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J. Fungi, Volume 7, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 99 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Even though significant advances have been made in recent years regarding the taxonomy of the Arthrodermataceae family, the species composition of the Trichophyton benhamiae complex remains enigmatic. Using multi-gene phylogenetic analysis, MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry and morphological analysis, this paper attempts to elucidate the composition of this medically important group of dermatophytes, with the goal of providing clear distinguishing characteristics for the identification of species within the complex. View this paper
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Article
Genomic and Experimental Investigations of Auriscalpium and Strobilurus Fungi Reveal New Insights into Pinecone Decomposition
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080679 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
Saprophytic fungi (SPF) play vital roles in ecosystem dynamics and decomposition. However, because of the complexity of living systems, our understanding of how SPF interact with each other to decompose organic matter is very limited. Here we studied their roles and interactions in [...] Read more.
Saprophytic fungi (SPF) play vital roles in ecosystem dynamics and decomposition. However, because of the complexity of living systems, our understanding of how SPF interact with each other to decompose organic matter is very limited. Here we studied their roles and interactions in the decomposition of highly specialized substrates between the two genera Auriscalpium and Strobilurus fungi-colonized fallen pinecones of the same plant sequentially. We obtained the genome sequences from seven fungal species with three pairs: A. orientale-S. luchuensis, A. vulgare-S. stephanocystis and A. microsporum-S. pachcystidiatus/S. orientalis on cones of Pinus yunnanensis, P. sylvestris and P. armandii, respectively, and the organic profiles of substrate during decomposition. Our analyses revealed evidence for both competition and cooperation between the two groups of fungi during decomposition, enabling efficient utilization of substrates with complementary profiles of carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes). The Auriscalpium fungi are highly effective at utilizing the primary organic carbon, such as lignin, and hemicellulose in freshly fallen cones, facilitated the invasion and colonization by Strobilurus fungi. The Strobilurus fungi have genes coding for abundant CAZymes to utilize the remaining organic compounds and for producing an arsenal of secondary metabolites such as strobilurins that can inhibit other fungi from colonizing the pinecones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Lebanon’s Native Oenological Saccharomyces cerevisiae Flora: Assessment of Different Aspects of Genetic Diversity and Evaluation of Winemaking Potential
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080678 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 954
Abstract
A total of 296 isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae sampled from naturally fermenting grape musts from various locations in Lebanon were typed by interdelta fingerprinting. Of these, 88 isolates were compared with oenological strains originating from various countries, using microsatellite characterization at six polymorphic [...] Read more.
A total of 296 isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae sampled from naturally fermenting grape musts from various locations in Lebanon were typed by interdelta fingerprinting. Of these, 88 isolates were compared with oenological strains originating from various countries, using microsatellite characterization at six polymorphic loci. These approaches evidenced a large diversity of the natural oenological Lebanese flora over the territory as well as in individual spontaneous fermentations. Several cases of dominance and perenniality of isolates were observed in the same wineries, where fermentations appeared to involve lineages of sibling isolates. Our work thus evidenced a “winery effect” on strains’ relatedness. Similarly, related or identical strains were also detected in vicinal wineries, suggesting strain circulation within small geographical areas and a further “vicinity effect”. Moreover, and despite its diversity, the Lebanese flora seemed interrelated, on the basis of microsatellite loci analysis, in comparison to worldwide communities. We finally tested the ability of 21 indigenous strains to act as potential starters for winemaking. Seven of them passed our pre-selection scheme and two of them at least may be good candidates for use provided pilot-scale assays confirm their suitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leveraging Yeast Biodiversity for Biotechnology)
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Article
Physcomitrium patens Infection by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides: Understanding the Fungal–Bryophyte Interaction by Microscopy, Phenomics and RNA Sequencing
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080677 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
Anthracnose caused by the hemibiotroph fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a devastating plant disease with an extensive impact on plant productivity. The process of colonization and disease progression of C. gloeosporioides has been studied in a number of angiosperm crops. To better understand the [...] Read more.
Anthracnose caused by the hemibiotroph fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a devastating plant disease with an extensive impact on plant productivity. The process of colonization and disease progression of C. gloeosporioides has been studied in a number of angiosperm crops. To better understand the evolution of the plant response to pathogens, the study of this complex interaction has been extended to bryophytes. The model moss Physcomitrium patens Hedw. B&S (former Physcomitrella patens) is sensitive to known bacterial and fungal phytopathogens, including C. gloeosporioides, which cause infection and cell death. P. patens responses to these microorganisms resemble that of the angiosperms. However, the molecular events during the interaction of P. patens and C. gloeosporioides have not been explored. In this work, we present a comprehensive approach using microscopy, phenomics and RNA-seq analysis to explore the defense response of P. patens to C. gloeosporioides. Microscopy analysis showed that appressoria are already formed at 24 h after inoculation (hai) and tissue colonization and cell death occur at 24 hai and is massive at 48 hai. Consequently, the phenomics analysis showed progressing browning of moss tissues and impaired photosynthesis from 24 to 48 hai. The transcriptomic analysis revealed that more than 1200 P. patens genes were differentially expressed in response to Colletotrichum infection. The analysis of differentially expressed gene function showed that the C. gloeosporioides infection led to a transcription reprogramming in P. patens that upregulated the genes related to pathogen recognition, secondary metabolism, cell wall reinforcement and regulation of gene expression. In accordance with the observed phenomics results, some photosynthesis and chloroplast-related genes were repressed, indicating that, under attack, P. patens changes its transcription from primary metabolism to defend itself from the pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
First Characterization and Description of Aspergillus Series Versicolores in French Bioaerosols
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080676 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2279
Abstract
Air quality can be altered by fungal contaminants suspended in the air, forming bioaerosols. Aspergilli section Nidulantes series Versicolores are recurrent in bioaerosols and are mainly responsible for allergies and asthma aggravation. Phylogenetic studies recently identified 12 new species within this series. This [...] Read more.
Air quality can be altered by fungal contaminants suspended in the air, forming bioaerosols. Aspergilli section Nidulantes series Versicolores are recurrent in bioaerosols and are mainly responsible for allergies and asthma aggravation. Phylogenetic studies recently identified 12 new species within this series. This study is the first to identify species of Aspergillus series Versicolores in French bioaerosols and to characterize them macroscopically, microscopically and molecularly. Bioaerosols were collected in a cancer treatment center, in contaminated homes and in agricultural environments. A total of 93 isolates were cultured on selective media, observed by optical microscopy and identified by benA amplification before sequencing. The field data (temperature and relative humidity) were statistically tested to explore the ecology of these species. Eight species were identified from bioaerosols: Aspergillus creber and A. jensenii, which represent more than 80% of the isolates, and A. protuberus, A. puulaauensis, A. sydowii, A. tabacinus, A. amoenus and A. fructus. Aspergilli series Versicolores are distributed differently depending on the sampling site and climatic determinants. Aspergillus protuberus was found in bioaerosols collected under significantly lower relative humidity (p = 3.899 × 10−4). Characterization and repartition of these isolates belonging to the Versicolores series constitute an important step to better assess exposure to fungal bioaerosols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Classification of Environmental Fungi)
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Article
The Endophytic Fungus Piriformospora Indica-Assisted Alleviation of Cadmium in Tobacco
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080675 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests that the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica helps plants overcome various abiotic stresses, especially heavy metals. However, the mechanism of heavy metal tolerance has not yet been elucidated. Here, the role of P. indica in alleviating cadmium (Cd) toxicities in tobacco [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests that the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica helps plants overcome various abiotic stresses, especially heavy metals. However, the mechanism of heavy metal tolerance has not yet been elucidated. Here, the role of P. indica in alleviating cadmium (Cd) toxicities in tobacco was investigated. It was found that P. indica improved Cd tolerance to tobacco, increasing Cd accumulation in roots but decreasing Cd accumulation in leaves. The colonization of P. indica altered the subcellular repartition of Cd, increasing the Cd proportion in cell walls while reducing the Cd proportion in membrane/organelle and soluble fractions. During Cd stress, P. indica significantly enhanced the peroxidase (POD) activity and glutathione (GSH) content in tobacco. The spatial distribution of GSH was further visualized by Raman spectroscopy, showing that GSH was distributed in the cortex of P. indica-inoculated roots while in the epidermis of the control roots. A LC-MS/MS-based label-free quantitative technique evaluated the differential proteomics of P. indica treatment vs. control plants under Cd stress. The expressions of peroxidase, glutathione synthase, and photosynthesis-related proteins were significantly upregulated. This study provided extensive evidence for how P. indica enhances Cd tolerance in tobacco at physiological, cytological, and protein levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
Hydrophobin CmHYD1 Is Involved in Conidiation, Infection and Primordium Formation, and Regulated by GATA Transcription Factor CmAreA in Edible Fungus, Cordyceps militaris
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080674 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Hydrophobins are a family of small proteins exclusively secreted by fungi, and play a variety of roles in the life cycle. Cmhyd1, one of the hydrophobin class II members in Cordyceps militaris, has been shown to have a high transcript level [...] Read more.
Hydrophobins are a family of small proteins exclusively secreted by fungi, and play a variety of roles in the life cycle. Cmhyd1, one of the hydrophobin class II members in Cordyceps militaris, has been shown to have a high transcript level during fruiting body development. Here, deletion of Cmhyd1 results in reduction in aerial mycelia, conidiation, hydrophobicity and infection ability, and complete inhibition of pigmentation and primordium differentiation. Cmhyd1 plays roles in conidiation and cuticle-bypassing infection by regulating the transcripts of frequency clock protein, Cmfrq, and velvet protein, Cmvosa, as well as primordium formation via the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Cmhyd1 also participates in stress response, including tolerance of mycelia to osmotic and oxidative stresses, and conidia to high or low temperatures. CmAreA, a transcription factor of nitrogen regulatory, is recruited to the promoter of Cmhyd1 and activates the transcription of Cmhyd1 with coactivator CmOTam using electrophoretic mobility shift assays and transient luciferase expression in tobacco. Furthermore, CmHYD1 is proved to regulate the transcription of Cmarea at different developmental stages via a positive feedback loop. These results reveal the diverse roles and regulation of Cmhyd1 in C. militaris, and provide insights into the developmental regulatory mechanism of mushrooms. Full article
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Article
Epidemiology of Candidemia in Kuwait: A Nationwide, Population-Based Study
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080673 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
The Candida species cause a majority of invasive fungal infections. In this article, we describe the nationwide epidemiology of candidemia in Kuwait in 2018. Yeast bloodstream isolates submitted from all major hospitals and identified by phenotypic MALDI-TOF MS and/or by molecular methods were [...] Read more.
The Candida species cause a majority of invasive fungal infections. In this article, we describe the nationwide epidemiology of candidemia in Kuwait in 2018. Yeast bloodstream isolates submitted from all major hospitals and identified by phenotypic MALDI-TOF MS and/or by molecular methods were studied. Susceptibility testing was performed by Etest. Out of 313 bloodstream yeasts, 239 Candida spp. isolates (excluding duplicate isolates) were obtained during 234 candidemic episodes among 223 patients. Mixed-species candidemia and re-infection occurred in 5 and 11 patients, respectively. C. albicans (n = 74), C. parapsilosis (n = 54), C. tropicalis (n = 35), C. auris (n = 33), C. glabrata (n = 32), other Candida spp. (n = 11), and other yeasts (n = 9) caused fungemia. Nearly 50% of patients were in intensive care units. Candida spp. isolates (except C. glabrata) were susceptible to caspofungin and 27% of C. auris were amphotericin B-resistant. Resistance to fluconazole was 100% in C. auris, 17% in C. parapsilosis, 12% in C. glabrata, and 1% in C. albicans. Mortality was 47% for other Candida/yeast infections. Nationwide candidemia incidence in 2018 was 5.29 cases/100,000 inhabitants. Changes in species spectrum, increasing fluconazole resistance in C. parapsilosis, and the emergence of C. auris as a major pathogen in Kuwait are noteworthy findings. The data could be of help in informing decisions regarding planning, in the allocation of resources, and in antimicrobial stewardship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Fungal Infections 2021)
Article
Fungal Pathogen Emergence: Investigations with an Ustilago maydis × Sporisorium reilianum Hybrid
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080672 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 908
Abstract
The emergence of new fungal pathogens threatens sustainable crop production worldwide. One mechanism by which new pathogens may arise is hybridization. To investigate hybridization, the related smut fungi, Ustilago maydis and Sporisorium reilianum, were selected because they both infect Zea mays [...] Read more.
The emergence of new fungal pathogens threatens sustainable crop production worldwide. One mechanism by which new pathogens may arise is hybridization. To investigate hybridization, the related smut fungi, Ustilago maydis and Sporisorium reilianum, were selected because they both infect Zea mays, can hybridize, and tools are available for their analysis. The hybrid dikaryons of these fungi grew as filaments on plates but their colonization and virulence in Z. mays were reduced compared to the parental dikaryons. The anthocyanin induction caused by the hybrid dikaryon infections was distinct, suggesting its interaction with the host was different from that of the parental dikaryons. Selected virulence genes previously characterized in U. maydis and their predicted S. reilianum orthologs had altered transcript levels during hybrid infection of Z. mays. The downregulated U. maydis effectors, tin2, pit2, and cce1, and transcription factors, rbf1, hdp2, and nlt1, were constitutively expressed in the hybrid. Little impact was observed with increased effector expression; however, increased expression of rbf1 and hdp2, which regulate early pathogenic development by U. maydis, increased the hybrid’s capacity to induce symptoms including the rare induction of small leaf tumors. These results establish a base for investigating molecular aspects of smut fungal hybrid pathogen emergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smut Fungi 2.0)
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Article
The Synergy of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Exogenous Abscisic Acid Benefits Robinia pseudoacacia L. Growth through Altering the Distribution of Zn and Endogenous Abscisic Acid
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080671 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
The simultaneous effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and abscisic acid (ABA) on the tolerance of plants to heavy metal (HM) remain unclear. A pot experiment was carried out to clarify the effects of simultaneous applications of AM fungi and ABA on plant [...] Read more.
The simultaneous effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and abscisic acid (ABA) on the tolerance of plants to heavy metal (HM) remain unclear. A pot experiment was carried out to clarify the effects of simultaneous applications of AM fungi and ABA on plant growth, Zn accumulation, endogenous ABA contents, proline metabolism, and the oxidative injury of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) exposed to excess Zn stress. The results suggested that exogenously applied ABA positively enhanced AM colonization, and that the growth of plants only with AM fungi was improved by ABA application. Under Zn stress, AM inoculation and ABA application increased the ABA content in the root/leaf (increased by 48–172% and 92%, respectively) and Zn content in the root/shoot (increased by 63–152% and 61%, respectively) in AM plants, but no similar trends were observed in NM plants. Additionally, exogenous ABA addition increased the proline contents of NM roots concomitantly with the activities of the related synthases, whereas it reduced the proline contents and the activity of Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase in AM roots. Under Zn stress, AM inoculation and ABA application decreased H2O2 contents and the production rate of O2, to varying degrees. Furthermore, in the roots exposed to Zn stress, AM inoculation augmented the activities of SOD, CAT, POD and APX, and exogenously applied ABA increased the activities of SOD and POD. Overall, AM inoculation combined with ABA application might be beneficial to the survival of black locust under Zn stress by improving AM symbiosis, inhibiting the transport of Zn from the roots to the shoots, increasing the distribution of ABA in roots, and stimulating antioxidant defense systems. Full article
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Article
Cunninghamella arunalokei a New Species of Cunninghamella from India Causing Disease in an Immunocompetent Individual
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080670 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
Mucormycosis due to Cunninghamella spp. is a rare disease, especially in immunocompetent individuals. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of a new species of Cunninghamella, causing chronic rhino-orbital-cerebral disease, and review cases of mucormycosis due to Cunninghamella spp. in immunocompetent individuals. [...] Read more.
Mucormycosis due to Cunninghamella spp. is a rare disease, especially in immunocompetent individuals. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of a new species of Cunninghamella, causing chronic rhino-orbital-cerebral disease, and review cases of mucormycosis due to Cunninghamella spp. in immunocompetent individuals. The Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) sequence of isolate NCCPF 890012 showed 90% similarity with Cunninghamella bigelovii, while the large ribosomal subunit (28S) and translation elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) gene sequences showed 98% identity. Further, the phylogenetic analysis with concatenated sequences clustered isolate (NCCPF 890012) closely with C. bigelovii. The ITS sequence showed the maximum variation among three genes analyzed and helped in the new species’ delineation. Comparison of the assembled whole genome of NCCPF 890012 with other Mucorales using 123 single-copy orthologous genes showed clustering within the genus Cunninghamella. Based on these findings, the isolate is considered to be a new species of Cunninghamella and designated as Cunninghamella arunalokei sp. nov. Despite repeated debridement and antifungal treatment, the patient had multiple recurrences with intracranial extension and succumbed to the illness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Evolution, Biodiversity and Systematics)
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Article
Biodiversity of Lignicolous Freshwater Hyphomycetes from China and Thailand and Description of Sixteen Species
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080669 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
Freshwater hyphomycetes are a highly diverse group of fungi with a worldwide distribution and have been mostly reported from tropical and subtropical regions. During investigations of freshwater fungi from the Greater Mekong subregion in China and Thailand, sixteen freshwater hyphomycetes (three of them [...] Read more.
Freshwater hyphomycetes are a highly diverse group of fungi with a worldwide distribution and have been mostly reported from tropical and subtropical regions. During investigations of freshwater fungi from the Greater Mekong subregion in China and Thailand, sixteen freshwater hyphomycetes (three of them belong to the class Dothideomycetes while thirteen belong to the class Sordariomycetes) were collected. Based on morphology and multi-gene phylogenetic analyses, Neospadicoides thailandica, Pseudodactylaria aquatica, Sporidesmium nujiangense, Tetraploa thailandica, Vamsapriyaaquatica and Wongia fusiformis are described as new species; Aquapteridospora bambusinum is proposed as a new combination; Acrodictys liputii, Chloridium gonytrichii, Pseudoberkleasmium chiangmaiense, Pleomonodictys capensis, Sporidesmium aturbinatum and Vamsapriya indica are reported as new country records; and Sporidesmium tropicale, Sporoschisma chiangraiense and Sporoschisma longicatenatum are introduced as three new collections. In addition, a checklist of freshwater fungi from China over the last five years is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Classification of Environmental Fungi)
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Article
Beauveria bassiana Xylanase: Characterization and Wastepaper Deinking Potential of a Novel Glycosyl Hydrolase from an Endophytic Fungal Entomopathogen
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080668 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Beauveria bassiana is an entomopathogenic fungus widely used as a biopesticide for insect control; it has also been shown to exist as an endophyte, promoting plant growth in many instances. This study highlights an alternative potential of the fungus; in the production of [...] Read more.
Beauveria bassiana is an entomopathogenic fungus widely used as a biopesticide for insect control; it has also been shown to exist as an endophyte, promoting plant growth in many instances. This study highlights an alternative potential of the fungus; in the production of an industrially important biocatalyst, xylanase. In this regard, Beauveria bassiana SAN01 xylanase was purified to homogeneity and subsequently characterized. The purified xylanase was found to have a specific activity of 324.2 U·mg−1 and an estimated molecular mass of ~37 kDa. In addition, it demonstrated optimal activity at pH 6.0 and 45 °C while obeying Michaelis–Menton kinetics towards beechwood xylan with apparent Km, Vmax and kcat of 1.98 mg·mL−1, 6.65 μM·min−1 and 0.62 s−1 respectively. The enzyme activity was strongly inhibited by Ag2+ and Fe3+ while it was significantly enhanced by Co2+ and Mg2+. Furthermore, the xylanase was shown to effectively deink wastepaper at an optimal rate of 106.72% through its enzymatic disassociation of the fiber-ink bonds as demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy. This is the first study to demonstrate the biotechnological application of a homogeneously purified glycosyl hydrolase from B. bassiana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Multifaceted Beauveria bassiana and Other Insect-Related Fungi)
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Review
Candida glabrata: Pathogenicity and Resistance Mechanisms for Adaptation and Survival
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080667 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1727
Abstract
Candida glabrata is a yeast of increasing medical relevance, particularly in critically ill patients. It is the second most isolated Candida species associated with invasive candidiasis (IC) behind C. albicans. The attributed higher incidence is primarily due to an increase in the [...] Read more.
Candida glabrata is a yeast of increasing medical relevance, particularly in critically ill patients. It is the second most isolated Candida species associated with invasive candidiasis (IC) behind C. albicans. The attributed higher incidence is primarily due to an increase in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) population, cancer, and diabetic patients. The elderly population and the frequent use of indwelling medical devices are also predisposing factors. This work aimed to review various virulence factors that facilitate the survival of pathogenic C. glabrata in IC. The available published research articles related to the pathogenicity of C. glabrata were retrieved and reviewed from four credible databases, mainly Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Scopus. The articles highlighted many virulence factors associated with pathogenicity in C. glabrata, including adherence to susceptible host surfaces, evading host defences, replicative ageing, and producing hydrolytic enzymes (e.g., phospholipases, proteases, and haemolysins). The factors facilitate infection initiation. Other virulent factors include iron regulation and genetic mutations. Accordingly, biofilm production, tolerance to high-stress environments, resistance to neutrophil killings, and development of resistance to antifungal drugs, notably to fluconazole and other azole derivatives, were reported. The review provided evident pathogenic mechanisms and antifungal resistance associated with C. glabrata in ensuring its sustenance and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Therapeutic Approaches of Candida Infections)
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Review
Updates on the Functions and Molecular Mechanisms of the Genes Involved in Aspergillus flavus Development and Biosynthesis of Aflatoxins
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080666 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) is a ubiquitous and opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis in humans and animals. This fungus is also capable of infecting a large number of agriculture crops (e.g., peanuts, maze, cotton seeds, rice, etc.), [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) is a ubiquitous and opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis in humans and animals. This fungus is also capable of infecting a large number of agriculture crops (e.g., peanuts, maze, cotton seeds, rice, etc.), causing economic losses and posing serious food-safety concerns when these crops are contaminated with aflatoxins, the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens. In particular, A. flavus and aflatoxins are intensely studied, and they continue to receive considerable attention due to their detrimental effects on humans, animals, and crops. Although several studies have been published focusing on the biosynthesis of the aforementioned secondary metabolites, some of the molecular mechanisms (e.g., posttranslational modifications, transcription factors, transcriptome, proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptome, etc.) involved in the fungal development and aflatoxin biosynthesis in A. flavus are still not fully understood. In this study, a review of the recently published studies on the function of the genes and the molecular mechanisms involved in development of A. flavus and the production of its secondary metabolites is presented. It is hoped that the information provided in this review will help readers to develop effective strategies to reduce A. flavus infection and aflatoxin production. Full article
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Article
Virulence Traits and Population Genomics of the Black Yeast Aureobasidium melanogenum
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080665 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
The black yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium melanogenum is an opportunistic human pathogen frequently found indoors. Its traits, potentially linked to pathogenesis, have never been systematically studied. Here, we examine 49 A. melanogenum strains for growth at 37 °C, siderophore production, hemolytic activity, and assimilation [...] Read more.
The black yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium melanogenum is an opportunistic human pathogen frequently found indoors. Its traits, potentially linked to pathogenesis, have never been systematically studied. Here, we examine 49 A. melanogenum strains for growth at 37 °C, siderophore production, hemolytic activity, and assimilation of hydrocarbons and human neurotransmitters and report within-species variability. All but one strain grew at 37 °C. All strains produced siderophores and showed some hemolytic activity. The largest differences between strains were observed in the assimilation of hydrocarbons and human neurotransmitters. We show for the first time that fungi from the order Dothideales can assimilate aromatic hydrocarbons. To explain the background, we sequenced the genomes of all 49 strains and identified genes putatively involved in siderophore production and hemolysis. Genomic analysis revealed a fairly structured population of A.melanogenum, raising the possibility that some phylogenetic lineages have higher virulence potential than others. Population genomics indicated that the species is strictly clonal, although more than half of the genomes were diploid. The existence of relatively heterozygous diploids in an otherwise clonal species is described for only the second time in fungi. The genomic and phenotypic data from this study should help to resolve the non-trivial taxonomy of the genus Aureobasidium and reduce the medical hazards of exploiting the biotechnological potential of other, non-pathogenic species of this genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Evolution of Black Fungi)
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Review
Treating (Recurrent) Vulvovaginal Candidiasis with Medical-Grade Honey—Concepts and Practical Considerations
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080664 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2910
Abstract
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is a relapsing vaginal fungal infection caused by Candida species. The prevalence varies among age populations and can be as high as 9%. Treatment options are limited, and in 57% of the cases, relapses occur within six months after [...] Read more.
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is a relapsing vaginal fungal infection caused by Candida species. The prevalence varies among age populations and can be as high as 9%. Treatment options are limited, and in 57% of the cases, relapses occur within six months after fluconazole maintenance therapy, which is the current standard of care. The pathogenesis of RVVC is multifactorial, and recent studies have demonstrated that the vaginal microenvironment and activity of the immune system have a strong influence on the disease. Medical-grade honey (MGH) has protective, antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory activity and forms a putative alternative treatment. Clinical trials have demonstrated that honey can benefit the treatment of bacterial and Candida-mediated vaginal infections. We postulate that MGH will actively fight ongoing infections; eradicate biofilms; and modulate the vaginal microenvironment by its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and immunomodulatory properties, and subsequently may decrease the number of relapses when compared to fluconazole. The MGH formulation L-Mesitran Soft has stronger antimicrobial activity against various Candida species than its raw honey. In advance of a planned randomized controlled clinical trial, we present the setup of a study comparing L-Mesitran Soft with fluconazole and its practical considerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives for Candidiasis)
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Article
Benzoic Acid and Its Hydroxylated Derivatives Suppress Early Blight of Tomato (Alternaria solani) via the Induction of Salicylic Acid Biosynthesis and Enzymatic and Nonenzymatic Antioxidant Defense Machinery
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080663 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Tomato early blight, caused by Alternaria solani, is a destructive foliar fungal disease. Herein, the potential defensive roles of benzoic acid (BA) and two of its hydroxylated derivatives, ρ-hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA), and protocatechuic acid (PCA) against A. solani were investigated. All [...] Read more.
Tomato early blight, caused by Alternaria solani, is a destructive foliar fungal disease. Herein, the potential defensive roles of benzoic acid (BA) and two of its hydroxylated derivatives, ρ-hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA), and protocatechuic acid (PCA) against A. solani were investigated. All tested compounds showed strong dose-dependent fungistatic activity against A. solani and significantly reduced the disease development. Benzoic acid, and its hydroxylated derivatives, enhanced vegetative growth and yield traits. Moreover, BA and its derivatives induce the activation of enzymatic (POX, PPO, CAT, SlAPXs, and SlSODs) and non-enzymatic (phenolics, flavonoids, and carotenoids) antioxidant defense machinery to maintain reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis within infected leaves. Additionally, BA and its hydroxylated derivatives induce the accumulation of salicylic acid (SA) and its biosynthetic genes including isochorismate synthase (SlICS), aldehyde oxidases (SlAO1 and SlAO2), and phenylalanine ammonia-lyases (SlPAL1, SlPAL2, SlPAL3, SlPAL5, and SlPAL6). Higher SA levels were associated with upregulation of pathogenesis-related proteins (SlPR-1, SlPR1a2, SlPRB1-2, SlPR4, SlPR5, SlPR6), nonexpressor of pathogenesis-related protein 1 (SlNPR1), and salicylic acid-binding protein (SlSABP2). These findings outline the potential application of BA and its hydroxylated derivatives as a sustainable alternative control strategy for early blight disease and also deciphering the physiological and biochemical mechanisms behind their protective role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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Article
Oral Candidal Colonization in Patients with Different Prosthetic Appliances
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080662 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Oral infections caused by Candida species are becoming more common, which may be related to an increase in the number of immunologically compromised patients as well as favorable conditions in the oral cavity that often include removable prosthetic appliances. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Oral infections caused by Candida species are becoming more common, which may be related to an increase in the number of immunologically compromised patients as well as favorable conditions in the oral cavity that often include removable prosthetic appliances. The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of a particular Candida species in patients with PMMA and Cr-Co prosthetic appliances, as well as the salivary flow rate, and oral signs and symptoms. This investigation included a total of 120 subjects with different kinds of removable dentures. A sample of concentrated oral rinse was collected from all subjects in order to detect Candida colonization and identify the Candida species, a quantum of salivation was measured, and subjects were examined clinically. Candida spp. was predominant among the subjects who were denture wearers (p < 0.0001). In all subjects, the most frequently detected species was C.albicans. A statistically significant difference was found between the prevalence of C.albicans (p < 0.001) and C.krusei (p < 0.001) in denture wearers. Subjects with PMMA-based removable prosthetic appliances mostly demonstrated a significant decrease in salivation (p < 0.001), an increase in burning sensations (p < 0.001), and dry mouth (p < 0.001) compared to the subjects who wore partial dentures with Co–Cr metallic frameworks. Red oral lesions were more frequently found among the subjects with partial dentures with Co–Cr metallic frameworks (p < 0.001). Regardless of the material used for the denture, patients must be regularly checked by their dentists in order to prevent the development of oral lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Research in Dental Infection, Immunity and Inflammation)
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Review
Accounting for the Biological Complexity of Pathogenic Fungi in Phylogenetic Dating
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080661 - 14 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
In the study of pathogen evolution, temporal dating of phylogenies provides information on when species and lineages may have diverged in the past. When combined with spatial and epidemiological data in phylodynamic models, these dated phylogenies can also help infer where and when [...] Read more.
In the study of pathogen evolution, temporal dating of phylogenies provides information on when species and lineages may have diverged in the past. When combined with spatial and epidemiological data in phylodynamic models, these dated phylogenies can also help infer where and when outbreaks occurred, how pathogens may have spread to new geographic locations and/or niches, and how virulence or drug resistance has developed over time. Although widely applied to viruses and, increasingly, to bacterial pathogen outbreaks, phylogenetic dating is yet to be widely used in the study of pathogenic fungi. Fungi are complex organisms with several biological processes that could present issues with appropriate inference of phylogenies, clock rates, and divergence times, including high levels of recombination and slower mutation rates although with potentially high levels of mutation rate variation. Here, we discuss some of the key methodological challenges in accurate phylogeny reconstruction for fungi in the context of the temporal analyses conducted to date and make recommendations for future dating studies to aid development of a best practices roadmap in light of the increasing threat of fungal outbreaks and antifungal drug resistance worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogens and Human Health)
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Editorial
Smuts to the Power of Three: Biotechnology, Biotrophy, and Basic Biology
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080660 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Smut fungi are a large group of mainly biotrophic plant pathogens, many of which cause disease on cereal crops [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smut Fungi)
Article
DNA Methyltransferases Regulate Pathogenicity of Botrytis cinerea to Horticultural Crops
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080659 - 14 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea is one of the most destructive fungal pathogens that cause gray mold rot in horticultural products, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers, leading to serious economic losses. B. cinerea is difficult to control because it has strong stress resistance and complex [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea is one of the most destructive fungal pathogens that cause gray mold rot in horticultural products, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers, leading to serious economic losses. B. cinerea is difficult to control because it has strong stress resistance and complex infection modes. The pathogenic mechanisms of B. cinerea have been revealed at multiple levels, but little is known at the epigenetic level. In this study, we first revealed the important role of DNA methyltransferases in regulating the development and pathogenicity of B. cinerea. We showed that two DNA methyltransferases, BcDIM2 and BcRID2, showed a strong synergistic effect in regulating the pathogenicity of B. cinerea. The double knockout mutant △Bcdim2rid2 showed slower mycelial growth, lower spore germination, attenuated oxidative tolerance, and complete pathogenicity loss on various hosts, which is related to the reduced expression of virulence-related genes in △Bcdim2rid2 and the induced resistance of the host. Although B. cinerea has multiple DNA methyltransferases, the global methylation level is very low, and few 5mC sites can be detected by BS-seq. These results first revealed the important role and the action mode of DNA methyltransferases in B. cinerea. Full article
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Review
Koji Molds for Japanese Soy Sauce Brewing: Characteristics and Key Enzymes
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080658 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1665
Abstract
Soy sauce is a traditional Japanese condiment produced from the fermentation of soybeans, wheat, and salt by three types of microorganisms, namely koji molds, halophilic lactic acid bacteria, and salt-tolerant yeast. The delicate balance between taste, aroma, and color contributes to the characteristic [...] Read more.
Soy sauce is a traditional Japanese condiment produced from the fermentation of soybeans, wheat, and salt by three types of microorganisms, namely koji molds, halophilic lactic acid bacteria, and salt-tolerant yeast. The delicate balance between taste, aroma, and color contributes to the characteristic delicious flavor imparted by soy sauce. In soy sauce brewing, protein and starch of the raw materials are hydrolyzed into amino acids and sugars by enzymes derived from koji molds. These enzymatically hydrolyzed products not only directly contribute to the taste but are further metabolized by lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to most of organic acids and aromatic compounds, resulting in its distinctive flavor and aroma. The color of the soy sauce is also due to the chemical reactions between amino acids and sugars during fermentation. Therefore, koji mold, which produces various enzymes for the breakdown of raw materials, is an essential microorganism in soy sauce production and plays an essential role in fermenting the ingredients. In this review, we describe the manufacturing process of Japanese soy sauce, the characteristics of koji molds that are suitable for soy sauce brewing, and the key enzymes produced by koji molds and their roles in the degradation of materials during soy sauce fermentation, focusing on the production of umami taste in soy sauce brewing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspergillus oryzae and related Koji molds)
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Article
Comprehensive Analysis and Risk Identification of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis in Non-HIV Patients
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080657 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
Pulmonary cryptococcosis in the non-human immunodeficiency virus-infected population is uncommon. We aimed to explore the relevance between clinical presentations, radiological findings, and comorbidities and identify the outcome predictors. A total of 321 patients at Taichung Veterans General Hospital between 2005 and 2019 were [...] Read more.
Pulmonary cryptococcosis in the non-human immunodeficiency virus-infected population is uncommon. We aimed to explore the relevance between clinical presentations, radiological findings, and comorbidities and identify the outcome predictors. A total of 321 patients at Taichung Veterans General Hospital between 2005 and 2019 were included; of them, 204 (63.6%) had at least one comorbidity, while 67 (20.9%) had two or more. The most common comorbidities were diabetes mellitus (27.4%), malignant solid tumor (19.6%), autoimmune disease (15.6%), and chronic kidney disease (8.4%). Patients experiencing comorbidity, particularly those with multiple comorbidities, had a higher multilobar and extrapulmonary involvement, which could explain these patients being more symptomatic. In the overall population, extrapulmonary involvement independently predicted disease recurrence and death. Amongst patients with isolated pulmonary cryptococcosis, age, cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) titer in blood, and comorbidities not only predicted the extent of disease, but also its outcome. Of note, patients simultaneously with age ≥ 65 years, CrAg test ≥ 1:128, and multiple comorbidities had the lowest disease control of antifungal treatment (76.9%) and the highest rate of disease recurrence or death from any cause (40.0%). In conclusion, approximately two-thirds of patients had at least one underlying comorbidity. In addition to extrapulmonary involvement, old age, high CrAg titer in blood, and multiple comorbidities could act as risk factors for predicting the extent of disease and outcome. Full article
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Article
Tocilizumab Induces IL-10-Mediated Immune Tolerance in Invasive Candidiasis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080656 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 787
Abstract
The existence of a hyperinflammatory state has been observed in patients with invasive fungal infections (IFI). It is being postulated whether morbidity from IFI may, in part, be a consequence of an unnecessarily prolonged or exaggerated proinflammatory immune response including interleukin 6 (IL-6) [...] Read more.
The existence of a hyperinflammatory state has been observed in patients with invasive fungal infections (IFI). It is being postulated whether morbidity from IFI may, in part, be a consequence of an unnecessarily prolonged or exaggerated proinflammatory immune response including interleukin 6 (IL-6) post-infection, in a host with dysregulated or compromised immunity. This, in turn, induces collateral host injury at the tissue and organ level, leading to adverse outcomes. Tocilizumab has become widely used as an immunomodulator in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Here, we evaluated the use of tocilizumab to curb post-infective inflammatory flare in the setting of an in-vivo mouse model for invasive candidiasis. Following Candida infection, the tocilizumab-treated mice showed improved short-term survival compared with the saline-treated control mice. There was a reduced inflammatory response mounted by the host, coupled with reduced IL-6 but increased IL-10 levels. TNF-α and IFN-γ responses were not affected. Tocilizumab facilitated immune tolerance by selectively inducing IL-10, producing CD8α+ conventional dendritic cells (DCs) and peripheral T-regulatory cells, over CD11b+ conventional DCs and plasmacytoid DCs. We demonstrate here the sequelae from immunomodulatory manipulation and the basis whereby the use of monoclonal antibodies may be further explored in IFI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monoclonal Antibodies as Tools to Diagnose and Treat Fungal Infection)
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Article
A Case-Control Study of Paracoccidioidomycosis in Women: The Hormonal Protection Revisited
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080655 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Clinical observations have long suggested that women are protected against paracoccidioidomycosis. 17β-estradiol, the main female estrogen, inhibits conidia-to-yeast transformation (C-to-Y), which is required for the infection establishment. However, experiments in murine models have yielded conflicting results, suggesting that C-to-Y inhibition, alone, fails to [...] Read more.
Clinical observations have long suggested that women are protected against paracoccidioidomycosis. 17β-estradiol, the main female estrogen, inhibits conidia-to-yeast transformation (C-to-Y), which is required for the infection establishment. However, experiments in murine models have yielded conflicting results, suggesting that C-to-Y inhibition, alone, fails to explain the female-associated protection and that sexual hormones may also act by modulating the host’s immune responses. Therefore, this issue remains unsolved. Strikingly, no studies have compared the severity of paracoccidioidomycosis between men and women. This retrospective case-control study compared 36 women with 72 age-matched men for clinical–demographic, laboratory, and chest imaging findings. Overall, paracoccidioidomycosis in women presented the main features described in the acute/subacute and chronic forms seen in men. Women also showed similar demographic features and clinical–laboratory and imaging severity scores as men. We additionally reviewed 58 paracoccidioidin skin test surveys undertaken by volunteers from endemic areas. Data accumulated from 10.873 tests showed that females and males are infected with similar magnitudes (21.9% vs. 25.2%) and that reactivity steadily increased with age, peaking after the age of 60. We discuss the paradox of similar infection rates but much lower disease prevalence in women, considering the current pathogenetic views of paracoccidioidomycosis, and we raise alternative hypotheses to account for this paradox. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Article
Timing of Resource Addition Affects the Migration Behavior of Wood Decomposer Fungal Mycelia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080654 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Studies of fungal behavior are essential for a better understanding of fungal-driven ecological processes. Here, we evaluated the effects of timing of resource (bait) addition on the behavior of fungal mycelia when it remains in the inoculum and when it migrates from it [...] Read more.
Studies of fungal behavior are essential for a better understanding of fungal-driven ecological processes. Here, we evaluated the effects of timing of resource (bait) addition on the behavior of fungal mycelia when it remains in the inoculum and when it migrates from it towards a bait, using cord-forming basidiomycetes. Experiments allowed mycelium to grow from an inoculum wood across the surface of a soil microcosm, where it encountered a new wood bait 14 or 98 d after the start of growth. After the 42-d colonization of the bait, inoculum and bait were individually moved to a dish containing fresh soil to determine whether the mycelia were able to grow out. When the inoculum and bait of mycelia baited after 14 d were transferred to new soil, there was 100% regrowth from both inoculum and bait in Pholiota brunnescens and Phanerochaete velutina, indicating that no migration occurred. However, when mycelium was baited after 98 d, 3 and 4 out of 10 replicates of P. brunnescens and P. velutina, respectively, regrew only from bait and not from inoculum, indicating migration. These results suggest that prolonged periods without new resources alter the behavior of mycelium, probably due to the exhaustion of resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi in Decomposition Processes)
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Article
Basidiobolus omanensis sp. nov. Causing Angioinvasive Abdominal Basidiobolomycosis
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080653 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
Human infectious fungal diseases are increasing, despite improved hygienic conditions. We present a case of gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis (GIB) in a 20-year-old male with a history of progressively worsening abdominal pain. The causative agent was identified as a novel Basidiobolus species. Validation of its [...] Read more.
Human infectious fungal diseases are increasing, despite improved hygienic conditions. We present a case of gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis (GIB) in a 20-year-old male with a history of progressively worsening abdominal pain. The causative agent was identified as a novel Basidiobolus species. Validation of its novelty was established by analysis of the partial ribosomal operon of two isolates from different organs. Phylogeny of ITS and LSU rRNA showed that these isolates belonged to the genus Basidiobolus, positioned closely to B. heterosporus and B. minor. Morphological and physiological data supported the identity of the species, which was named Basidiobolus omanensis, with CBS 146281 as the holotype. The strains showed high minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to fluconazole (>64 µg/mL), itraconazole and voriconazole (>16 µg/mL), anidulafungin and micafungin (>16 µg/mL), but had a low MIC to amphotericin B (1 µg/mL). The pathogenic role of B. omanensis in gastrointestinal disease is discussed. We highlight the crucial role of molecular identification of these rarely encountered opportunistic fungi. Full article
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Article
New Insights into Blood Circulating Lymphocytes in Human Pneumocystis Pneumonia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080652 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1049
Abstract
The host lymphocyte response is decisive in Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) pathophysiology but little is known of the specific roles of lymphocyte subpopulations in this fungal infection. Peripheral NK, NKT, B, TCD4+ and TCD8+ subpopulations were compared by immunophenotyping between 20 patients diagnosed with [...] Read more.
The host lymphocyte response is decisive in Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) pathophysiology but little is known of the specific roles of lymphocyte subpopulations in this fungal infection. Peripheral NK, NKT, B, TCD4+ and TCD8+ subpopulations were compared by immunophenotyping between 20 patients diagnosed with PCP (PCP(+)] and 20 uninfected immunosuppressed patients (PCP(−)). Among PCP(+) subjects, the lymphocyte populations were also compared between surviving and deceased patients. Low B cell count (<40 cells/µL) was more frequent in PCP(+) than in PCP(−) patients (p = 0.03), while there was no difference for the TCD4 count. Among the PCP(+) group, the 7 deceased patients had lower Th1 (p = 0.02) and Tc1 (p = 0.03) populations, higher Th2 response (p = 0.03), higher effector TCD8 (p < 0.01), lower central memory TCD8 (p = 0.04) and reduced NK cells (p = 0.02) compared with the 13 survivors. Th1/Th2 ratio < 17, CD8 Tc1 < 44%, effector TCD8 < 25%, central memory TCD8 < 4%, NK cells < 50 cells/µL and total lymphocytes < 0.75 G/L were associated with a higher risk of mortality (p = 0.003, p = 0.007, p = 0.0007, p = 0.004, p = 0.02 and p = 0.019, respectively). The traditional analysis of TCD4 and TCD8 populations may be insufficient in the context of PCP. It could be completed by using B cells to predict the risk of PCP, and by using lymphocyte subpopulations or total lymphocyte count, which are easy to obtain in all health care facilities, to evaluate PCP prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pneumocystis Infection)
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Article
Culturable Fungal Community of Pterocladiella capillacea in Keelung, Taiwan: Effects of Surface Sterilization Method and Isolation Medium
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080651 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
Fungi associated with macroalgae are less known when compared with those on wood in the marine environment. In this study, we assessed the diversity of fungi associated with the red alga Pterocladiella capillacea at Chao-Jin Park, Keelung, Taiwan. Algal segments of healthy and [...] Read more.
Fungi associated with macroalgae are less known when compared with those on wood in the marine environment. In this study, we assessed the diversity of fungi associated with the red alga Pterocladiella capillacea at Chao-Jin Park, Keelung, Taiwan. Algal segments of healthy and dead thalli were washed/sterilized with different solutions (sterile artificial seawater, 70% ethanol, and 4% sodium hypochlorite), plated on three different media (glucose-yeast extract-peptone seawater agar (GYPS), potato dextrose seawater agar (PDAS), and artificial seawater agar (SA)), and isolated as pure cultures. Identification was mainly based on BLAST search analysis of the internal transcribed spacers of rDNA (ITS). The highest isolation frequency (no. of segment with fungi/total no. of segment × 100) was in dead thalli (61.23%), thalli washed with seawater (88.38%), and thalli plated on GYPS (62.10%). A total of 3187 isolates were cultured, representing 129 taxa (in 67 genera); the higher species richness was isolated from healthy thalli (119 species), thalli washed with seawater (111 species), and on GYPS (112 species). Ascomycota (Eurotiales, Hypocreales, Capnodiales, Pleosporales, Xylariales) dominated the fungal community in P. capillacea with many basidiomycetous yeasts and few Mucoromycota. Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium (Ascomycota), and Rhodosporidium (Basidiomycota) were the dominant genera associated with the alga. The surface washing/sterilization schemes of algal thalli affected fungal diversity, but the isolation media used did not. While these genera are known producers of antimicrobial secondary metabolites, they might form a mutualistic relationship with P. capillacea by exchanging nutrients from photosynthesis for protection from microbial diseases. Full article
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Review
Development of Cold Plasma Technologies for Surface Decontamination of Seed Fungal Pathogens: Present Status and Perspectives
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080650 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
In view of the ever-growing human population and global environmental crisis, new technologies are emerging in all fields of our life. In the last two decades, the development of cold plasma (CP) technology has offered a promising and environmentally friendly solution for addressing [...] Read more.
In view of the ever-growing human population and global environmental crisis, new technologies are emerging in all fields of our life. In the last two decades, the development of cold plasma (CP) technology has offered a promising and environmentally friendly solution for addressing global food security problems. Besides many positive effects, such as promoting seed germination, plant growth, and development, CP can also serve as a surface sterilizing agent. It can be considered a method for decontamination of microorganisms on the seed surface alternative to the traditional use of fungicides. This review covers basics of CP technology and its application in seed decontamination. As this is a relatively young field of research, the data are scarce and hard to compare due to various plasma setups and parameters. On the other hand, the rapidly growing research field offers opportunities for novel findings and applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Fungal Diseases in Crops)
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