Picea abies), common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), and sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) were investigated in two forest stands near Zurich, Switzerland. The focus was placed on members of the Phialocephala fortinii s.l. (sensu lato)—Acephala applanata species complex (PAC), as well as other dark septate endopyhtes (DSE). PAC species were identified based on 13 microsatellite loci. Eleven PAC species were found, with Phialocephala helvetica, P. europaea being the most frequent. All but cryptic species 12 (CSP12) preferred Norway spruce as a host. Though very rare in general, CSP12 was most frequently isolated from maple roots. Regarding the abundant PAC species, P. helvetica and P. europaea, the preference of spruce as a host was least pronounced in P. europaea, as it was also often isolated from ash and maple. It is the first record of PAC found on common ash (Fraxinus excelsior). Cadophora orchidicola, a close relative of PAC, has frequently been isolated from ash. Various species of the Nectriaceae (Cylindrocarpon spp.) have often been isolated, particularly from maple roots. By comparison, Pezicula spp. (Cryptosporiopsis spp.) was found to be abundant on all three hosts. Phomopsis phaseoli exhibits a clear preference for spruce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes in Agriculture and Ecosystems)
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Editorial
Emerging Fungi and Diagnosis of Fungal Infections: Current Knowledge and New Developments
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040316 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
I would like to thank all the authors contributing to this Special Issue [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Diagnosis of Fungal Infections)
Article
Trichoderma Biological Control to Protect Sensitive Maize Hybrids against Late Wilt Disease in the Field
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040315 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Late wilt, a disease severely affecting maize fields throughout Israel, is characterized by the relatively rapid wilting of maize plants from the tasseling stage to maturity. The disease is caused by the fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis, a soil and seed-borne pathogen. The pathogen [...] Read more.
Late wilt, a disease severely affecting maize fields throughout Israel, is characterized by the relatively rapid wilting of maize plants from the tasseling stage to maturity. The disease is caused by the fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis, a soil and seed-borne pathogen. The pathogen is controlled traditionally through the use of maize cultivars having reduced sensitivity to the disease. Nevertheless, such cultivars may lose their immunity after several years of intensive growth due to the presence of high virulent isolates of M. maydis. Alternative effective and economical chemical treatment to the disease was recently established but is dependent on the use of a dripline assigned for two adjacent rows and exposes the risk of fungicide resistance. In the current work, eight marine and soil isolates of Trichoderma spp., known for high mycoparasitic potential, were tested as biocontrol agents against M. maydis. An in vitro confront plate assay revealed strong antagonistic activity against the pathogen of two T. longibrachiatum isolates and of T. asperelloides. These species produce soluble metabolites that can inhibit or kill the maize pathogen in submerged and solid media culture growth assays. In greenhouse experiments accompanied by real-time PCR tracking of the pathogen, the Trichoderma species or their metabolites managed to improve the seedlings’ wet biomass and reduced the pathogen DNA in the maize roots. A follow-up experiment carried out through a whole growth session, under field conditions, provided important support to the Trichoderma species’ beneficial impact. The direct addition of T. longibrachiatum and even more T. asperelloides to the seeds, with the sowing, resulted in a yield improvement, a significant increase in the growth parameters and crops, to the degree of noninfected plants. These bioprotective treatments also restricted the pathogen DNA in the host tissues (up to 98%) and prevented the disease symptoms. The results encourage more in-depth research to uncover such biological agents’ potential and the methods to implement them in commercial fields. If adequately developed into final products and combined with other control methods, the biological control could play an important role in maize crop protection against Late wilt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Trichoderma-Plant Beneficial Interactions)
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Review
Bioprospecting of Rhizosphere-Resident Fungi: Their Role and Importance in Sustainable Agriculture
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040314 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Rhizosphere-resident fungi that are helpful to plants are generally termed as ‘plant growth promoting fungi’ (PGPF). These fungi are one of the chief sources of the biotic inducers known to give their host plants numerous advantages, and they play a vital role in [...] Read more.
Rhizosphere-resident fungi that are helpful to plants are generally termed as ‘plant growth promoting fungi’ (PGPF). These fungi are one of the chief sources of the biotic inducers known to give their host plants numerous advantages, and they play a vital role in sustainable agriculture. Today’s biggest challenge is to satisfy the rising demand for crop protection and crop yield without harming the natural ecosystem. Nowadays, PGPF has become an eco-friendly way to improve crop yield by enhancing seed germination, shoot and root growth, chlorophyll production, and fruit yield, etc., either directly or indirectly. The mode of action of these PGPF includes the solubilization and mineralization of the essential micro- and macronutrients needed by plants to regulate the balance for various plant processes. PGPF produce defense-related enzymes, defensive/volatile compounds, and phytohormones that control pathogenic microbes’ growth, thereby assisting the plants in facing various biotic and abiotic stresses. Therefore, this review presents a holistic view of PGPF as efficient natural biofertilizers to improve crop plants’ growth and resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
Evaluation of Sex Differences in Murine Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Neutropenic Models of Invasive Mucormycosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040313 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
There is increased concern that the quality, generalizability and reproducibility of biomedical research can be influenced by the sex of animals used. We studied the differences between male and female mice in response to invasive pulmonary mucormycosis including susceptibility to infection, host immune [...] Read more.
There is increased concern that the quality, generalizability and reproducibility of biomedical research can be influenced by the sex of animals used. We studied the differences between male and female mice in response to invasive pulmonary mucormycosis including susceptibility to infection, host immune reaction and responses to antifungal therapy. We used diabetic ketoacidotic (DKA) or neutropenic mice infected with either Rhizopus delemar or Mucor circinelloides. The only difference detected was that when DKA mice were infected with M. circinelloides, female mice were more resistant to infection than male mice (median survival time of 5 vs. 2 days for female and male mice, respectively). However, a 100% lethality was detected among infected animals of both sexes. Treatment with either liposomal amphotericin B (L-AMB) or posaconazole (POSA) protected mice from infection and eliminated the difference seen between infected but untreated female and male mice. Treatment with L-AMB consistently outperformed POSA in prolonging survival and reducing tissue fungal burden of DKA and neutropenic mice infected with R. delemar or M. circinelloides, in both mouse sexes. While little difference was detected in cytokine levels among both sexes, mucormycosis infection in the DKA mouse model induced more inflammatory cytokines/chemokines involved in neutrophil (CXCL1) and macrophage (CXCL2) recruitment vs. uninfected mice. As expected, this inflammatory response was reduced in the neutropenic mouse model. Our studies show that there are few differences between female and male DKA or neutropenic mice infected with mucormycosis with no effect on the outcome of treatment or host immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Article
Green Leaf Volatile Confers Management of Late Blight Disease: A Green Vaccination in Potato
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040312 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
Yield losses of crops due to plant pathogens are a major threat in all agricultural systems. In view of environmental issues and legislative limitations for chemical crop protection products, the need to design new environmentally friendly disease management strategies has gained interest. Despite [...] Read more.
Yield losses of crops due to plant pathogens are a major threat in all agricultural systems. In view of environmental issues and legislative limitations for chemical crop protection products, the need to design new environmentally friendly disease management strategies has gained interest. Despite the unique capability of green leaf volatiles (GLVs) to suppress a broad spectrum of plant pathogens, their capacity to control the potato late-blight-causing agent Phytophthora infestans has not been well studied. This study addresses the potential role of the GLV Z-3-hexenyl acetate (Z-3-HAC) in decreasing the severity of late blight and the underlying gene-based evidence leading to this effect. Nine-week-old potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.) were exposed to Z-3-HAC before they were inoculated with P. infestans genotypes at different time points. These pre-exposed potato plants exhibited slower disease development after infection with the highly pathogenic genotype of P. infestans (EU-13-A2) over time. Qualitative assessment showed that the exposed, infected plants possessed significantly lower sporulation intensity and disease severity compared to the control plants. Hypersensitive response (HR)-like symptoms were observed on the treated leaves when inoculated with different pathogen genotypes. No HR-like lesions were detected on the untreated leaves after infection. It was shown that the transcript levels of several defense-related genes, especially those that are involved in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production pathways were significantly expressed in plants at 48 and 72 h postexposure to the Z-3-HAC. The current work provides evidence on the role of Z-3-HAC in the increased protection of potato plants against late blight through plant immunity and offers new opportunities for the sustainable control of potato diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Fungal Diseases in Crops)
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Article
Performance of LDBio Aspergillus WB and ICT Antibody Detection in Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040311 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
The detection of Aspergillus antibody has a key role in the diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Western blot (WB) and immunochromatography (ICT) lateral flow detection of Aspergillus antibody can be used as confirmatory and screening assays but their comparative performance in TB patients [...] Read more.
The detection of Aspergillus antibody has a key role in the diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Western blot (WB) and immunochromatography (ICT) lateral flow detection of Aspergillus antibody can be used as confirmatory and screening assays but their comparative performance in TB patients is not known. This study investigated the performance of these assays among 88 post-tuberculosis patients with suspected CPA. Sensitivity, specificity, receiver operating curve (ROC), area under-curve (AUC) and the agreement between two assays were evaluated. Both WB and ICT showed good sensitivity (80% and 85%, respectively) for detection of Aspergillus antibodies. Substantial agreement (0.716) between these assays was also obtained. The highest AUC result (0.804) was achieved with the combination of WB and ICT. The global intensity of WB correlated with the severity of symptoms in CPA group (p = 0.001). The combination of WB and ICT may increase specificity in CPA diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis)
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Article
Exploring the Species Diversity of Edible Mushrooms in Yunnan, Southwestern China, by DNA Barcoding
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040310 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1332
Abstract
Yunnan Province, China, is famous for its abundant wild edible mushroom diversity and a rich source of the world’s wild mushroom trade markets. However, much remains unknown about the diversity of edible mushrooms, including the number of wild edible mushroom species and their [...] Read more.
Yunnan Province, China, is famous for its abundant wild edible mushroom diversity and a rich source of the world’s wild mushroom trade markets. However, much remains unknown about the diversity of edible mushrooms, including the number of wild edible mushroom species and their distributions. In this study, we collected and analyzed 3585 mushroom samples from wild mushroom markets in 35 counties across Yunnan Province from 2010 to 2019. Among these samples, we successfully obtained the DNA barcode sequences from 2198 samples. Sequence comparisons revealed that these 2198 samples likely belonged to 159 known species in 56 different genera, 31 families, 11 orders, 2 classes, and 2 phyla. Significantly, 51.13% of these samples had sequence similarities to known species at lower than 97%, likely representing new taxa. Further phylogenetic analyses on several common mushroom groups including 1536 internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences suggested the existence of 20 new (cryptic) species in these groups. The extensive new and cryptic species diversity in wild mushroom markets in Yunnan calls for greater attention for the conservation and utilization of these resources. Our results on both the distinct barcode sequences and the distributions of these sequences should facilitate new mushroom species discovery and forensic authentication of high-valued mushrooms and contribute to the scientific inventory for the management of wild mushroom markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Characterizing the Assemblage of Wood-Decay Fungi in the Forests of Northwest Arkansas
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040309 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
The study reported herein represents an effort to characterize the wood-decay fungi associated with three study areas representative of the forest ecosystems found in northwest Arkansas. In addition to specimens collected in the field, small pieces of coarse woody debris (usually dead branches) [...] Read more.
The study reported herein represents an effort to characterize the wood-decay fungi associated with three study areas representative of the forest ecosystems found in northwest Arkansas. In addition to specimens collected in the field, small pieces of coarse woody debris (usually dead branches) were collected from the three study areas, returned to the laboratory, and placed in plastic incubation chambers to which water was added. Fruiting bodies of fungi appearing in these chambers over a period of several months were collected and processed in the same manner as specimens associated with decaying wood in the field. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) ribosomal DNA region was sequenced, and these sequences were blasted against the NCBI database. A total of 320 different fungal taxa were recorded, the majority of which could be identified to species. Two hundred thirteen taxa were recorded as field collections, and 68 taxa were recorded from the incubation chambers. Thirty-nine sequences could be recorded only as unidentified taxa. Collectively, the specimens of fungi collected in the forests of northwest Arkansas belong to 64 and 128 families and genera, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
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Article
Taxonomy and Phylogeny of the Wood-Inhabiting Fungal Genus Hyphoderma with Descriptions of Three New Species from East Asia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040308 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Three new wood-inhabiting fungi, Hyphoderma crystallinum, H. membranaceum, and H. microporoides spp. nov., are proposed based on a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. Hyphoderma crystallinum is characterized by the resupinate basidiomata with smooth hymenial surface scattering scattered nubby crystals, a [...] Read more.
Three new wood-inhabiting fungi, Hyphoderma crystallinum, H. membranaceum, and H. microporoides spp. nov., are proposed based on a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. Hyphoderma crystallinum is characterized by the resupinate basidiomata with smooth hymenial surface scattering scattered nubby crystals, a monomitic hyphal system with clamped generative hyphae, and numerous encrusted cystidia present. Hyphoderma membranaceum is characterized by the resupinate basidiomata with tuberculate hymenial surface, presence of the moniliform cystidia, and ellipsoid to cylindrical basidiospores. Hyphoderma microporoides is characterized by the resupinate, cottony basidiomata distributing the scattered pinholes visible using hand lens on the hymenial surface, presence of halocystidia, and cylindrical to allantoid basidiospores. Sequences of ITS+nLSU rRNA gene regions of the studied samples were generated, and phylogenetic analyses were performed with maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian inference methods. These phylogenetic analyses showed that three new species clustered into Hyphoderma, in which H. crystallinum was sister to H. variolosum, H. membranaceum was retrieved as a sister species of H. sinense, and H. microporoides was closely grouped with H. nemorale. In addition to new species, map to show global distribution of Hyphoderma species treated in the phylogenetic tree and an identification key to Chinese Hyphoderma are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Classification of Environmental Fungi)
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Article
Systemic Resistance in Chilli Pepper against Anthracnose (Caused by Colletotrichum truncatum) Induced by Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma asperellum and Paenibacillus dendritiformis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040307 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1555
Abstract
In the present study, Paenibacillus dendritiformis, Trichoderma harzianum, and Trichoderma asperellum were appraised as potential biocontrol agents that induce resistance in chilli (Capsicum annuum) against the devastating pathogen Colletotrichum truncatum, which causes anthracnose. Bright-field and scanning electron micrographs showed the [...] Read more.
In the present study, Paenibacillus dendritiformis, Trichoderma harzianum, and Trichoderma asperellum were appraised as potential biocontrol agents that induce resistance in chilli (Capsicum annuum) against the devastating pathogen Colletotrichum truncatum, which causes anthracnose. Bright-field and scanning electron micrographs showed the hyphal degradation, lysis, and abnormal swelling in C. truncatum against P. dendritiformis in a dual plate assay. Under greenhouse conditions, chilli seeds pretreated with P. dendritiformis, T. asperellum, T. harzianum, and T. asperellum + T. harzianum by soil soak method inflicted an induced systemic resistance (ISR) in chilli against a C. truncatum-challenged condition. In chilli, the disease index percentage was significantly reduced in the T. asperellum + T. harzianum-treated seeds, followed by the T. harzianum-, T. asperellum-, and P. dendritiformis-treated seeds as compared to the untreated and challenged, respectively. Chilli seeds were primed with T. asperellum + T. harzianum (78.67%), which revealed maximum disease protection under the challenged condition, followed by T. harzianum (70%), T. asperellum (64%), and P. dendritiformis (56%) as compared to untreated and C. truncatum-challenged (6%) condition served as control. The seeds that were pretreated with biocontrol agents (BCAs) inflicted ISR against C. truncatum by enhancing the activity of defence-related enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POX), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL)), accumulating phenolic compounds, and increasing the relative chlorophyll content in chilli. Nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and 3,3′-Diaminobenzidine (DAB) stains were used to detect the accumulation of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide that appeared nearby the fungal infection sites. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (O2 and H2O2) in the pathogen-inoculated leaves was a maximum of 48 hpi, followed by P. dendritiformis, T. asperellum, T. harzianum, and T. asperellum + T. harzianum treated tissue upon C. truncatum-challenged condition as compared to the control. Overall, our results showed the potential of T. harzianum, T. asperellum, and P. dendritiformis as biocontrol agents that prevent infection by C. truncatum and inflict an induced systemic resistance in chilli by enhancing the biosynthesis of phenolic compounds, defence and antioxidative enzymes, and reducing the lesion development and reactive oxygen species accumulation. This is the first report of induced systemic resistance against anthracnose in chilli obtained by application of T. harzianum, T. asperellum and P. dendritiformis, through seed priming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Favorable Effects of Voriconazole Trough Concentrations Exceeding 1 μg/mL on Treatment Success and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040306 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the optimal trough concentration of voriconazole for adult patients with invasive fungal infections. We used stepwise cutoffs of 0.5–2.0 μg/mL for efficacy and 3.0–6.0 μg/mL for safety. Studies were included if they reported the rates of all-cause [...] Read more.
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the optimal trough concentration of voriconazole for adult patients with invasive fungal infections. We used stepwise cutoffs of 0.5–2.0 μg/mL for efficacy and 3.0–6.0 μg/mL for safety. Studies were included if they reported the rates of all-cause mortality and/or treatment success, hepatotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity according to the trough concentration. Twenty-five studies involving 2554 patients were included. The probability of mortality was significantly decreased using a cutoff of ≥1.0 μg/mL (odds ratio (OR) = 0.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.15–0.80). Cutoffs of 0.5 (OR = 3.48, 95% CI = 1.45–8.34) and 1.0 μg/mL (OR = 3.35, 95% CI = 1.52–7.38) also increased the treatment success rate. Concerning safety, significantly higher risks of hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity were demonstrated at higher concentrations for all cutoffs, and the highest ORs were recorded at 4.0 μg/mL (OR = 7.39, 95% CI = 3.81–14.36; OR = 5.76, 95% CI 3.14–10.57, respectively). Although further high-quality trials are needed, our findings suggest that the proper trough concentration for increasing clinical success while minimizing toxicity is 1.0–4.0 μg/mL for adult patients receiving voriconazole therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Fungal Infections 2021)
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Article
Unfolded Protein Response and Scaffold Independent Pheromone MAP Kinase Signaling Control Verticillium dahliae Growth, Development, and Plant Pathogenesis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040305 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Differentiation, growth, and virulence of the vascular plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae depend on a network of interconnected cellular signaling cascades. The transcription factor Hac1 of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated unfolded protein response (UPR) is required for initial root colonization, fungal growth, and vascular propagation [...] Read more.
Differentiation, growth, and virulence of the vascular plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae depend on a network of interconnected cellular signaling cascades. The transcription factor Hac1 of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated unfolded protein response (UPR) is required for initial root colonization, fungal growth, and vascular propagation by conidiation. Hac1 is essential for the formation of microsclerotia as long-time survival resting structures in the field. Single endoplasmic reticulum-associated enzymes for linoleic acid production as precursors for oxylipin signal molecules support fungal growth but not pathogenicity. Microsclerotia development, growth, and virulence further require the pheromone response mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, but without the Ham5 scaffold function. The MAPK phosphatase Rok1 limits resting structure development of V.dahliae, but promotes growth, conidiation, and virulence. The interplay between UPR and MAPK signaling cascades includes several potential targets for fungal growth control for supporting disease management of the vascular pathogen V.dahliae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Article
Marker Assisted Selection of Malic-Consuming Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains for Winemaking. Efficiency and Limits of a QTL’s Driven Breeding Program
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040304 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
Natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains exhibit very large genotypic and phenotypic diversity. Breeding programs that take advantage of this characteristic are widely used for selecting starters for wine industry, especially in the recent years when winemakers need to adapt their production to climate [...] Read more.
Natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains exhibit very large genotypic and phenotypic diversity. Breeding programs that take advantage of this characteristic are widely used for selecting starters for wine industry, especially in the recent years when winemakers need to adapt their production to climate change. The aim of this work was to evaluate a marker assisted selection (MAS) program to improve malic acid consumption capacity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in grape juice. Optimal individuals of two unrelated F1-hybrids were crossed to get a new genetic background carrying many “malic consumer” loci. Then, eleven quantitative trait loci (QTLs) already identified were used for implementing the MAS breeding program. By this method, extreme individuals able to consume more than 70% of malic acid in grape juice were selected. These individuals were tested in different enological matrixes and compared to their original parental strains. They greatly reduced the malic acid content at the end of alcoholic fermentation, they appeared to be robust to the environment, and they accelerated the ongoing of malolactic fermentations by Oenococcus oeni. This study illustrates how MAS can be efficiently used for selecting industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with outlier properties for winemaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leveraging Yeast Biodiversity for Biotechnology)
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Review
Comprehensive Assessment of Ameliorative Effects of AMF in Alleviating Abiotic Stress in Tomato Plants
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040303 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
Population growth and food necessity envisaged the dire need for supplementation to a larger community balance in food production. With the advent of the green revolution, agriculture witnessed the insurrection of horticultural fruit crops and field crops in enormous modes. Nevertheless, chemical fertilizer [...] Read more.
Population growth and food necessity envisaged the dire need for supplementation to a larger community balance in food production. With the advent of the green revolution, agriculture witnessed the insurrection of horticultural fruit crops and field crops in enormous modes. Nevertheless, chemical fertilizer usage foresees soil pollution and fertility loss. Utilization of biocontrol agents and plant growth promotion by microbial colonization enrooted significant restoration benefits. Constant reliability for healthy foods has been emancipated across the globe stressing high nutritive contents among indigenous field crops like tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). However, stress tolerance mechanisms and efficient abatement require deeper insights. The applicability of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) poses as an ultimate strategy to minimize the deleterious consequences of abiotic stress such as salt, drought, temperature and heavy metal stress sustainably. The rational modality employing the application of AMF is one of significant efforts to lessen cell damages under abiotic stress. The novelty of the compilation can be redressed to cohesive literature for combating stress. The literature review will provide agricultural scientists worldwide in providing a rational approach that can have possible implications in not only tomato but also other vegetable crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
Random Transfer of Ogataea polymorpha Genes into Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reveals a Complex Background of Heat Tolerance
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040302 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Horizontal gene transfer, a process through which an organism acquires genes from other organisms, is a rare evolutionary event in yeasts. Artificial random gene transfer can emerge as a valuable tool in yeast bioengineering to investigate the background of complex phenotypes, such as [...] Read more.
Horizontal gene transfer, a process through which an organism acquires genes from other organisms, is a rare evolutionary event in yeasts. Artificial random gene transfer can emerge as a valuable tool in yeast bioengineering to investigate the background of complex phenotypes, such as heat tolerance. In this study, a cDNA library was constructed from the mRNA of a methylotrophic yeast, Ogataea polymorpha, and then introduced into Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ogataea polymorpha was selected because it is one of the most heat-tolerant species among yeasts. Screening of S. cerevisiae populations expressing O. polymorpha genes at high temperatures identified 59 O. polymorpha genes that contribute to heat tolerance. Gene enrichment analysis indicated that certain S. cerevisiae functions, including protein synthesis, were highly temperature-sensitive. Additionally, the results confirmed that heat tolerance in yeast is a complex phenotype dependent on multiple quantitative loci. Random gene transfer would be a useful tool for future bioengineering studies on yeasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biotechnology and Application)
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Article
Molecular Phylogeny of Endophytic Fungi from Rattan (Calamus castaneus Griff.) Spines and Their Antagonistic Activities against Plant Pathogenic Fungi
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040301 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Calamus castaneus is a common rattan palm species in the tropical forests of Peninsular Malaysia and is noticeable by the yellow-based spines that cover the stems. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of fungal endophytes within C. castaneus spines and whether they [...] Read more.
Calamus castaneus is a common rattan palm species in the tropical forests of Peninsular Malaysia and is noticeable by the yellow-based spines that cover the stems. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of fungal endophytes within C. castaneus spines and whether they inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens. Twenty-one genera with 40 species of fungal endophytes were isolated and identified from rattan palm spines. Based on molecular identification, the most common isolates recovered from the spines were Colletotrichum (n = 19) and Diaporthe spp. (n = 18), followed by Phyllosticta spp., Xylaria sp., Trichoderma spp., Helminthosporium spp., Penicillium spp., Fusarium spp., Neopestalotiopsis spp., Arthrinium sp., Cyphellophora sp., Cladosporium spp., Curvularia sp., Bionectria sp., and Acremonium spp. Non-sporulating fungi were also identified, namely Nemania primolutea, Pidoplitchkoviella terricola, Muyocopron laterale, Acrocalymma fici, Acrocalymma medicaginis, and Endomelanconiopsis endophytica. The isolation of these endophytes showed that the spines harbor endophytic fungi. Most of the fungal endophytes inhibited the growth of several plant pathogenic fungi, with 68% of the interactions resulting in mutual inhibition, producing a clear inhibition zone of <2 mm. Our findings demonstrate the potential of the fungal endophytes from C. castaneus spines as biocontrol agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
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Article
Calcium Affects Polyphosphate and Lipid Accumulation in Mucoromycota Fungi
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040300 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
Calcium controls important processes in fungal metabolism, such as hyphae growth, cell wall synthesis, and stress tolerance. Recently, it was reported that calcium affects polyphosphate and lipid accumulation in fungi. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of calcium on [...] Read more.
Calcium controls important processes in fungal metabolism, such as hyphae growth, cell wall synthesis, and stress tolerance. Recently, it was reported that calcium affects polyphosphate and lipid accumulation in fungi. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of calcium on the accumulation of lipids and polyphosphate for six oleaginous Mucoromycota fungi grown under different phosphorus/pH conditions. A Duetz microtiter plate system (Duetz MTPS) was used for the cultivation. The compositional profile of the microbial biomass was recorded using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, the high throughput screening extension (FTIR-HTS). Lipid content and fatty acid profiles were determined using gas chromatography (GC). Cellular phosphorus was determined using assay-based UV-Vis spectroscopy, and accumulated phosphates were characterized using solid-state 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Glucose consumption was estimated by FTIR-attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR). Overall, the data indicated that calcium availability enhances polyphosphate accumulation in Mucoromycota fungi, while calcium deficiency increases lipid production, especially under acidic conditions (pH 2–3) caused by the phosphorus limitation. In addition, it was observed that under acidic conditions, calcium deficiency leads to increase in carotenoid production. It can be concluded that calcium availability can be used as an optimization parameter in fungal fermentation processes to enhance the production of lipids or polyphosphates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Cell Biology, Metabolism and Physiology)
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Article
What Are the Best Parents for Hybrid Progeny? An Investigation into the Human Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040299 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
Hybridization between more divergent organisms is likely to generate progeny with more novel genetic interactions and genetic variations. However, the relationship between parental genetic divergence and progeny phenotypic variation remains largely unknown. Here, using strains of the human pathogenic Cryptococcus, we investigated [...] Read more.
Hybridization between more divergent organisms is likely to generate progeny with more novel genetic interactions and genetic variations. However, the relationship between parental genetic divergence and progeny phenotypic variation remains largely unknown. Here, using strains of the human pathogenic Cryptococcus, we investigated the patterns of such a relationship. Twenty-two strains with up to 15% sequence divergence were mated. Progeny were genotyped at 16 loci. Parental strains and their progeny were phenotyped for growth ability at two temperatures, melanin production at seven conditions, and susceptibility to the antifungal drug fluconazole. We observed three patterns of relationships between parents and progeny for each phenotypic trait, including (i) similar to one of the parents, (ii) intermediate between the parents, and (iii) outside the parental phenotypic range. We found that as genetic distance increases between parental strains, progeny showed increased fluconazole resistance and growth at 37 °C but decreased melanin production under various oxidative and nitrosative stresses. Our findings demonstrate that, depending on the traits, both evolutionarily more similar strains and more divergent strains may be better parents to generate progeny with hybrid vigor. Together, the results indicate the enormous potential of Cryptococcus hybrids in their evolution and adaptation to diverse conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Genetic Tools for Studying Cryptococcus spp.)
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Review
When Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus and Severe COVID-19 Converge: The Perfect Storm for Mucormycosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040298 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 155 | Viewed by 12358
Abstract
Mucormycosis (MCR) has been increasingly described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but the epidemiological factors, presentation, diagnostic certainty, and outcome of such patients are not well described. We review the published COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAMCR) cases (total 41) to identify risk factors, [...] Read more.
Mucormycosis (MCR) has been increasingly described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but the epidemiological factors, presentation, diagnostic certainty, and outcome of such patients are not well described. We review the published COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAMCR) cases (total 41) to identify risk factors, clinical features, and outcomes. CAMCR was typically seen in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) (94%) especially the ones with poorly controlled DM (67%) and severe or critical COVID-19 (95%). Its presentation was typical of MCR seen in diabetic patients (mostly rhino-orbital and rhino-orbital-cerebral presentation). In sharp contrast to reported COVID-associated aspergillosis (CAPA) cases, nearly all CAMCR infections were proven (93%). Treating physicians should have a high suspicion for CAMCR in patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and severe COVID-19 presenting with rhino-orbital or rhino-cerebral syndromes. CAMR is the convergence of two storms, one of DM and the other of COVID-19. Full article
Article
Efficacy of Disinfectants against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 Isolated from La Guajira, Colombia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040297 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
Banana, the main export fruit for Colombia, is threatened by Fusarium wilt (FWB), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), tropical race 4 (TR4). Pathogen containment through disinfecting tools, machinery, shoes, and any means that may carry contaminated soil particles [...] Read more.
Banana, the main export fruit for Colombia, is threatened by Fusarium wilt (FWB), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), tropical race 4 (TR4). Pathogen containment through disinfecting tools, machinery, shoes, and any means that may carry contaminated soil particles with proper disinfectants is at the forefront of disease management. In this study, the biocide efficacy of 10 commercial quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) products and one based on glutaraldehyde (GA) were evaluated on both reproductive structures (microconidia and macroconidia) and survival spores (chlamydospores) of Foc TR4 (strain 140038) isolated from La Guajira, Colombia. QACs were evaluated at 1200 ppm and two exposure times: <1 and 15 min in the absence or presence of soil. For GA disinfectant, four different concentrations (500, 800, 1200, and 2000 ppm) were evaluated at both contact times in the presence of soil. In the absence of soil, all QACs showed 100% biocidal efficiency against microconidia, macroconidia, and chlamydospores at both <1 and 15 min. The presence of soil decreased the efficacy of disinfectants, but some of them, such as QAC3_1st, QAC7_4th, and QAC5_4th, showed 98%, 98%, and 100% efficacy against Foc TR4 chlamydospores, respectively, after <1 min of contact time. For instance, the GA-based disinfectant was able to eliminate all Foc TR4 propagules after 15 min for all concentrations tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Improved Tolerance of Mycorrhizal Torreya grandis Seedlings to Sulfuric Acid Rain Related to Phosphorus and Zinc Contents in Shoots
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040296 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Acid rain (AR) is an increasingly serious environmental problem that frequently occurs in Southern China with sulfuric acid rain (SAR) as the main type. SAR can negatively affect the growth and physiological properties of trees, but mycorrhizal associations may mitigate such detrimental effects. [...] Read more.
Acid rain (AR) is an increasingly serious environmental problem that frequently occurs in Southern China with sulfuric acid rain (SAR) as the main type. SAR can negatively affect the growth and physiological properties of trees, but mycorrhizal associations may mitigate such detrimental effects. However, the mechanisms by which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi control SAR-induced impacts on Torreya grandis plants remain unclear. A pot experiment was conducted on T. grandis seedlings, an economically important tree species in Southern China, in which inoculated and non-inoculated T. grandis seedlings were subjected to three simulated SAR regimes (pH of 5.6, 4.0, and 2.5, respectively) to examine the effects on the growth, osmotic regulation, and nutrient absorption of these seedlings. The results show that, although SAR had no effect on the accumulation of biomass, it significantly decreased the concentrations of proline and soluble protein, shoot Zn2+, P, K+, and Ca2+ concentrations, and the Fe2+ and Mn2+ concentrations of shoots and roots. Mycorrhizal inoculation, especially with Rhizophagus irregularis, significantly increased total biomass, proline concentration, and the Zn2+, P, and K+ concentrations in the shoots of T. grandis under lower pH conditions. Moreover, our findings suggest that the combination of root colonization, acid tolerance, and the concentrations of shoot-P, shoot-Zn2+, and root-Fe2+ of T. grandis jointly conferred mycorrhizal benefits on the plants under SAR conditions. Given the enhancement of the nutritional quality of T. grandis owing to mycorrhizal associations, inoculation with R. irregularis may be preferable for the culturing and management of these plants under acidic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Climate Change on Plant–Fungal Interactions)
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Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of Nilaparvata lugens microRNAs during Challenge with the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040295 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The resistance of the notorious rice pest Nilaparvata lugens to many insecticides has caused significant concerns. Our previous study demonstrated that the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae CQMa421 shows great potential for the control of this pest, but the interactions between them are still unclear. [...] Read more.
The resistance of the notorious rice pest Nilaparvata lugens to many insecticides has caused significant concerns. Our previous study demonstrated that the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae CQMa421 shows great potential for the control of this pest, but the interactions between them are still unclear. Thus, we further investigated fungal infection-related microRNAs (miRNAs) in N. lugens during M. anisopliae CQMa421 challenge using Illumina sequencing. In this study, we constructed twenty-four small RNA libraries over different time courses (i.e., 4 h, 8 h, 16 h, and 24 h). A total of 478.62 M clean reads were collected, with each sample producing more than 13.37 M reads, after the removal of low-quality reads. We identified 2324 miRNAs and their 11,076 target genes within the twenty-four libraries by bioinformatics analysis. Differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRNAs), including 58 (32 upregulated vs. 26 downregulated), 62 (30 upregulated vs. 32 downregulated), 126 (71 upregulated vs. 55 downregulated), and 109 (40 upregulated vs. 69 downregulated) DEmiRNAs were identified at 4 h, 8 h, 16 h, and 24 h post-infection, respectively. We further conducted Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis to predict the functions of all target genes of DEmiRNAs. These DEmiRNAs targets identified during 24 h of infection were primarily involved in energy metabolism, lysine degradation, the FoxO signaling pathway, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, the mRNA surveillance pathway, and the MAPK signaling pathway. Taken together, our results provide essential information for further study of the interactions between the entomopathogenic fungus M. anisopliae and N. lugens at the posttranscriptional level. Full article
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Article
Bot Gummosis of Lemon (Citrus × limon) Caused by Neofusicoccum parvum
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040294 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
Neofusicoccum parvum, in the family Botryosphaeriaceae, was identified as the causal agent of bot gummosis of lemon (Citrus × limon) trees, in the two major lemon-producing regions in Italy. Gummy cankers on trunk and scaffold branches of mature trees were [...] Read more.
Neofusicoccum parvum, in the family Botryosphaeriaceae, was identified as the causal agent of bot gummosis of lemon (Citrus × limon) trees, in the two major lemon-producing regions in Italy. Gummy cankers on trunk and scaffold branches of mature trees were the most typical disease symptoms. Neofusicoccum parvum was the sole fungus constantly and consistently isolated from the canker bark of symptomatic lemon trees. It was identified on the basis of morphological characters and the phylogenetic analysis of three loci, i.e., the internal transcribed spacer of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS) as well as the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (TEF1) and β-tubulin (TUB2) genes. The pathogenicity of N. parvum was demonstrated by wound inoculating two lemon cultivars, ‘Femminello 2kr’ and ‘Monachello’, as well as citrange (C. sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata) ‘Carrizo’ rootstock. In artificial inoculations, the fungus was very aggressive on lemons and weakly virulent on citrange, consistently with symptoms observed in the field as a consequence of natural infections. This is the first report of N. parvum, both in a wide and in a strict taxonomic sense, as a pathogen of lemon in Italy. Full article
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Article
Soil Metabarcoding Offers a New Tool for the Investigation and Hunting of Truffles in Northern Thailand
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040293 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Truffles (Tuber spp.) are well-known as edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms, and some species are one of the most expensive foods in the world. During the fruiting process, truffles produce hypogeous ascocarps; a trained pig or dog is needed to locate the ascocarps under [...] Read more.
Truffles (Tuber spp.) are well-known as edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms, and some species are one of the most expensive foods in the world. During the fruiting process, truffles produce hypogeous ascocarps; a trained pig or dog is needed to locate the ascocarps under the ground. Truffles in northern Thailand have been recorded in association with Betulaalnoides and Carpinus poilanei. In this study, we investigated the soil mycobiota diversity of soil samples from both of these truffle host plants in native forests using environmental DNA metabarcoding to target the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region of the rDNA gene for the purposes of investigation of truffle diversity and locating truffles during the non-fruiting phase. In this study, a total of 38 soil samples were collected from different locations. Of these, truffles had been found at three of these locations. Subsequently, a total of 1341 putative taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained. The overall fungal community was dominated by phylum-level sequences assigned to Ascomycota (57.63%), Basidiomycota (37.26%), Blastocladiomycota (0.007%), Chytridiomycota (0.21%), Glomeromycota (0.01%), Kickxellomycota (0.01%), Mortierellomycota (2.08%), Mucoromycota (0.24%), Rozellomycota (0.01%), Zoopagomycota (0.003%), and unidentified (2.54%). The results revealed that six OTUs were determined to be representative and belonged to the genus Tuber. OTU162, OTU187, OTU447, and OTU530 belonged to T. thailandicum, T. lannaense, T. bomiense, and T. magnatum, whereas OTU105 and OTU720 were acknowledged as unrecognized Tuber species. From 38 locations, OTUs of truffles were found in 33 locations (including three previously known truffle locations). Thus, 30 collection sites were considered new locations for T. thailandicum, T. bomiense, and other unrecognized Tuber species. Interestingly, at 16 new locations, mature ascocarps of truffles that were undergoing the fruiting phase were located underground. All 16 truffle samples were identified as T. thailandicum based on morphological characteristics and molecular phylogenetic analysis. However, ascocarps of other truffle species were not found at the new OTUs representative locations. The knowledge gained from this study can be used to lead researchers to a better understanding of the occurrence of truffles using soil mycobiota diversity investigation. The outcomes of this study will be particularly beneficial with respect to the search and hunt for truffles without the need for trained animals. In addition, the findings of this study will be useful for the management and conservation of truffle habitats in northern Thailand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Classification of Environmental Fungi)
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Article
Triazole-Resistance in Environmental Aspergillus fumigatus in Latin American and African Countries
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040292 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Triazole-resistance has been reported increasingly in Aspergillus fumigatus. An international expert team proposed to avoid triazole monotherapy for the initial treatment of invasive aspergillosis in regions with >10% environmental-resistance, but this prevalence is largely unknown for most American and African countries. Here, [...] Read more.
Triazole-resistance has been reported increasingly in Aspergillus fumigatus. An international expert team proposed to avoid triazole monotherapy for the initial treatment of invasive aspergillosis in regions with >10% environmental-resistance, but this prevalence is largely unknown for most American and African countries. Here, we screened 584 environmental samples (soil) from urban and rural locations in Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru in Latin America and Benin and Nigeria in Africa for triazole-resistant A. fumigatus. Samples were screened using triazole-containing agars and confirmed as triazole-resistant by the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) broth dilution reference method. Isolates were further characterized by cyp51A sequencing and short-tandem repeat typing. Fungicide presence in samples was likewise determined. Among A. fumigatus positive samples, triazole-resistance was detected in 6.9% (7/102) of samples in Mexico, 8.3% (3/36) in Paraguay, 9.8% (6/61) in Peru, 2.2% (1/46) in Nigeria, and none in Benin. Cyp51A gene mutations were present in most of the triazole-resistant isolates (88%; 15/17). The environmentally-associated mutations TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A were prevalent in Mexico and Peru, and isolates harboring these mutations were closely related. For the first time, triazole-resistant A. fumigatus was found in environmental samples in Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Nigeria with a prevalence of 7–10% in the Latin American countries. Our findings emphasize the need to establish triazole-resistance surveillance programs in these countries. Full article
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Review
Lichens—A Potential Source for Nanoparticles Fabrication: A Review on Nanoparticles Biosynthesis and Their Prospective Applications
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040291 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
Green synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) is a safe, eco-friendly, and relatively inexpensive alternative to conventional routes of NPs production. These methods require natural resources such as cyanobacteria, algae, plants, fungi, lichens, and naturally extracted biomolecules such as pigments, vitamins, polysaccharides, proteins, and enzymes [...] Read more.
Green synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) is a safe, eco-friendly, and relatively inexpensive alternative to conventional routes of NPs production. These methods require natural resources such as cyanobacteria, algae, plants, fungi, lichens, and naturally extracted biomolecules such as pigments, vitamins, polysaccharides, proteins, and enzymes to reduce bulk materials (the target metal salts) into a nanoscale product. Synthesis of nanomaterials (NMs) using lichen extracts is a promising eco-friendly, simple, low-cost biological synthesis process. Lichens are groups of organisms including multiple types of fungi and algae that live in symbiosis. Until now, the fabrication of NPs using lichens has remained largely unexplored, although the role of lichens as natural factories for synthesizing NPs has been reported. Lichens have a potential reducible activity to fabricate different types of NMs, including metal and metal oxide NPs and bimetallic alloys and nanocomposites. These NPs exhibit promising catalytic and antidiabetic, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities. To the best of our knowledge, this review provides, for the first time, an overview of the main published studies concerning the use of lichen for nanofabrication and the applications of these NMs in different sectors. Moreover, the possible mechanisms of biosynthesis are discussed, together with the various optimization factors influencing the biological synthesis and toxicity of NPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Nanotechnology)
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