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J. Fungi, Volume 7, Issue 6 (June 2021) – 92 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Extracellular signals regulate development and cellular functions in Eukarya. In the mushroom forming fungus, Schizophyllum commune, inositol signaling could be linked to intracellular and membrane trafficking, providing a link to growth, sexual reproduction, and proteome shifts, as well as metabolic adaptation, including metal tolerance. A model integrating inositol signaling in the known signal transduction pathways governed by Ras, G-protein-coupled receptors, or cAMP was proposed to show the role of inositol signaling in fungal development. View this paper
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Article
Influence of Galectin-3 on the Innate Immune Response during Experimental Cryptococcosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060492 - 20 Jun 2021
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Cryptococcus neoformans, the causative agent of cryptococcosis, is the primary fungal pathogen that affects the immunocompromised individuals. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is an animal lectin involved in both innate and adaptive immune responses. The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of Gal-3 on [...] Read more.
Cryptococcus neoformans, the causative agent of cryptococcosis, is the primary fungal pathogen that affects the immunocompromised individuals. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is an animal lectin involved in both innate and adaptive immune responses. The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of Gal-3 on the C. neoformans infection. We performed histopathological and gene profile analysis of the innate antifungal immunity markers in the lungs, spleen, and brain of the wild-type (WT) and Gal-3 knockout (KO) mice during cryptococcosis. These findings suggest that Gal-3 absence does not cause significant histopathological alterations in the analyzed tissues. The expression profile of the genes related to innate antifungal immunity showed that the presence of cryptococcosis in the WT and Gal-3 KO animals, compared to their respective controls, promoted the upregulation of the pattern recognition receptor (PRR) responsive to mannose/chitin (mrc1) and a gene involved in inflammation (ccr5), as well as the downregulation of the genes related to signal transduction (card9, fos, ikbkb, jun) and PRRs (cd209a, colec12, nptx1). The absence of Gal-3, in fungal infection, a positively modulated gene involved in phagocytosis (sftpd) and negatively genes involved in signal transduction (syk and myd88), proinflammatory cytokines il-1β and il-12b and cd209a receptor. Therefore, our results suggest that Gal-3 may play an essential role in the development of antifungal immune responses against cryptococcosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Genetic Tools for Studying Cryptococcus spp.)
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Article
Update 2016–2018 of the Nationwide Danish Fungaemia Surveillance Study: Epidemiologic Changes in a 15-Year Perspective
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060491 - 19 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
As part of a national surveillance programme initiated in 2004, fungal blood isolates from 2016–2018 underwent species identification and EUCAST susceptibility testing. The epidemiology was described and compared to data from previous years. In 2016–2018, 1454 unique isolates were included. The fungaemia rate [...] Read more.
As part of a national surveillance programme initiated in 2004, fungal blood isolates from 2016–2018 underwent species identification and EUCAST susceptibility testing. The epidemiology was described and compared to data from previous years. In 2016–2018, 1454 unique isolates were included. The fungaemia rate was 8.13/100,000 inhabitants compared to 8.64, 9.03, and 8.38 in 2004–2007, 2008–2011, and 2012–2015, respectively. Half of the cases (52.8%) involved patients 60–79 years old and the incidence was highest in males ≥70 years old. Candida albicans accounted for 42.1% of all isolates and Candida glabrata for 32.1%. C. albicans was more frequent in males (p = 0.03) and C. glabrata in females (p = 0.03). During the four periods, the proportion of C. albicans decreased (p < 0.001), and C. glabrata increased (p < 0.001). Consequently, fluconazole susceptibility gradually decreased from 68.5% to 59.0% (p < 0.001). Acquired fluconazole resistance was found in 4.6% Candida isolates in 2016–2018. Acquired echinocandin resistance increased during the four periods 0.0%, 0.6%, 1.7% to 1.5% (p < 0.0001). Sixteen echinocandin-resistant isolates from 2016–2018 harboured well-known FKS resistance-mutations and one echinocandin-resistant C. albicans had an FKS mutation outside the hotspot (P1354P/S) of unknown importance. In C. glabrata specifically, echinocandin resistance was detected in 12/460 (2.6%) in 2016–2018 whereas multidrug-class resistance was rare (1/460 isolates (0.2%)). Since the increase in incidence during 2004–2011, the incidence has stabilised. In contrast, the species distribution has changed gradually over the 15 years, with increased C. glabrata at the expense of C. albicans. The consequent decreased fluconazole susceptibility and the emergence of acquired echinocandin resistance complicates the management of fungaemia and calls for antifungal drug development. Full article
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Article
Green Strategies of Powdery Mildew Control in Hop: From Organic Products to Nanoscale Carriers
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060490 - 19 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Humulus lupulus L. is a long-lived, perennial, herbaceous, and dioecious climbing plant. The foremost producers in the European Union are Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain. The Spanish cultivated area is concentrated in the province of León. Powdery mildew, caused by [...] Read more.
Humulus lupulus L. is a long-lived, perennial, herbaceous, and dioecious climbing plant. The foremost producers in the European Union are Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain. The Spanish cultivated area is concentrated in the province of León. Powdery mildew, caused by Podosphaera macularis, menaces hop production and quality in all hop growing regions located in the Northern hemisphere, colonizing leaves, petioles, inflorescences, and finally cones. In this work, powdery mildew control was monitored, comparing nine fungicide strategies: five organics, two integrated disease management (IDM)-based, with and without Nutragreen® nanoscale carrier, and two conventional treatments (CON) with and without Nutragreen® nanoscale carrier. The organic treatments were able to diminish P. macularis on leaves, but no effect was observed in cones. CON treatments reduced the infection on leaves and cones and increased the cone quantity and quality. Likewise, IDM-based treatments provided satisfactory results as they diminished powdery mildew on leaves and cones. Finally, dose reduction using a Nutragreen® nanoscale carrier showed beneficial effects in the control of powdery mildew compared to the commercial dose. Hence, the use of nanoscale carries permits a 30% reduction in pesticide dose, which optimizes yield and hop quality, reduces risks linked to pesticides, and aids in compliance with public and international policy demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Fungal Diseases in Crops)
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Article
Low Glucose Mediated Fluconazole Tolerance in Cryptococcus neoformans
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060489 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Chronic meningoencephalitis is caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and is treated in many parts of the world with fluconazole (FLC) monotherapy, which is associated with treatment failure and poor outcome. In the host, C. neoformans propagates predominantly under low glucose growth conditions. We investigated [...] Read more.
Chronic meningoencephalitis is caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and is treated in many parts of the world with fluconazole (FLC) monotherapy, which is associated with treatment failure and poor outcome. In the host, C. neoformans propagates predominantly under low glucose growth conditions. We investigated whether low glucose, mimicked by growing in synthetic media (SM) with 0.05% glucose (SMlowglu), affects FLC-resistance. A > 4-fold increase in FLC tolerance was observed in seven C. neoformans strains when minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined in SMlowglu compared to MIC in SM with normal (2%) glucose (SMnlglu). In SMlowglu, C. neoformans cells exhibited upregulation of efflux pump genes AFR1 (8.7-fold) and AFR2 (2.5-fold), as well as decreased accumulation (2.6-fold) of Nile Red, an efflux pump substrate. Elevated intracellular ATP levels (3.2-fold and 3.4-fold), as well as decreased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels (12.8-fold and 17-fold), were found in the presence and absence of FLC, indicating that low glucose altered mitochondrial function. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that mitochondria of C. neoformans grown in SMlowglu were fragmented, whereas normal glucose promoted a reticular network of mitochondria. Although mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was not markedly affected in SMlowglu, it significantly decreased in the presence of FLC (12.5-fold) in SMnlglu, but remained stable in SMlowglu-growing C. neoformans cells. Our data demonstrate that increased FLC tolerance in low glucose-growing C. neoformans is the result of increased efflux pump activities and altered mitochondrial function, which is more preserved in SMlowglu. This mechanism of resistance is different from FLC heteroresistance, which is associated with aneuploidy of chromosome 1 (Chr1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria: Gene Lineage, Antifungal Targets and Pathogenesis)
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Review
Fungal Melanins and Applications in Healthcare, Bioremediation and Industry
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060488 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
Melanin is a complex multifunctional pigment found in all kingdoms of life, including fungi. The complex chemical structure of fungal melanins, yet to be fully elucidated, lends them multiple unique functions ranging from radioprotection and antioxidant activity to heavy metal chelation and organic [...] Read more.
Melanin is a complex multifunctional pigment found in all kingdoms of life, including fungi. The complex chemical structure of fungal melanins, yet to be fully elucidated, lends them multiple unique functions ranging from radioprotection and antioxidant activity to heavy metal chelation and organic compound absorption. Given their many biological functions, fungal melanins present many possibilities as natural compounds that could be exploited for human use. This review summarizes the current discourse and attempts to apply fungal melanin to enhance human health, remove pollutants from ecosystems, and streamline industrial processes. While the potential applications of fungal melanins are often discussed in the scientific community, they are successfully executed less often. Some of the challenges in the applications of fungal melanin to technology include the knowledge gap about their detailed structure, difficulties in isolating melanotic fungi, challenges in extracting melanin from isolated species, and the pathogenicity concerns that accompany working with live melanotic fungi. With proper acknowledgment of these challenges, fungal melanin holds great potential for societal benefit in the coming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pigments 2021)
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Case Report
Trichoderma longibrachiatum and Aspergillus fischeri Infection as a Cause of Skin Graft Failure in a Patient with Critical Burns after Liver Transplantation
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060487 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
Infectious complications are responsible for the majority of mortalities and morbidities of patients with critical burns. Although bacteria are the predominant etiological agents in such patients, yeasts and fungi have become relatively common causes of infections over the last decade. Here, we report [...] Read more.
Infectious complications are responsible for the majority of mortalities and morbidities of patients with critical burns. Although bacteria are the predominant etiological agents in such patients, yeasts and fungi have become relatively common causes of infections over the last decade. Here, we report a case of a young man with critical burns on 88% TBSA (total body surface area) arising as a part of polytrauma. The patient’s history of orthotopic liver transplantation associated with the patient’s need to use combined immunosuppressant therapy was an additional complication. Due to deep burns in the forearm region, we have (after a suitable wound bed preparation) applied a new bi-layered dermal substitute. The patient, however, developed a combined fungal infection in the region of this dermal substitute caused by Trichoderma longibrachiatum and Aspergillus fischeri (the first case ever reported). The infection caused the loss of the split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs); we had to perform repeated hydrosurgical and mechanical debridement and a systemic antifungal treatment prior to re-application of the STSGs. The subsequent skin transplant was successful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Review
Reconstitution of Polyketide-Derived Meroterpenoid Biosynthetic Pathway in Aspergillus oryzae
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060486 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
The heterologous gene expression system with Aspergillus oryzae as the host is an effective method to investigate fungal secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways for reconstruction to produce un-natural molecules due to its high productivity and genetic tractability. In this review, we focus on biosynthetic [...] Read more.
The heterologous gene expression system with Aspergillus oryzae as the host is an effective method to investigate fungal secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways for reconstruction to produce un-natural molecules due to its high productivity and genetic tractability. In this review, we focus on biosynthetic studies of fungal polyketide-derived meroterpenoids, a group of bioactive natural products, by means of the A. oryzae heterologous expression system. The heterologous expression methods and the biosynthetic reactions are described in detail for future prospects to create un-natural molecules via biosynthetic re-design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspergillus oryzae and related Koji molds)
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Article
Genomic Characteristics and Comparative Genomics Analysis of Two Chinese Corynespora cassiicola Strains Causing Corynespora Leaf Fall (CLF) Disease
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060485 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
Rubber tree Corynespora leaf fall (CLF) disease, caused by the fungus Corynespora cassiicola, is one of the most damaging diseases in rubber tree plantations in Asia and Africa, and this disease also threatens rubber nurseries and young rubber plantations in China. C. [...] Read more.
Rubber tree Corynespora leaf fall (CLF) disease, caused by the fungus Corynespora cassiicola, is one of the most damaging diseases in rubber tree plantations in Asia and Africa, and this disease also threatens rubber nurseries and young rubber plantations in China. C. cassiicola isolates display high genetic diversity, and virulence profiles vary significantly depending on cultivar. Although one phytotoxin (cassicolin) has been identified, it cannot fully explain the diversity in pathogenicity between C. cassiicola species, and some virulent C. cassiicola strains do not contain the cassiicolin gene. In the present study, we report high-quality gapless genome sequences, obtained using short-read sequencing and single-molecule long-read sequencing, of two Chinese C. cassiicola virulent strains. Comparative genomics of gene families in these two stains and a virulent CPP strain from the Philippines showed that all three strains experienced different selective pressures, and metabolism-related gene families vary between the strains. Secreted protein analysis indicated that the quantities of secreted cell wall-degrading enzymes were correlated with pathogenesis, and the most aggressive CCP strain (cassiicolin toxin type 1) encoded 27.34% and 39.74% more secreted carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) than Chinese strains YN49 and CC01, respectively, both of which can only infect rubber tree saplings. The results of antiSMASH analysis showed that all three strains encode ~60 secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters (SM BGCs). Phylogenomic and domain structure analyses of core synthesis genes, together with synteny analysis of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene clusters, revealed diversity in the distribution of SM BGCs between strains, as well as SM polymorphisms, which may play an important role in pathogenic progress. The results expand our understanding of the C. cassiicola genome. Further comparative genomic analysis indicates that secreted CAZymes and SMs may influence pathogenicity in rubber tree plantations. The findings facilitate future exploration of the molecular pathogenic mechanism of C. cassiicola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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Review
Immune Cell Degranulation in Fungal Host Defence
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060484 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Humans have developed complex immune systems that defend against invading microbes, including fungal pathogens. Many highly specialized cells of the immune system share the ability to store antimicrobial compounds in membrane bound organelles that can be immediately deployed to eradicate or inhibit growth [...] Read more.
Humans have developed complex immune systems that defend against invading microbes, including fungal pathogens. Many highly specialized cells of the immune system share the ability to store antimicrobial compounds in membrane bound organelles that can be immediately deployed to eradicate or inhibit growth of invading pathogens. These membrane-bound organelles consist of secretory vesicles or granules, which move to the surface of the cell, where they fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents in the process of degranulation. Lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, mast cells, eosinophils, and basophils all degranulate in fungal host defence. While anti-microbial secretory vesicles are shared among different immune cell types, information about each cell type has emerged independently leading to an uncoordinated and confusing classification of granules and incomplete description of the mechanism by which they are deployed. While there are important differences, there are many similarities in granule morphology, granule content, stimulus for degranulation, granule trafficking, and release of granules against fungal pathogens. In this review, we describe the similarities and differences in an attempt to translate knowledge from one immune cell to another that may facilitate further studies in the context of fungal host defence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Defense against Fungi)
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Article
Molecular and Morphological Assessment of Septoria Species Associated with Ornamental Plants in Yunnan Province, China
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060483 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 789
Abstract
The Karst landform is the main geographic characteristic in South China. Such areas are rich in vegetation and especially suitable for growth of shrubs and herbaceous plants. In this study, 11 Septoria strains were obtained from different plants’ leaves collected in the Kunming [...] Read more.
The Karst landform is the main geographic characteristic in South China. Such areas are rich in vegetation and especially suitable for growth of shrubs and herbaceous plants. In this study, 11 Septoria strains were obtained from different plants’ leaves collected in the Kunming Botanical Garden, Yunnan Province, China. Based on single-gene and multi-gene analyses of five gene loci (tef1, rpb2, tub2, ITS, and LSU) and four gene regions (without LSU), these strains were found to belong to three independent phylogenetic lineages representing five species, including four novel taxa, and one new record for China. Five single gene trees were also provided to evaluate the effectiveness of each gene for discriminating the species, as a result of which tub2 was found to have the most suitable DNA barcode for rapid identification. Morphological descriptions, illustrations, and comparisons are provided for a more comprehensive assessment. Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition (GCPSR) with a pairwise homoplasy index (PHI) test was used to evaluate the conclusions of the phylogenetic analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Evolution, Biodiversity and Systematics)
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Article
Specific Functional Features of the Cell Integrity MAP Kinase Pathway in the Dimorphic Fission Yeast Schizosaccharomyces japonicus
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060482 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways execute essential functions in eukaryotic organisms by transducing extracellular stimuli into adaptive cellular responses. In the fission yeast model Schizosaccharomyces pombe the cell integrity pathway (CIP) and its core effector, MAPK Pmk1, play a key role [...] Read more.
Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways execute essential functions in eukaryotic organisms by transducing extracellular stimuli into adaptive cellular responses. In the fission yeast model Schizosaccharomyces pombe the cell integrity pathway (CIP) and its core effector, MAPK Pmk1, play a key role during regulation of cell integrity, cytokinesis, and ionic homeostasis. Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, another fission yeast species, shows remarkable differences with respect to S. pombe, including a robust yeast to hyphae dimorphism in response to environmental changes. We show that the CIP MAPK module architecture and its upstream regulators, PKC orthologs Pck1 and Pck2, are conserved in both fission yeast species. However, some of S. pombe’s CIP-related functions, such as cytokinetic control and response to glucose availability, are regulated differently in S. japonicus. Moreover, Pck1 and Pck2 antagonistically regulate S. japonicus hyphal differentiation through fine-tuning of Pmk1 activity. Chimeric MAPK-swapping experiments revealed that S. japonicus Pmk1 is fully functional in S. pombe, whereas S. pombe Pmk1 shows a limited ability to execute CIP functions and promote S. japonicus mycelial development. Our findings also suggest that a modified N-lobe domain secondary structure within S. japonicus Pmk1 has a major influence on the CIP signaling features of this evolutionarily diverged fission yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Fungal Cell Wall Integrity Pathway)
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Review
Histoplasmosis Diagnosed in Europe and Israel: A Case Report and Systematic Review of the Literature from 2005 to 2020
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060481 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Human histoplasmosis is a mycosis caused by two distinct varieties of a dimorphic fungus: Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum and H. capsulatum var. duboisii. In Europe, it is usually imported by migrants and travellers, although there have been some autochthonous cases, especially in [...] Read more.
Human histoplasmosis is a mycosis caused by two distinct varieties of a dimorphic fungus: Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum and H. capsulatum var. duboisii. In Europe, it is usually imported by migrants and travellers, although there have been some autochthonous cases, especially in Italy; however, most European physicians are unfamiliar with its clinical and pathological picture, particularly among immunocompromised patients without HIV infection. This systematic review of all the cases of histoplasmosis reported in Europe and Israel between 2005 and 2020 identified 728 cases diagnosed in 17 European countries and Israel described in 133 articles. The vast majority were imported (mainly from Central and South America), but there were also seven autochthonous cases (six in Europe and one in Israel). The patients were prevalently males (60.4%), and their ages ranged from 2 to 86 years. The time between leaving an endemic region and the diagnosis of histoplasmosis varied from a few weeks to more than 40 years. Progressive disseminated histoplasmosis was the most frequent clinical picture among people living with HIV infection (89.5%) or a different immunocompromising condition (57.1%), but it was also recorded in 6.2% of immunocompetent patients. Twenty-eight cases were caused by Histoplasma duboisii. Immunocompromised patients without HIV infection had the worst outcomes, with a mortality rate of 32%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histoplasma and Histoplasmosis 2020)
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Article
Establishing Aspergillus-Specific IgG Cut-Off Level for Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis Diagnosis: Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060480 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Objectives: Aspergillus-specific IgG (Asp-IgG) cut-off level in diagnosing chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) remains unknown. Methods: We prospectively recruited participants with clinical suspicion of CPA in three centers in Taiwan during 2019 June to 2020 August. Serum Aspergillus fumigatus-specific IgG [...] Read more.
Objectives: Aspergillus-specific IgG (Asp-IgG) cut-off level in diagnosing chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) remains unknown. Methods: We prospectively recruited participants with clinical suspicion of CPA in three centers in Taiwan during 2019 June to 2020 August. Serum Aspergillus fumigatus-specific IgG (Asp-IgG) (Phadia, Uppsala, UPPS, Sweden) was examined. Optimal cut-off level was determined by Youden’s index and validated. Results: A total of 373 participants were recruited. In the derivation cohort (n = 262), Asp-IgG had an area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.832. The optimal cut-off level was 40.5 mgA/L. While applying this cut-off level to the validation cohort (n = 111), the sensitivity and specificity were 86.7% and 80.2%. Lowering the cut-off level from 40.5 to 27 mgA/L, the sensitivity was steady (30/36, 83.3% to 31/36, 86.1%) while specificity dropped from 81.9% (276/337) to 63.5% (214/337). Restricting CPA diagnosis to only chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis (CCPA) and chronic fibrosing pulmonary aspergillosis (CFPA) yielded a cut-off level of 42.3 mgA/L in the derivation cohort with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 84.4% in the validation cohort. Conclusions: Serum Asp-IgG performs well for CPA diagnosis and provides a low false-positive rate when using a higher cut-off level (preferably around 40 mgA/L). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Respiratory Fungal Infections)
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Article
Pathogenicity and Host Range of Pythium kashmirense—A Soil-Borne Oomycete Recently Discovered in the UK
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060479 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1189
Abstract
During a survey of oomycetes in ornamental plants carried out at the University of Aberdeen in 2014–2015, Pythium kashmirense was isolated from a specimen of Viburnum plicatum ‘Lanarth’, the first report of this oomycete in the UK (and in Europe). Pathogenicity of a [...] Read more.
During a survey of oomycetes in ornamental plants carried out at the University of Aberdeen in 2014–2015, Pythium kashmirense was isolated from a specimen of Viburnum plicatum ‘Lanarth’, the first report of this oomycete in the UK (and in Europe). Pathogenicity of a Py. kashmirense isolate was examined using a range of plant species. Inoculations were carried out under controlled conditions in the absence of other Pythium and Phytophthora species, on Glycine max (soya bean), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean), Lupinus angustifolius (blue lupin), Cucumis sativa (cucumber) and Viburnum opulus. The majority of inoculations caused pre-emergence damping-off, as well as seed rot and root rot. In the in vitro assays, germination rates (%) of soya bean and blue lupin seeds were less than 50%; in the in vivo inoculations on plants, over 50% of soya bean, blue lupin and common bean plants died; in contrast, cucumber plants showed lower susceptibility in pathogenicity tests, with an approximately 80% germination rate in in vitro tests, and 25% dead plants in the in planta inoculations. Inoculations carried out on root systems of Viburnum opulus caused severe necrosis and root rot. Little research was previously conducted on pathogenicity of Py. kashmirense and its relationship with losses in crop yield and quality. The present study showed varying virulence on the different plant species tested after inoculation with Py. kashmirense. Despite the lack of clear host specialization, infection by Py. kashmirense decreased seedling survival and health of plants in a range of important agricultural and ornamental plant species. Full article
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Article
Towards a Natural Classification of Hyphodontia Sensu Lato and the Trait Evolution of Basidiocarps within Hymenochaetales (Basidiomycota)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060478 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Hyphodontia sensu lato, belonging to Hymenochaetales, accommodates corticioid wood-inhabiting basidiomycetous fungi with resupinate basidiocarps and diverse hymenophoral characters. Species diversity of Hyphodontia sensu lato has been extensively explored worldwide, but in previous studies the six accepted genera in Hyphodontia sensu lato, viz. [...] Read more.
Hyphodontia sensu lato, belonging to Hymenochaetales, accommodates corticioid wood-inhabiting basidiomycetous fungi with resupinate basidiocarps and diverse hymenophoral characters. Species diversity of Hyphodontia sensu lato has been extensively explored worldwide, but in previous studies the six accepted genera in Hyphodontia sensu lato, viz. Fasciodontia, Hastodontia, Hyphodontia, Kneiffiella, Lyomyces and Xylodon were not all strongly supported from a phylogenetic perspective. Moreover, the relationships among these six genera in Hyphodontia sensu lato and other lineages within Hymenochaetales are not clear. In this study, we performed comprehensive phylogenetic analyses on the basis of multiple loci. For the first time, the independence of each of the six genera receives strong phylogenetic support. The six genera are separated in four clades within Hymenochaetales: Fasciodontia, Lyomyces and Xylodon are accepted as members of a previously known family Schizoporaceae, Kneiffiella and Hyphodontia are, respectively, placed in two monotypic families, viz. a previous name Chaetoporellaceae and a newly introduced name Hyphodontiaceae, and Hastodontia is considered to be a genus with an uncertain taxonomic position at the family rank within Hymenochaetales. The three families emerged between 61.51 and 195.87 million years ago. Compared to other families in the Hymenochaetales, these ages are more or less similar to those of Coltriciaceae, Hymenochaetaceae and Oxyporaceae, but much older than those of the two families Neoantrodiellaceae and Nigrofomitaceae. In regard to species, two, one, three and 10 species are newly described from Hyphodontia, Kneiffiella, Lyomyces and Xylodon, respectively. The taxonomic status of additional 30 species names from these four genera is briefly discussed; an epitype is designated for X. australis. The resupinate habit and poroid hymenophoral configuration were evaluated as the ancestral state of basidiocarps within Hymenochaetales. The resupinate habit mainly remains, while the hymenophoral configuration mainly evolves to the grandinioid-odontioid state and also back to the poroid state at the family level. Generally, a taxonomic framework for Hymenochaetales with an emphasis on members belonging to Hyphodontia sensu lato is constructed, and trait evolution of basidiocarps within Hymenochaetales is revealed accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Classification of Environmental Fungi)
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Article
Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Pers. Ethanolic Extract with Antioxidant Properties on Scopolamine-Induced Memory Deficits in a Zebrafish Model of Cognitive Impairment
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060477 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is a rare and appreciated fungal species belonging to the division Basidiomycota used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its medicinal value. This species of mushrooms brings the most diverse benefits for the human body, and [...] Read more.
Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is a rare and appreciated fungal species belonging to the division Basidiomycota used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its medicinal value. This species of mushrooms brings the most diverse benefits for the human body, and can have beneficial effects for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study investigated whether ethanolic extract from the fungal biomass of H. erinaceus enhances cognitive function via the action on cholinergic neurons using the scopolamine (SCOP)-induced zebrafish (Danio rerio) model of memory impairment. The ethanolic extract from the fungal biomass of H. erinaceus was previously obtained using an ultrasonic extraction method (UE). The administration of H. erinaceus extract to zebrafish, with a pattern of AD induced by scopolamine, showed an improvement in memory evaluated by behavioral and biochemical tests on brain tissue. These results suggest that H. erinaceus has preventive and therapeutic potentials in managing memory deficits and brain oxidative stress in zebrafish with AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mushrooms—Mycotherapy and Mycochemistry)
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Review
Candida albicans and Oral Carcinogenesis. A Brief Review
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060476 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Current medical knowledge and research on patients’ management are still evolving, and several protocols on minimizing risk of infection by Candida spp. among the population have developed. The aim of this work is to review the epidemiological and biomolecular characteristics and the various [...] Read more.
Current medical knowledge and research on patients’ management are still evolving, and several protocols on minimizing risk of infection by Candida spp. among the population have developed. The aim of this work is to review the epidemiological and biomolecular characteristics and the various histopathological carcinogenesis hypothesis mechanisms that can occur during Candida albicans infections. Current evidence from the literature on the role of C. albicans during potentially malignant oral disorders and oral cancer has been sought. Thus, these biomolecular processes can give or contribute to benign lesions, also in precancerous or cancerous situations. Alongside this, the physiological microorganism oral flora (microbiota) can play a crucial role in maintaining oral health during those infections and therefore avoid carcinogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Research in Dental Infection, Immunity and Inflammation)
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Article
Fungal Keratitis in Northern Thailand: Spectrum of Agents, Risk Factors and Putative Virulence Factors
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060475 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 947
Abstract
Fungal keratitis (FK) is a serious ocular infection that can result in various degrees of vision loss, including blindness. The aim of the study was to identify and retrospectively review all FK cases diagnosed between August 2012 and December 2020 at a tertiary [...] Read more.
Fungal keratitis (FK) is a serious ocular infection that can result in various degrees of vision loss, including blindness. The aim of the study was to identify and retrospectively review all FK cases diagnosed between August 2012 and December 2020 at a tertiary care hospital in northern Thailand with a specific focus on epidemiologic features, including season, patient sex and age, the spectrum of pathogens, and presence of certain putative virulence factors. Of 1237 patients with corneal ulcers, 294 (23.8%) were confirmed by direct microscopic examination and/or fungal culture. For the positive cases, direct examinations of Calcofluor white (CW) stains and KOH mounts were found in 97.3% (286/294) and 76.5% (225/294), respectively (p < 0.05). Of the cases diagnosed by microscopy and culture, fungi were isolated in 152 (51.7%), with Fusarium spp. being the most frequently identified (n = 69, 45.5%) followed by dematiaceous fungi (n = 45, 29.6%) and Aspergillus spp. (n = 18, 11.8%). The incidence of FK was higher in the rainy season of July to October. The mean age was 54.4 ± 14.4 (SD) years, with a range of 9–88 years. Males (75.8%) were affected significantly more than females (24.2%) (p < 0.05). Of 294 patients, 132 (44.9%) were middle-aged adults (41–60 years) and 107 (36.4%) were older than 60 years. Trauma to the eye by soil or vegetative matter were the most common preceding factors (188/294; 64.0%). We assessed two virulence factors. First, 142 of the 152 culture-positive FK cases were due to molds, indicating that hyphal morphogenesis is extremely important in disease. We also demonstrated that fungal melanization occurs in the molds during the course of FK by applying a melanin-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) that labeled fungal elements in corneal samples of patients, and melanin particles derived from the hyphae were also recovered after treatment of the samples with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant and hot concentrated acid. In summary, we demonstrate that northern Thailand has a high rate of FK that is influenced by season and males engaged in outside activities are at highest risk for disease. Moulds are significantly more commonly responsible for FK, in part due to their capacity to form hyphae and melanins. Future studies will examine models of fungal corneal interactions and assess additional factors of virulence, such as secreted enzymes, to more deeply decipher the pathogenesis of FK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Fungal Infections)
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Article
Immunological Cross-Reactivity of Proteins Extracted from the Oomycete Pythium insidiosum and the Fungus Basidiobolus ranarum Compromises the Detection Specificity of Immunodiagnostic Assays for Pythiosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060474 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
Pythiosis, a life-threatening disease caused by Pythium insidiosum, has been increasingly diagnosed worldwide. A recently developed immunochromatographic test (ICT) enables the rapid diagnosis of pythiosis. During the 3-year clinical implementation of ICT in Thailand, we collected the laboratory reports of 38 animals [...] Read more.
Pythiosis, a life-threatening disease caused by Pythium insidiosum, has been increasingly diagnosed worldwide. A recently developed immunochromatographic test (ICT) enables the rapid diagnosis of pythiosis. During the 3-year clinical implementation of ICT in Thailand, we collected the laboratory reports of 38 animals with suspected pythiosis and detected ICT false-positive results in three horses and a dog with basidiobolomycosis. P. insidiosum and Basidiobolus ranarum cause infections with indistinguishable clinical and microscopic features. This study investigated cross-reactive antibodies by probing P. insidiosum and B. ranarum crude extracts and cell-free synthesized I06 protein (encoded in P. insidiosum genome, not other fungi) against a panel of pythiosis, basidiobolomycosis, rabbit anti-I06 peptide, and control sera by Western blot analyses. ICT false-positive results occurred from the cross-reactivity of anti-B. ranarum antibodies to the 15, 50, 60, and 120 kDa proteins of P. insidiosum, not double infections caused by both pathogens. Notably, ICT could help to screen pythiosis, and the positive test requires confirmation by culture or molecular method. The detection specificity of ICT requires improvement. The crude extract containing multispecies antigens needs replacement with a refined P. insidiosum-specific protein. We proposed that the 55 kDa I06 protein is an excellent candidate for developing a more specific serodiagnostic test for pythiosis. Full article
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Article
The Efficacy of Green Synthesized Nanosilver in Reducing the Incidence of Post-Harvest Apple Fruit Brown Rot
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060473 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 806
Abstract
This study aimed to green synthesize nanosilver (AgNPs) using black tea extract and use it as a nanopreservative to increase the shelf life of stored apple fruits. Ultraviolet visible absorption (UV–vis) analysis of AgNPs recorded two λ max values at 260 and 452 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to green synthesize nanosilver (AgNPs) using black tea extract and use it as a nanopreservative to increase the shelf life of stored apple fruits. Ultraviolet visible absorption (UV–vis) analysis of AgNPs recorded two λ max values at 260 and 452 nm. Transmission electron microscope and dynamic light scattering analyses showed that AgNPs are spherical in shape and have an average size of 20 and 170.6 nm, respectively, with a zeta potential of −20.06 mV. An in vitro assay confirmed the antifungal potential of AgNPs against M. fructigena when applied at 200 mg/L and preincubated for 4 days, reducing the radial growth by 96.1%. At the same dose and preincubation period, AgNPs caused a significant reduction in the diameter and fresh weight of brown rotted lesions in apple fruits artificially coinoculated with the pathogen by 77.4% and 84.4%, respectively. AgNPs caused the leakage of proteins and DNA from M. fructigena conidia and did not express cytotoxicity against the human HaCaT cell lines. Accordingly, green synthesized AgNPs are eco-friendly and economical and do not pose harm to human health; thus, they could be used as an effective nanopreservative in apple fruit stores to reduce the incidence of brown rot disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Article
Biocontrol Potential of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens against Botrytis pelargonii and Alternaria alternata on Capsicum annuum
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060472 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the ability of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, to augment plant growth and suppress gray mold and leaf spot in pepper plants. Morphological modifications in fungal pathogen hyphae that expanded toward the PGPR colonies were detected via [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the ability of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, to augment plant growth and suppress gray mold and leaf spot in pepper plants. Morphological modifications in fungal pathogen hyphae that expanded toward the PGPR colonies were detected via scanning electron microscope. Furthermore, preliminary screening showed that PGPR could produce various hydrolytic enzymes in its media. Treatments with B. amyloliquefaciens suppressed Botrytis gray mold and Alternaria leaf spot diseases on pepper caused by Botrytis pelargonii and Alternaria alternata, respectively. The PGPR strain modulated plant physio-biochemical processes. The inoculation of pepper with PGPR decreased protein, amino acid, antioxidant, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, and abscisic acid levels but increased salicylic acid and sugar levels compared to those of uninoculated plants, indicating a mitigation of the adverse effects of biotic stress. Moreover, gene expression studies confirmed physio-biochemical findings. PGPR inoculation led to increased expression of the CaXTH genes and decreased expression of CaAMP1, CaPR1, CaDEF1, CaWRKY2, CaBI-1, CaASRF1, CaSBP11, and CaBiP genes. Considering its beneficial effects, the inoculation of B. amyloliquefaciens can be proposed as an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic chemical fungicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
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Article
Keratinases Produced by Aspergillus stelliformis, Aspergillus sydowii, and Fusarium brachygibbosum Isolated from Human Hair: Yield and Activity
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060471 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
Twenty fungal strains belonging to 17 species and isolated from male scalp hair were tested for their capacity to hydrolyze keratinous material from chicken feather. The identification of the three most efficient species was confirmed by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) [...] Read more.
Twenty fungal strains belonging to 17 species and isolated from male scalp hair were tested for their capacity to hydrolyze keratinous material from chicken feather. The identification of the three most efficient species was confirmed by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA. Activities of fungal keratinases produced by Aspergillus stelliformis (strain AUMC 10920), A. sydowii (AUMC 10935), and Fusarium brachygibbosum (AUMC 10937) were 113, 120, and 130 IU mg−1 enzymes, respectively. The most favorable conditions were at pH 8.0 and 50 °C. Keratinase activity was markedly inhibited by EDTA and metal ions Ca+2, Co+2, Ni+2, Cu+2, Fe+2, Mg+2, and Zn+2, with differences between the fungal species. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the activity of keratinase produced by A. stelliformis, A. sydowii, and F. brachygibbosum. F. brachygibbosum keratinase was the most active, but the species is not recommended because of its known phytopathogenicty. Aspergillus sydowii has many known biotechnological solutions and here we add another application of the species, as producer of keratinases. We introduce A. stelliformis as new producer of active fungal keratinases for biotechnological solutions, such as in the management of keratinous waste in poultry industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi for Biotechnological Application and Environmental Cleanup)
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Article
Inositol Signaling in the Basidiomycete Fungus Schizophyllum commune
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060470 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Intracellular signaling is conserved in eukaryotes to allow for response to extracellular signals and to regulate development and cellular functions. In fungi, inositol phosphate signaling has been shown to be involved in growth, sexual reproduction, and metabolic adaptation. However, reports on mushroom-forming fungi [...] Read more.
Intracellular signaling is conserved in eukaryotes to allow for response to extracellular signals and to regulate development and cellular functions. In fungi, inositol phosphate signaling has been shown to be involved in growth, sexual reproduction, and metabolic adaptation. However, reports on mushroom-forming fungi are lacking so far. In Schizophyllum commune, an inositol monophosphatase has been found up-regulated during sexual development. The enzyme is crucial for inositol cycling, where it catalyzes the last step of inositol phosphate metabolism, restoring the inositol pool from the monophosphorylated inositol monophosphate. We overexpressed the gene in this model basidiomycete and verified its involvement in cell wall integrity and intracellular trafficking. Strong phenotypes in mushroom formation and cell metabolism were evidenced by proteome analyses. In addition, altered inositol signaling was shown to be involved in tolerance towards cesium and zinc, and increased metal tolerance towards cadmium, associated with induced expression of kinases and repression of phosphatases within the inositol cycle. The presence of the heavy metals Sr, Cs, Cd, and Zn lowered intracellular calcium levels. We could develop a model integrating inositol signaling in the known signal transduction pathways governed by Ras, G-protein coupled receptors, and cAMP, and elucidate their different roles in development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Review
Ingredients, Functionality, and Safety of the Japanese Traditional Sweet Drink Amazake
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060469 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
The sweet drink amazake is a fermented food made from Aspergillus oryzae and related koji molds in Japan. There are two types of drinks called amazake, one made from koji (koji amazake) and the other made from sake lees, a [...] Read more.
The sweet drink amazake is a fermented food made from Aspergillus oryzae and related koji molds in Japan. There are two types of drinks called amazake, one made from koji (koji amazake) and the other made from sake lees, a by-product of sake (sakekasu amazake). The sweetness of koji amazake is from glucose, derived from starch broken down by A. oryzae amylase. The other, sakekasu amazake, depends on added sugar. The main components are glucose and sucrose, but they also contain more than 300 other ingredients. Koji amazake contains oligosaccharides and ergothioneine, and sakekasu amazake has a resistant protein and α-ethyl glucoside, which are characteristic ingredients of each amazake. However, there are also common ingredients such as glycosylceramide. Functionality is known to include anti-fatigue, bowel movement, skin barrier, and other effects on human health. In particular, the bowel movement-improving effects have been well studied for both amazakes. These functions result from ingesting approximately 100 mL per day, but human clinical trials have clarified that this amount has no effect on blood glucose levels and weight gain. In the future, the identification of substances associated with each function is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspergillus oryzae and related Koji molds)
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Article
Differential Proinflammatory Responses to Aspergillus fumigatus by Airway Epithelial Cells In Vitro Are Protease Dependent
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060468 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
Aspergillus fumigatus is an important human respiratory mould pathogen. In addition to a barrier function, airway epithelium elicits a robust defence against inhaled A. fumigatus by initiating an immune response. The manner by which A. fumigatus initiates this response and the reasons for [...] Read more.
Aspergillus fumigatus is an important human respiratory mould pathogen. In addition to a barrier function, airway epithelium elicits a robust defence against inhaled A. fumigatus by initiating an immune response. The manner by which A. fumigatus initiates this response and the reasons for the immunological heterogeneity with different isolates are unclear. Both direct fungal cell wall–epithelial cell interaction and secretion of soluble proteases have been proposed as possible mechanisms. Our aim was to determine the contribution of fungal proteases to the induction of epithelial IL-6 and IL-8 in response to different A. fumigatus isolates. Airway epithelial cells were exposed to conidia from a low or high protease-producing strain of A. fumigatus, and IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression and protein production were quantified. The role of proteases in cytokine production was further determined using specific protease inhibitors. The proinflammatory cytokine response correlated with conidia germination and hyphal extension. IL-8 induction was significantly reduced in the presence of matrix metalloprotease or cysteine protease inhibitors. With a high protease-producing strain of A. fumigatus, IL-6 release was metalloprotease dependent. Dectin-1 antagonism also inhibited the production of both cytokines. In conclusion, A. fumigatus-secreted proteases mediate a proinflammatory response by airway epithelial cells in a strain-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Article
New Species of Trichoderma Isolated as Endophytes and Saprobes from Southwest China
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060467 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
During the investigation of endophytic fungi diversity in aquatic plants and the fungal diversity in soil in southwest China, we obtained 208 isolates belonging to Trichoderma, including 28 isolates as endophytes from aquatic plants and 180 isolates as saprobes from soil, respectively. [...] Read more.
During the investigation of endophytic fungi diversity in aquatic plants and the fungal diversity in soil in southwest China, we obtained 208 isolates belonging to Trichoderma, including 28 isolates as endophytes from aquatic plants and 180 isolates as saprobes from soil, respectively. Finally, 23 new species of Trichoderma are recognized by further studies. Their phylogenetic positions are determined by sequence analyses of the combined partial sequences of translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1) and gene encoding of the second largest nuclear RNA polymerase subunit (rpb2). The results revealed that the 23 new species are distributed in nine known clades. The morphology and culture characteristics are observed, described and illustrated in detail. Distinctions between the new species and their close relatives were compared and discussed. These include: Trichoderma achlamydosporum, T. amoenum, T. anaharzianum, T. anisohamatum, T. aquatica, T. asiaticum, T. asymmetricum, T. inaequilaterale, T. inconspicuum, T. insigne, T. obovatum, T. paraviride, T. pluripenicillatum, T. propepolypori, T. pseudoasiaticum, T. pseudoasperelloides, T. scorpioideum, T. simile, T. subazureum, T. subuliforme, T. supraverticillatum, T. tibetica, and T. uncinatum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology 2.0)
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Article
Hidden Fungi: Combining Culture-Dependent and -Independent DNA Barcoding Reveals Inter-Plant Variation in Species Richness of Endophytic Root Fungi in Elymus repens
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060466 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
The root endophyte community of the grass species Elymus repens was investigated using both a culture-dependent approach and a direct amplicon sequencing method across five sites and from individual plants. There was much heterogeneity across the five sites and among individual plants. Focusing [...] Read more.
The root endophyte community of the grass species Elymus repens was investigated using both a culture-dependent approach and a direct amplicon sequencing method across five sites and from individual plants. There was much heterogeneity across the five sites and among individual plants. Focusing on one site, 349 OTUs were identified by direct amplicon sequencing but only 66 OTUs were cultured. The two approaches shared ten OTUs and the majority of cultured endophytes do not overlap with the amplicon dataset. Media influenced the cultured species richness and without the inclusion of 2% MEA and full-strength MEA, approximately half of the unique OTUs would not have been isolated using only PDA. Combining both culture-dependent and -independent methods for the most accurate determination of root fungal species richness is therefore recommended. High inter-plant variation in fungal species richness was demonstrated, which highlights the need to rethink the scale at which we describe endophyte communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes in Agriculture and Ecosystems)
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Article
Identification of Volatile Sulfur Compounds Produced by Schizophyllum commune
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060465 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1000
Abstract
Schizophyllum commune is a causative agent of allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis, allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, and basidiomycosis. Diagnosis of these diseases remains difficult because no commercially available tool exists to identify the pathogen. Unique volatile organic compounds produced by a pathogen might be useful for [...] Read more.
Schizophyllum commune is a causative agent of allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis, allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, and basidiomycosis. Diagnosis of these diseases remains difficult because no commercially available tool exists to identify the pathogen. Unique volatile organic compounds produced by a pathogen might be useful for non-invasive diagnosis. Here, we explored microbial volatile organic compounds produced by S. commune. Volatile sulfur compounds, dimethyl disulfide (48 of 49 strains) and methyl ethyl disulfide (49 of 49 strains), diethyl disulfide (34 of 49 strains), dimethyl trisulfide (40 of 49 strains), and dimethyl tetrasulfide (32 of 49 strains) were detected from headspace air in S. commune cultured vials. Every S. commune strain produced at least one volatile sulfur compound analyzed in this study. Those volatile sulfur compounds were not detected from the cultures of Aspergillus spp. (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, and A. terreus), which are other major causative agents of allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis. The last, we examined H2S detection using lead acetate paper. Headspace air from S. commune rapidly turned the lead acetate paper black. These results suggest that those volatile sulfur compounds are potent targets for the diagnosis of S. commune and infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Cell Biology, Metabolism and Physiology)
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Article
Comparative Genomics Used to Predict Virulence Factors and Metabolic Genes among Monilinia Species
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060464 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
Brown rot, caused by Monilinia spp., is among the most important diseases in stone fruits, and some pome fruits (mainly apples). This disease is responsible for significant yield losses, particularly in stone fruits, when weather conditions favorable for disease development appear. To achieve [...] Read more.
Brown rot, caused by Monilinia spp., is among the most important diseases in stone fruits, and some pome fruits (mainly apples). This disease is responsible for significant yield losses, particularly in stone fruits, when weather conditions favorable for disease development appear. To achieve future sustainable strategies to control brown rot on fruit, one potential approach will be to characterize genomic variation among Monilinia spp. to define, among others, the capacity to infect fruit in this genus. In the present work, we performed genomic and phylogenomic comparisons of five Monilinia species and inferred differences in numbers of secreted proteins, including CAZy proteins and other proteins important for virulence. Duplications specific to Monilinia were sparse and, overall, more genes have been lost than gained. Among Monilinia spp., low variability in the CAZome was observed. Interestingly, we identified several secondary metabolism clusters based on similarity to known clusters, and among them was a cluster with homology to pyriculol that could be responsible for the synthesis of chloromonilicin. Furthermore, we compared sequences of all strains available from NCBI of these species to assess their MAT loci and heterokaryon compatibility systems. Our comparative analyses provide the basis for future studies into understanding how these genomic differences underlie common or differential abilities to interact with the host plant. Full article
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Article
MoGLN2 Is Important for Vegetative Growth, Conidiogenesis, Maintenance of Cell Wall Integrity and Pathogenesis of Magnaporthe oryzae
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060463 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1018
Abstract
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that acts as a principal source of nitrogen and nucleic acid biosynthesis in living organisms. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glutamine synthetase catalyzes the synthesis of glutamine. To determine the role of glutamine synthetase in the development and [...] Read more.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that acts as a principal source of nitrogen and nucleic acid biosynthesis in living organisms. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glutamine synthetase catalyzes the synthesis of glutamine. To determine the role of glutamine synthetase in the development and pathogenicity of plant fungal pathogens, we used S. cerevisiae Gln1 amino acid sequence to identify its orthologs in Magnaporthe oryzae and named them MoGln1, MoGln2, and MoGln3. Deletion of MoGLN1 and MoGLN3 showed that they are not involved in the development and pathogenesis of M. oryzae. Conversely, ΔMogln2 was reduced in vegetative growth, experienced attenuated growth on Minimal Medium (MM), and exhibited hyphal autolysis on oatmeal and straw decoction and corn media. Exogenous l-glutamine rescued the growth of ΔMogln2 on MM. The ΔMogln2 mutant failed to produce spores and was nonpathogenic on barley leaves, as it was unable to form an appressorium-like structure from its hyphal tips. Furthermore, deletion of MoGLN2 altered the fungal cell wall integrity, with the ΔMogln2 mutant being hypersensitive to H2O2. MoGln1, MoGln2, and MoGln3 are located in the cytoplasm. Taken together, our results shows that MoGLN2 is important for vegetative growth, conidiation, appressorium formation, maintenance of cell wall integrity, oxidative stress tolerance and pathogenesis of M. oryzae. Full article
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