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Volume 8, January

J. Fungi, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 122 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Alternative respiratory pathways of the mitochondrial electron transport chain allow divergence of electron movement from the canonical cytochrome c route. We identified an alternative oxidase (Aox) in the fungus Sporisorium reilianum f. sp. zeae (SRZ) through a loss-of-function approach. Aox appears involved in developmental regulation and stress responses in plants and other organisms. The putative Aox of SRZ was dispensable for growth of the fungus in vitro, but crucial during respiratory stress. Additionally, pathogenicity of the fungus in its host plant, maize, was compromised by loss of Aox. Finally, higher levels of Aox mRNA are present in diploid teliospores, consistent with previous studies where alternative respiration was favored during quiescent stages of an organism’s life cycle. View this paper
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Review
Plant-Derived Protectants in Combating Soil-Borne Fungal Infections in Tomato and Chilli
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020213 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Fungal infections transmitted through the soil continue to pose a threat to a variety of horticultural and agricultural products, including tomato and chilli. The indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has resulted in a slew of unintended consequences for the surrounding ecosystem. To achieve [...] Read more.
Fungal infections transmitted through the soil continue to pose a threat to a variety of horticultural and agricultural products, including tomato and chilli. The indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has resulted in a slew of unintended consequences for the surrounding ecosystem. To achieve sustainable productivity, experts have turned their attention to natural alternatives. Due to their biodegradability, varied mode of action, and minimal toxicity to non-target organisms, plant-derived protectants (PDPs) are being hailed as a superior replacement for plant pesticides. This review outlines PDPs’ critical functions (including formulations) in regulating soil-borne fungal diseases, keeping tomato and chilli pathogens in the spotlight. An in-depth examination of the impact of PDPs on pathogen activity will be a priority. Additionally, this review emphasises the advantages of the in silico approach over conventional approaches for screening plants’ secondary metabolites with target-specific fungicidal activity. Despite the recent advances in our understanding of the fungicidal capabilities of various PDPs, it is taking much longer for that information to be applied to commercially available pesticides. The restrictions to solving this issue can be lifted by breakthroughs in formulation technology, governmental support, and a willingness to pursue green alternatives among farmers and industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Fungi in Plant Defense Mechanisms)
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Review
Conventional Antifungals for Invasive Infections Delivered by Unconventional Methods; Aerosols, Irrigants, Directed Injections and Impregnated Cement
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020212 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
The administration of approved antifungals via unapproved formulations or administration routes (such as aerosol, direct injection, irrigation, topical formulation and antifungal-impregnated orthopedic beads or cement) may be resorted to in an attempt to optimize drug exposure while minimizing toxicities and/or drug interactions associated [...] Read more.
The administration of approved antifungals via unapproved formulations or administration routes (such as aerosol, direct injection, irrigation, topical formulation and antifungal-impregnated orthopedic beads or cement) may be resorted to in an attempt to optimize drug exposure while minimizing toxicities and/or drug interactions associated with conventional (systemic) administrations. Existing data regarding such administrations are mostly restricted to uncontrolled case reports of patients with diseases refractory to conventional therapies. Attribution of efficacy and tolerability is most often problematic. This review updates prior published summaries, reflecting the most recent data and its application by available prevention and treatment guidelines for invasive fungal infections. Of the various dosage forms and antifungals, perhaps none is more widely reported than the application of amphotericin B-containing aerosols for the prevention of invasive mold infections (notably Aspergillus spp.). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections: From Diagnostics to Treatments)
Review
Edible Mushrooms as Novel Myco-Therapeutics: Effects on Lipid Level, Obesity and BMI
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020211 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Obesity, usually indicated by a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m2, is a worsening global health issue. It leads to chronic diseases, including type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Conventional treatments for obesity include physical activity and maintaining [...] Read more.
Obesity, usually indicated by a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m2, is a worsening global health issue. It leads to chronic diseases, including type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Conventional treatments for obesity include physical activity and maintaining a negative energy balance. However, physical activity alone cannot determine body weight as several other factors play a role in the overall energy balance. Alternatively, weight loss may be achieved by medication and surgery. However, these options can be expensive or have side effects. Therefore, dietary factors, including dietary modifications, nutraceutical preparations, and functional foods have been investigated recently. For example, edible mushrooms have beneficial effects on human health. Polysaccharides (essentially β-D-glucans), chitinous substances, heteroglycans, proteoglycans, peptidoglycans, alkaloids, lactones, lectins, alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, terpenes, phenols, nucleotides, glycoproteins, proteins, amino acids, antimicrobials, and minerals are the major bioactive compounds in these mushrooms. These bioactive compounds have chemo-preventive, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. Consumption of edible mushrooms reduces plasma triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and plasma glucose levels. Polysaccharides from edible mushrooms suppress mRNA expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, contributing to their anti-obesity properties. Therefore, edible mushrooms or their active ingredients may help prevent obesity and other chronic ailments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mushrooms—Mycotherapy and Mycochemistry 2.0)
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Article
Experimental Transmission of the Yeast, Metschnikowia bicuspidata, in the Chinese Mitten Crab, Eriocheir sinensis
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020210 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheirsinensis, is an important farmed crustacean species in China, outranking other farmed crabs in yield and economic importance. An infection called “milky disease”, caused by the yeast, Metschnikowiabicuspidata, has emerged in E. sinensis farms in [...] Read more.
The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheirsinensis, is an important farmed crustacean species in China, outranking other farmed crabs in yield and economic importance. An infection called “milky disease”, caused by the yeast, Metschnikowiabicuspidata, has emerged in E. sinensis farms in northeast China and has caused progressive economic losses. The diseased crabs present with opaque, whitish muscles and milky hemolymph. Currently, there are no effective drugs to treat the infection. Clarifying the transmission route of M. bicuspidata would help to treat and prevent the disease. We investigated the effects of three different M. bicuspidata infection methods (feeding, immersion, and cohabitation) on E. sinensis. All three infection methods led to a high infection rate in healthy crabs. After 35 d, the infection rate was 76.7%, 66.7%, and 53.3% in the feeding, immersion, and cohabitation groups, respectively. Diseased crabs exhibited the typical symptom of hemolymph emulsification, with a high pathogen load of M. bicuspidata. The yeast was not detected in the oocytes of infected crabs. Fertilized embryos, zoea larvae, and megalopae of infected ovigerous crabs tested negative for yeast, indicating that direct transmission from mother to offspring does not occur. Our results highlight avenues for the prevention and control of this yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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Article
A Plant-Derived Alkanol Induces Teliospore Germination in Sporisorium scitamineum
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020209 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Sugarcane smut caused by the basidiomycetes fungus Sporisorium scitamineum is a devastating disease for the sugarcane industry worldwide. As the initial step, the smut teliospores germinate on sugarcane buds, and subsequently, the mycelium infects the bud tissues. However, chemical signals that induce spore [...] Read more.
Sugarcane smut caused by the basidiomycetes fungus Sporisorium scitamineum is a devastating disease for the sugarcane industry worldwide. As the initial step, the smut teliospores germinate on sugarcane buds, and subsequently, the mycelium infects the bud tissues. However, chemical signals that induce spore germination are still unknown. By comparison of the behavior of the teliospores on the buds of both resistant and susceptible varieties, we found that spore germination rates were significantly lower on the buds of resistant cultivars ZZ1, ZZ6, and ZZ9 than on the susceptible varieties GT42 and ROC22. It was found that the levels of hexacosanol and octacosanol were higher on the buds of smut-susceptible varieties than on the smut-resistant varieties. These observations were extended to the smut-resistant and smut-susceptible sub-genetic populations derived from the cross of ROC25 and YZ89-7. In artificial surface assays, we found that hexacosanol and octacosanol promoted smut teliospore germination. Transcriptome analysis of smut teliospores under the induction by octacosanol revealed that genes in the MAPK signaling pathway and fatty acid metabolism were significantly differentially expressed. Overall, our results provide evidence that alkanol plays important roles in smut teliospore germination and thus could be used as a potential marker for smut resistance in sugarcane breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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Article
Identification and Characterization of Auxin/IAA Biosynthesis Pathway in the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020208 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 543
Abstract
The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae has been known to produce the phytohormone auxin/IAA from its hyphae and conidia, but the detailed biological function and biosynthesis pathway is largely unknown. By sequence homology, we identified a complete indole-3-pyruvic acid (IPA)-based IAA biosynthesis pathway [...] Read more.
The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae has been known to produce the phytohormone auxin/IAA from its hyphae and conidia, but the detailed biological function and biosynthesis pathway is largely unknown. By sequence homology, we identified a complete indole-3-pyruvic acid (IPA)-based IAA biosynthesis pathway in M. oryzae, consisting of the tryptophan aminotransferase (MoTam1) and the indole-3-pyruvate decarboxylase (MoIpd1). In comparison to the wild type, IAA production was significantly reduced in the motam1Δ mutant, and further reduced in the moipd1Δ mutant. Correspondingly, mycelial growth, conidiation, and pathogenicity were defective in the motam1Δ and the moipd1Δ mutants to various degrees. Targeted metabolomics analysis further confirmed the presence of a functional IPA pathway, catalyzed by MoIpd1, which contributes to IAA/auxin production in M. oryzae. Furthermore, the well-established IAA biosynthesis inhibitor, yucasin, suppressed mycelial growth, conidiation, and pathogenicity in M. oryzae. Overall, this study identified an IPA-dependent IAA synthesis pathway crucial for M. oryzae mycelial growth and pathogenic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Filamentous Fungal Pathogens and Hosts)
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Article
Transcriptional Network in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Mutants Lacking Msb2 or Msb2 and Sho1
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020207 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a hemibiotrophic ascomycetous fungus that causes anthracnose in many plants worldwide. During infections, C. gloeosporioides produces an appressorium in response to various plant surface signals. However, the mechanism mediating host surface signal recognition remains unclear. In this study, C. [...] Read more.
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a hemibiotrophic ascomycetous fungus that causes anthracnose in many plants worldwide. During infections, C. gloeosporioides produces an appressorium in response to various plant surface signals. However, the mechanism mediating host surface signal recognition remains unclear. In this study, C. gloeosporioides ΔCgMsb2 and ΔCgMsb2Sho1 mutants lacking hypothetical sensors of plant surface signals were examined. The mutations in ΔCgMsb2 and ΔCgMsb2Sho1 adversely affected conidial size and sporulation, while also inhibiting growth. Significant transcriptional changes were detected for nearly 19% and 26% of the genes in ΔCgMsb2 and ΔCgMsb2Sho1, respectively. The lack of these plasma membrane receptors altered the expression of specific genes, especially those encoding hydrolases, ABC transporters, and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). The encoded MAPKs participate in the signal transduction of ERK and JNK signaling pathways, activate downstream signals, and contribute to metabolic regulation. Our data demonstrate that the C. gloeosporioides membrane proteins Msb2 and Sho1 affect gene regulation, thereby influencing conidial growth, metabolism, and development. These findings provide new insights into the regulation of C. gloeosporioides’s development and infection of plant hosts. Full article
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Article
Three New Species, Two New Records and Four New Collections of Tubeufiaceae from Thailand and China
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020206 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Tubeufiaceae, a cosmopolitan family with a worldwide distribution, is mostly reported as saprobic on decaying woody materials from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The family is commonly found as helicosporous hyphomycetes, while some are chlamydosporous and phragmosporous. In this study, thirteen helicosporous hyphomycetes [...] Read more.
Tubeufiaceae, a cosmopolitan family with a worldwide distribution, is mostly reported as saprobic on decaying woody materials from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The family is commonly found as helicosporous hyphomycetes, while some are chlamydosporous and phragmosporous. In this study, thirteen helicosporous hyphomycetes were collected from Thailand and China. The phylogenetic analyses of combined ITS, LSU, TEF1-α, and RPB2 sequence data placed them in Dematiohelicomyces, Helicoma, Helicotruncatum, Neohelicosporium, Parahelicomyces, and Tubeufia within Tubeufiaceae. Three new species, Tubeufia cocois, Parahelicomyces chiangmaiensis, and Neohelicosporium bambusicola, one new host record, Tubeufia laxispora, and one new geographic record, T. longihelicospora, are introduced based on both morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analyses. In addition, Dematiohelicomyces helicosporus, Helicoma guttulatum, Helicotruncatum palmigenum, and Tubeufia cylindrothecia are described with detailed descriptions and color photo plates. Full article
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Review
Endophytic Fungi: An Effective Alternative Source of Plant-Derived Bioactive Compounds for Pharmacological Studies
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020205 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
Plant-associated fungi (endophytic fungi) are a biodiversity-rich group of microorganisms that are normally found asymptomatically within plant tissues or in the intercellular spaces. Endophytic fungi promote the growth of host plants by directly producing secondary metabolites, which enhances the plant’s resistance to biotic [...] Read more.
Plant-associated fungi (endophytic fungi) are a biodiversity-rich group of microorganisms that are normally found asymptomatically within plant tissues or in the intercellular spaces. Endophytic fungi promote the growth of host plants by directly producing secondary metabolites, which enhances the plant’s resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Additionally, they are capable of biosynthesizing medically important “phytochemicals” that were initially thought to be produced only by the host plant. In this review, we summarized some compounds from endophyte fungi with novel structures and diverse biological activities published between 2011 and 2021, with a focus on the origin of endophytic fungi, the structural and biological activity of the compounds they produce, and special attention paid to the exploration of pharmacological activities and mechanisms of action of certain compounds. This review revealed that endophytic fungi had high potential to be harnessed as an alternative source of secondary metabolites for pharmacological studies. Full article
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Article
Antifungal Activity of Human Cathelicidin LL-37, a Membrane Disrupting Peptide, by Triggering Oxidative Stress and Cell Cycle Arrest in Candida auris
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020204 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Candida auris, an evolving multidrug-resistant pathogenic yeast, is known for causing severe invasive infections associated with high mortality rates in hospitalized individuals. Distinct from other Candida species, C. auris can persist for longer periods on different surfaces and is resistant to all of [...] Read more.
Candida auris, an evolving multidrug-resistant pathogenic yeast, is known for causing severe invasive infections associated with high mortality rates in hospitalized individuals. Distinct from other Candida species, C. auris can persist for longer periods on different surfaces and is resistant to all of the major classes of antifungal drugs. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new antimycotic drugs with improved efficacy and reduced toxicity. The development of new antifungals based on antimicrobial peptides from various sources is considered a promising alternative. In this study, we examined the in vitro anti-yeast activity of the human cathelicidin peptides LL-37 against clinical strains of C. auris alone and in combination with different antifungal drugs by broth microdilution assay. To understand the antifungal mechanism of action, cell envelopes, cell cycle arrest, and effect on oxidative stress enzymes were studied using standard protocols. The minimum inhibitory and fungicidal concentrations of cathelicidin LL-37 ranged from 25–100 and 50–200 µg/mL, respectively. A combination interaction in a 1:1 ratio (cathelicidin LL-37: antifungal drug) resulted in 70% synergy with fluconazole and 100% synergy with amphotericin B and caspofungin. Assessment of the C. auris membrane by using propidium iodide assay after exposure to cathelicidin LL-37 linked membrane permeabilization with inhibition of C. auris cell growth and viability. These results were backed up by scanning electron microscopy studies demonstrating that exposure with cathelicidin LL-37 caused C. auris cells to undergo extensive surface changes. Spectrophotometric analysis revealed that cathelicidin LL-37 caused oxidative stress in C. auris, as is evident from the significant increase in the activity of primary antioxidant enzymes. In addition, cathelicidin LL-37 inhibited the cell cycle and accumulated cells in the S phase. Therefore, these results specify the potential of cathelicidin LL-37 for developing a new and effective anti-Candida agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenges of Human Fungal Infections)
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Article
New Findings on the Biology and Ecology of the Ecuadorian Amazon Fungus Polyporus leprieurii var. yasuniensis
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020203 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Polyporus leprieurii var. yasuniensis is a prolific wood-decay fungus inhabiting the forest floor of one of the most biodiverse places on earth, the Yasuní National Park in Ecuador. Basidiocarps and aerial rhizomorphs are commonly found growing on woody debris distributed along the [...] Read more.
Polyporus leprieurii var. yasuniensis is a prolific wood-decay fungus inhabiting the forest floor of one of the most biodiverse places on earth, the Yasuní National Park in Ecuador. Basidiocarps and aerial rhizomorphs are commonly found growing on woody debris distributed along the floor of this forest ecosystem. Because of the extraordinary abundance of this fungus in the tropical rainforest, we carried out investigations to better understand the biological and ecological aspects contributing to its prolific distribution. Data on growth inhibition in paired competition studies with sixteen fungal isolates exemplifies defense mechanisms used to defend its territory, including pseudosclerotial plates and the development of a melanized rhizomorphic mat. Results of biomass loss on eleven types of tropical wood in microcosm experiments demonstrated the broad decay capacity of the fungus. In and ex situ observations provided information on how long rhizomorphs can prevail in highly competitive ecosystems as well as stressful conditions in the laboratory. Finally, high concentrations of metal ions occur on rhizomorphs as compared to colonized wood. Sequestration of metal ions from the environment by the melanized rhizomorphs may offer protection against competitors. The development of melanized rhizomorphs is key to find and colonize new substrates and resist changing environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dimensions of Tropical Fungal Diversity)
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Review
Tinea Imbricata among the Indigenous Communities: Current Global Epidemiology and Research Gaps Associated with Host Genetics and Skin Microbiota
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020202 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Tinea imbricata is a unique fungal skin disease that mostly affects indigenous populations in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America. The control and management of this disease among these communities are challenging given their remote locations, certain traditional practices, and severe [...] Read more.
Tinea imbricata is a unique fungal skin disease that mostly affects indigenous populations in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America. The control and management of this disease among these communities are challenging given their remote locations, certain traditional practices, and severe malnutrition status. To date, there are only a handful of reports published globally, which highlights the need for a more holistic approach in addressing this skin disease. Several bodies of evidence and reports have shown that host genetic factors have a profound influence on the pathogenesis of tinea imbricata, while skin microbiota is touted to have a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. However, there are limited studies of how host genetics and skin microbiota impact disease susceptibility in the host. To improve the understanding of this disease and to find possible long-term effective treatment among the affected indigenous communities, a comprehensive literature review is needed. Hence, this review paper aims to present the current status of tinea imbricata among the indigenous communities, together with published findings on the possible underlying reasons for its specific distribution among these communities, particularly on the ways in which host skin microbiota and host genetics affect occurrence and disease patterns. This information provides valuable insights for future research by highlighting the current knowledge gaps in these areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Microbial Keratitis in Nepal: Predicting the Microbial Aetiology from Clinical Features
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020201 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Fungal corneal infection (keratitis) is a common clinical problem in South Asia. However, it is often challenging to distinguish this from other aetiologies, such as bacteria or acanthamoeba. In this prospective study, we investigated clinical and epidemiological features that can predict the microbial [...] Read more.
Fungal corneal infection (keratitis) is a common clinical problem in South Asia. However, it is often challenging to distinguish this from other aetiologies, such as bacteria or acanthamoeba. In this prospective study, we investigated clinical and epidemiological features that can predict the microbial aetiology of microbial keratitis in Nepal. We recruited patients presenting with keratitis to a tertiary eye hospital in lowland eastern Nepal between June 2019 and November 2020. A structured assessment, including demographics, history, and clinical signs, was carried out. The aetiology was investigated with in vivo confocal microscopy and corneal scrape for microscopy and culture. A predictor score was developed using odds ratios calculated to predict aetiology from features. A fungal cause was identified in 482/642 (75.1%) of cases, which increased to 532/642 (82.9%) when including mixed infections. Unusually, dematiaceous fungi accounted for half of the culture-positive cases (50.6%). Serrated infiltrate margins, patent nasolacrimal duct, raised corneal slough, and organic trauma were independently associated with fungal keratitis (p < 0.01). These four features were combined in a predictor score. The probability of fungal keratitis was 30.1% if one feature was present, increasing to 96.3% if all four were present. Whilst microbiological diagnosis is the “gold standard” to determine the aetiology of an infection, certain clinical signs can help direct the clinician to find a presumptive infectious cause, allowing appropriate treatment to be started without delay. Additionally, this study identified dematiaceous fungi, specifically Curvularia spp., as the main causative agent for fungal keratitis in this region. This novel finding warrants further research to understand potential implications and any trends over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel, Emerging and Neglected Fungal Pathogens for Humans and Animals)
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Review
Talaromyces marneffei Infection: Virulence, Intracellular Lifestyle and Host Defense Mechanisms
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020200 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Talaromycosis (Penicilliosis) is an opportunistic mycosis caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei. Similar to other major causes of systemic mycoses, the extent of disease and outcomes are the results of complex interactions between this opportunistic human pathogen [...] Read more.
Talaromycosis (Penicilliosis) is an opportunistic mycosis caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei. Similar to other major causes of systemic mycoses, the extent of disease and outcomes are the results of complex interactions between this opportunistic human pathogen and a host’s immune response. This review will highlight the current knowledge regarding the dynamic interaction between T. marneffei and mammalian hosts, particularly highlighting important aspects of virulence factors, intracellular lifestyle and the mechanisms of immune defense as well as the strategies of the pathogen for manipulating and evading host immune cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Immune Responses against Invasive Mycoses)
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Review
The Multifaceted Roles of Fungal Cutinases during Infection
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020199 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 449
Abstract
Cuticles cover the aerial epidermis cells of terrestrial plants and thus represent the first line of defence against invading pathogens, which must overcome this hydrophobic barrier to colonise the inner cells of the host plant. The cuticle is largely built from the cutin [...] Read more.
Cuticles cover the aerial epidermis cells of terrestrial plants and thus represent the first line of defence against invading pathogens, which must overcome this hydrophobic barrier to colonise the inner cells of the host plant. The cuticle is largely built from the cutin polymer, which consists of C16 and C18 fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone that are further modified with terminal and mid-chain hydroxyl, epoxy, and carboxy groups, all cross-linked by ester bonds. To breach the cuticle barrier, pathogenic fungal species employ cutinases—extracellular secreted enzymes with the capacity to hydrolyse the ester linkages between cutin monomers. Herein, we explore the multifaceted roles that fungal cutinases play during the major four stages of infection: (i) spore landing and adhesion to the host plant cuticle; (ii) spore germination on the host plant cuticle; (iii) spore germ tube elongation and the formation of penetrating structures; and (iv) penetration of the host plant cuticle and inner tissue colonisation. Using previous evidence from the literature and a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic tree of cutinases, we discuss the notion whether the lifestyle of a given fungal species can predict the activity nature of its cutinases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
Experimental Evolution of Multidrug Resistance in Neurospora crassa under Antifungal Azole Stress
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020198 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Multidrug resistance, defined as the resistance to multiple drugs in different categories, has been an increasing serious problem. Limited antifungal drugs and the rapid emergence of antifungal resistance prompt a thorough understanding of how the occurrence of multidrug resistance develops and which mechanisms [...] Read more.
Multidrug resistance, defined as the resistance to multiple drugs in different categories, has been an increasing serious problem. Limited antifungal drugs and the rapid emergence of antifungal resistance prompt a thorough understanding of how the occurrence of multidrug resistance develops and which mechanisms are involved. In this study, experimental evolution was performed under single-azole-drug stress with the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. By about 30 weeks of continuous growth on agar plates containing ketoconazole or voriconazole with weekly transfer, four evolved multidrug-resistant strains 30thK1, 30thK2, 26thV1, and 24thV2 were obtained. Compared to the ancestral strain, all four strains increased resistance not only to commonly used azoles, including ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and triadimefon, but also to antifungal drugs in other categories, including terbinafine (allylamine), amorolfine (morpholine), amphotericin B (polyene), polyoxin B (chitin synthesis inhibitor), and carbendazim (β-tubulin inhibitor). After 8 weeks of growth on agar plates without antifungal drugs with weekly transfer, these evolved strains still displayed multidrug-resistant phenotype, suggesting the multidrug resistance could be stably inherited. Transcriptional measurement of drug target genes and drug transporter genes and deletion analysis of the efflux pump gene cdr4 in the evolved strains suggest that overexpression of cdr4 played a major role in the resistance mechanisms for azoles and terbinafine in the evolved strains, particularly for 30thK2 and 26thV1, and evolved drug-resistant strains had less intracellular ketoconazole accumulation and less disruption of ergosterol accumulations under ketoconazole stress compared to wild type. Mutations specifically present in evolved drug-resistant strains were identified by genome re-sequencing, and drug susceptibility test of knockout mutants for most of mutated genes suggests that mutations in 16 genes, functionally novel in drug resistance, potentially contribute to multidrug resistance in evolved strains. Full article
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Article
Endophytic Fungi Isolated from Baccharis linearis and Echinopsis chiloensis with Antifungal Activity against Botrytis cinerea
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020197 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 526
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea is one of the most important phytopathogens in agriculture worldwide, infecting economically important crops. The main control of this fungus is by synthetic fungicides, causing the selection of resistant isolates. Compounds produced by endophytic fungi have been shown to have antifungal [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea is one of the most important phytopathogens in agriculture worldwide, infecting economically important crops. The main control of this fungus is by synthetic fungicides, causing the selection of resistant isolates. Compounds produced by endophytic fungi have been shown to have antifungal activity against this pathogen and can be used as an alternative to synthetic fungicides. The aim of this work was to isolate endophytic fungi from Chilean foothills in the Metropolitan Region. Ten fungi were isolated from Echinopsis chiloensis and Baccharis linearis, however, only two isolates inhibited the mycelial growth of B. cinerea by antibiosis and were identified as Epicoccum sp. and Pleosporales sp. Extracts at 200 mg L−1 from Epicoccum sp. and Pleosporales sp. showed antifungal activity against B. cinerea of 54.6 and 44.6% respectively. Active compounds in the Epicoccum sp. extracts were mainly alkaloids and phenolic compounds; meanwhile, in the Pleosporales sp. extracts, terpenes and/or saponins were responsible for the antifungal activity. Full article
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Article
Regulation of the Leucine Metabolism in Mortierella alpina
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020196 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
The oleaginous fungus Mortierella alpina is a safe source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in industrial food and feed production. Besides PUFA production, pharmaceutically relevant surface-active and antimicrobial oligopeptides were isolated from this basal fungus. Both production of fatty acids and oligopeptides rely [...] Read more.
The oleaginous fungus Mortierella alpina is a safe source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in industrial food and feed production. Besides PUFA production, pharmaceutically relevant surface-active and antimicrobial oligopeptides were isolated from this basal fungus. Both production of fatty acids and oligopeptides rely on the biosynthesis and high turnover of branched-chain-amino acids (BCAA), especially l-leucine. However, the regulation of BCAA biosynthesis in basal fungi is largely unknown. Here, we report on the regulation of the leucine, isoleucine, and valine metabolism in M. alpina. In contrast to higher fungi, the biosynthetic genes for BCAA are hardly transcriptionally regulated, as shown by qRT-PCR analysis, which suggests a constant production of BCAAs. However, the enzymes of the leucine metabolism are tightly metabolically regulated. Three enzymes of the leucine metabolism were heterologously produced in Escherichia coli, one of which is inhibited by allosteric feedback loops: The key regulator is the α-isopropylmalate synthase LeuA1, which is strongly disabled by l-leucine, α-ketoisocaproate, and propionyl-CoA, the precursor of the odd-chain fatty acid catabolism. Its gene is not related to homologs from higher fungi, but it has been inherited from a phototrophic ancestor by horizontal gene transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Enzymes 2021)
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Brief Report
Comparison of Antimycotic Activity of Originator and Generics of Voriconazole and Anidulafungin against Clinical Isolates of Candida albicans and Candida glabrata
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020195 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Background: Concerns have been expressed about the interchangeability of innovator and generic antifungals in their activity and chemical stability. Materials/methods: The activity of two different antimycotics was tested, each with one originator and two generics. For voriconazole, the originator VFEND® (Pfizer) and [...] Read more.
Background: Concerns have been expressed about the interchangeability of innovator and generic antifungals in their activity and chemical stability. Materials/methods: The activity of two different antimycotics was tested, each with one originator and two generics. For voriconazole, the originator VFEND® (Pfizer) and the generics (Ratiopharm and Stada) were used for susceptibility testing (21 clinical isolates of Candida albicans (C. albicans); ATCC-90028 C. albicans) in RPMI growth media in compliance with the EUCAST criteria. Likewise, for anidulafungin, the originator ECALTA® (Pfizer) and the generics (Stada and Pharmore) were used for testing (20 clinical isolates of Candida glabrata (C. glabrata); ATCC-22019 Candida parapsilosis (C. parapsilosis)). Time Kill Curves (TKC) with concentrations above and below the respective MIC were performed for one strain for each antifungal. Stability testing of the antimycotics stored at 4 °C and at room temperature over 24 h was done, and samples were subsequently analyzed with HPLC. Results: MIC results showed no significant difference in activity of generic and innovator antimycotic in all settings, which was also confirmed by TKC. Stability testing revealed no differences between originator and generic drugs. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the interchangeability of generic and originator antimycotic in-vitro, potentially leading to broader public acceptance for generic antimycotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Health Care and Human Fungi)
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Review
Global Cutaneous Mucormycosis: A Systematic Review
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020194 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
Cutaneous mucormycosis is the third most common clinical type of mucormycosis. The signs and symptoms vary widely, and it is important to make the diagnosis as early as possible in order to achieve a better outcome. We present a systematic review of its [...] Read more.
Cutaneous mucormycosis is the third most common clinical type of mucormycosis. The signs and symptoms vary widely, and it is important to make the diagnosis as early as possible in order to achieve a better outcome. We present a systematic review of its epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment, analyzing cases published from 1958 until 2021. The review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines and included 693 cases from 485 articles from 46 countries. Most publications were from North America (256 cases, 36.9%) and Asia (216 cases, 31.2%). The most common risk factors were diabetes mellitus (20%) and hematological malignancies (15.7%). However, a large proportion of published cases (275, 39.6%) had no identified underlying disease. The most common mode of transmission was trauma (54%), and 108 (15.6%) cases were healthcare-associated. In this review, 291 (42.5%) patients had localized infection, and 90 (13%) had disseminated mucormycosis. In Europe, N. America and S. America, the most common genus was Rhizopus spp., while in Asia it was Apophysomyces spp. (34.7%). Treatment was performed with antifungals, mainly amphotericin B, and/or surgery. Mortality was significantly lower when both antifungals and surgery were applied (29.6%). Full article
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Article
Genome Mining and Analysis of PKS Genes in Eurotium cristatum E1 Isolated from Fuzhuan Brick Tea
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020193 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Eurotium cristatum as the dominant fungi species of Fuzhuan brick tea in China, can produce multitudinous secondary metabolites (SMs) with various bioactivities. Polyketides are a very important class of SMs found in E. cristatum and have gained extensive attention in recent years [...] Read more.
Eurotium cristatum as the dominant fungi species of Fuzhuan brick tea in China, can produce multitudinous secondary metabolites (SMs) with various bioactivities. Polyketides are a very important class of SMs found in E. cristatum and have gained extensive attention in recent years due to their remarkable diversity of structures and multiple functions. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the polyketides produced by E. cristatum at the genomic level to enhance its application value. In this paper, 12 polyketide synthase (PKS) genes were found in the whole genome of E. cristatum E1 isolated from Fuzhuan brick tea. In addition, the qRT-PCR results further demonstrated that these genes were expressed. Moreover, metabolic analysis demonstrated E. cristatum E1 can produce a variety of polyketides, including citreorosein, emodin, physcion, isoaspergin, dihydroauroglaucin, iso-dihydroauroglaucin, aspergin, flavoglaucin and auroglaucin. Furthermore, based on genomic analysis, the putative secondary metabolites clusters for emodin and flavoglaucin were proposed. The results reported here will lay a good basis for systematically mining SMs resources of E. cristatum and broadening its application fields. Full article
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Article
Novel Myco-Coagulant Produced by Lentinus squarrosulus for Removal of Water Turbidity: Fungal Identification and Flocculant Characterization
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020192 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Several river water fungal strains (RWF-1 to RWF-6) were isolated to investigate the potential of having coagulant properties from the metabolites produced by the fungus. The myco-coagulant produced from the liquid-state process was characterized and tested for flocculation of kaolin water. Molecular identification [...] Read more.
Several river water fungal strains (RWF-1 to RWF-6) were isolated to investigate the potential of having coagulant properties from the metabolites produced by the fungus. The myco-coagulant produced from the liquid-state process was characterized and tested for flocculation of kaolin water. Molecular identification of the fungal strain isolated from river water and characterization of the myco-coagulant produced by the strain are presented in this paper. The genomic DNA of the fungal 18S ribosomal ribonucleic-acid (rRNA) and 28S rRNA genes were used and the species was identified as Lentinus squarrosulus strain 7-4-2 RWF-5. The characterization of myco-coagulant by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed that hydroxyl, carbonyl, amide and amine groups as principal functional groups were present in the new myco-coagulant. The mean zeta potential value of the myco-coagulant was −7.0 mV while the kaolin solution was −25.2 mV. Chemical analyses of the extracellular myco-coagulant revealed that it contained total sugar (5.17 g/L), total carbohydrate (237 mg/L), protein (295.4 mg/L), glucosamine (1.152 mg/L); and exhibited cellulase activity (20 units/L) and laccase activity (6.22 units/L). Elemental analyses of C, H, O, N and S showed that the weight fractions of each element in the myco-coagulant was 40.9, 6.0, 49.8, 1.7 and 1.4%, respectively. The myco-coagulant showed 97% flocculation activity at a dose of 1.8 mg/L, indicating good flocculation performance compared to that of polyaluminum chloride (PAC). The present work revealed that the fungal strain, L. squarrosulus 7-4-2 RWF-5 is able to produce cationic bio-coagulant. The flocculation mechanism of the novel myco-coagulant was a combination of polymer bridging and charge neutralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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Article
Risk Factors, Clinical Characteristics, Management, and Outcomes of Musculoskeletal Fungal Infection at Thailand’s Largest National Tertiary Referral Center
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020191 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
To investigate the risk factors, clinical characteristics, management, and outcomes of musculoskeletal fungal infection in Thai patients, patients aged ≥18 years definitively diagnosed with musculoskeletal fungal infection by culture and/or histopathology at Siriraj Hospital (Bangkok, Thailand) during 2002–2020 were retrospectively enrolled. Twenty-eight patients [...] Read more.
To investigate the risk factors, clinical characteristics, management, and outcomes of musculoskeletal fungal infection in Thai patients, patients aged ≥18 years definitively diagnosed with musculoskeletal fungal infection by culture and/or histopathology at Siriraj Hospital (Bangkok, Thailand) during 2002–2020 were retrospectively enrolled. Twenty-eight patients (median age: 58.5 years [range: 22–81], 57.1% male) with fungal osteomyelitis (n = 22), septic arthritis (n = 1), or fungal osteomyelitis with septic arthritis (n = 5) were included. Immunocompromised status was common (82%). Most patients had de novo infection from hematogenous spreading that usually presented at a single, non-contiguous site. The median symptom duration prior to diagnosis was 2 months. The tibia and knee were the most common site of osteomyelitis (30%) and septic arthritis (72%), respectively. The most common pathogens were Talaromyces marneffei and Cryptococcus neoformans. Organism identification from tissues at the affected sites was required in all cases. Most patients (82%) required combination surgery and systemic antifungal therapy. Among those with complete follow-up (23/28), 61% and 39% had complete and partial responses, respectively. Musculoskeletal fungal infection is an uncommon disease with insidious onset and non-specific manifestations that requires pathogen identification via tissue cultures and histopathologic studies. Combination surgery and systemic antifungal therapy yielded generally favorable outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
Article
Aflatoxin Reduction and Retardation of Aflatoxin Production by Microorganisms in Doenjang during a One-Year Fermentation
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020190 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Meju, a raw material for doenjang preparation, is highly vulnerable to aflatoxin-producing fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a one-year fermentation on aflatoxins and aflatoxin-producing fungi in doenjang spiked with aflatoxins B1, G1, B2, and G2 and [...] Read more.
Meju, a raw material for doenjang preparation, is highly vulnerable to aflatoxin-producing fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a one-year fermentation on aflatoxins and aflatoxin-producing fungi in doenjang spiked with aflatoxins B1, G1, B2, and G2 and inoculated with toxigenic Aspergillus flavus. A significant reduction in aflatoxins was observed after a year of fermentation, measuring 92.58%, 100%, 98.69%, and 100% of B1, G1, B2, and G2, respectively. After a year of fermentation, 6.95 ± 3.64 µg/kg of total aflatoxin was detected, which represents a 97.88% reduction in the total aflatoxin compared with the initial value (328.83 ± 36.60 µg/kg). Several aflatoxin-degrading fungi (Aspergillus versicolor, Cladosporium subcinereum, Aspergillus ochraceus) and bacteria (Bacillus albus, Bacillus velezensis) isolated from doenjang were identified as the major contributors to the reduction of aflatoxin. Furthermore, it was observed that most of the aflatoxin contamination in doenjang occurred during the meju stage, and this stage was found to be most susceptible to A. flavus contamination and growth. These findings reveal that native microorganisms mediate aflatoxin clean-up in doenjang during fermentation and support the use of such microorganisms as a starter culture for the preparation of aflatoxin-free doenjang. Full article
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Article
Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) from the Recent Invasion into Hawaii Shares a Genotypic Relationship with Latin American Populations
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020189 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
Hawaii has long been one of the last coffee-producing regions of the world free of coffee leaf rust (CLR) disease, which is caused by the biotrophic fungus Hemileia vastatrix. However, CLR was detected in coffee farms and feral coffee on the island [...] Read more.
Hawaii has long been one of the last coffee-producing regions of the world free of coffee leaf rust (CLR) disease, which is caused by the biotrophic fungus Hemileia vastatrix. However, CLR was detected in coffee farms and feral coffee on the island of Maui in February 2020 and subsequently on other islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. The source of the outbreak in Hawaii is not known, and CLR could have entered Hawaii from more than 50 coffee-producing nations that harbor the pathogen. To determine the source(s) of the Hawaii inoculum, we analyzed a set of eleven simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs) generated from Hawaii isolates within a dataset of 434 CLR isolates collected from 17 countries spanning both old and new world populations, and then conducted a minimum spanning network (MSN) analysis to trace the most likely pathway that H. vastatrix could have taken to Hawaii. Forty-two multilocus genotypes (MLGs) of H. vastatrix were found in the global dataset, with all isolates from Hawaii assignable to MLG 10 or derived from it. MLG 10 is widespread in Central America and Jamaica, making this region the most probable source of inoculum for the outbreak in Hawaii. An examination of global weather patterns during the months preceding the introduction of CLR makes it unlikely that the pathogen was windborne to the islands. Likely scenarios for the introduction of CLR to Hawaii are the accidental introduction of spores or infected plant material by travelers or seasonal workers, or improperly fumigated coffee shipments originating from Central America or the Caribbean islands. Full article
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Article
Sputum Galactomannan Has Utility in the Diagnosis of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020188 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 791
Abstract
Diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis (PA), a fungal disease caused by Aspergillus species, is challenging since symptoms are unspecific. The galactomannan (antigen secreted by Aspergillus species) test in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid is a valuable diagnostic adjunct test in the diagnosis of PA. [...] Read more.
Diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis (PA), a fungal disease caused by Aspergillus species, is challenging since symptoms are unspecific. The galactomannan (antigen secreted by Aspergillus species) test in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid is a valuable diagnostic adjunct test in the diagnosis of PA. However, BAL collection is invasive and may not be suitable to severely ill patients. Sputum is non-invasive, easily collected, and lung specific and may be an alternative to BAL. The aim of this research was to retrospectively evaluate the utility of sputum galactomannan in the diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with chronic respiratory diseases and to estimate the sputum galactomannan cut-off value. We collected data from patients with clinical suspicion of pulmonary aspergillosis who had sputum galactomannan, culture, and Aspergillus IgG tests performed within four weeks. Sputum galactomannan was validated against the clinical diagnosis of aspergillosis, Aspergillus culture, and Aspergillus IgG tests. In total, 218 patients met inclusion criteria. Overall, sputum GM showed satisfactory agreement with clinical diagnosis of aspergillosis, Aspergillus culture, and Aspergillus IgG. When a receiver operating characteristic curve was constructed using Aspergillus culture/IgG and clinical diagnosis, the same cut-off (CO) of 0.71 (AUC: 0.83; CI: 0.69–0.86, p < 0.001) was determined. Against clinical diagnosis, sputum GM gave sensitivity and specificity of 70% and 71%, respectively. Sensitivity of 77% and specificity of 78% were found when sputum GM was evaluated against Aspergillus culture/IgG. In conclusion, this study showed that sputum galactomannan antigen testing has utility in the diagnosis of chronic forms of pulmonary aspergillosis and further prospective validation is indicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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Article
GlSwi6 Positively Regulates Cellulase and Xylanase Activities through Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling in Ganoderma lucidum
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020187 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Ganoderma lucidum is a white-rot fungus that produces a range of lignocellulolytic enzymes to decompose lignin and cellulose. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has been implicated in xylanases and cellulases production. As the downstream transcription factor of Slt2-MAPK, the function of Swi6 [...] Read more.
Ganoderma lucidum is a white-rot fungus that produces a range of lignocellulolytic enzymes to decompose lignin and cellulose. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has been implicated in xylanases and cellulases production. As the downstream transcription factor of Slt2-MAPK, the function of Swi6 in G. lucidum has not been fully studied. In this study, the transcription factor GlSwi6 in G. lucidum was characterized and shown to significantly positively regulate cellulases and xylanases production. Knockdown of the GlSwi6 gene decreased the activities of cellulases and xylanases by approximately 31%~38% and 54%~60% compared with those of the wild-type (WT) strain, respectively. Besides, GlSwi6 can be alternatively spliced into two isoforms, GlSwi6A and GlSwi6B, and overexpression of GlSwi6B increased the activities of cellulase and xylanase by approximately 50% and 60%, respectively. Further study indicates that the existence of GlSwi6B significantly increased the concentration of cytosolic Ca2+. Our study indicated that GlSwi6 promotes the activities of cellulase and xylanase by regulating the Ca2+ signaling. These results connected the GlSwi6 and Ca2+ signaling in the regulation of cellulose degradation, and provide an insight for further improvement of cellulase or xylanase activities in G. lucidum as well as other fungi. Full article
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Article
Establishment of an Efficient Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-Mediated Transformation System in Pleurotus eryngii var. ferulae Using Comprehensive Optimization and Multiple Endogenous Promoters
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020186 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Pleurotus eryngii var. ferulae, a fungus of the genus Pleurotus, efficiently degrades lignin, especially during co-cultivation with other fungi. However, low transformation efficiency and heterologous gene expression restrict systematic studies of the molecular mechanisms and metabolic control of natural products in [...] Read more.
Pleurotus eryngii var. ferulae, a fungus of the genus Pleurotus, efficiently degrades lignin, especially during co-cultivation with other fungi. However, low transformation efficiency and heterologous gene expression restrict systematic studies of the molecular mechanisms and metabolic control of natural products in this mushroom. In this study, the homologous resistance marker carboxin (cbx) was used to establish a polyethylene glycol-mediated transformation (PMT) system in P. eryngii var. ferulae. Optimization of the transformation process greatly improved the number of positive transformants. In particular, we optimized: (i) protoplast preparation and regeneration; (ii) screening methods; and (iii) transformation-promoting factors. The optimized transformation efficiency reached 72.7 CFU/μg, which is higher than the average level of Pleurotus sp. (10–40 CFU/μg). Moreover, three endogenous promoters (Ppfgpd1, Ppfgpd2, and Ppfsar1) were screened and evaluated for different transcription initiation characteristics. A controllable overexpression system was established using these three promoters that satisfied various heterologous gene expression requirements, such as strong or weak, varied, or stable expression levels. This study lays the foundation for recombinant protein expression in P. eryngii var. ferulae and provides a method to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms and secondary metabolic pathway modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Basidiomycetes for Biotechnology)
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Article
Fourteen New Species of Foliar Colletotrichum Associated with the Invasive Plant Ageratinaadenophora and Surrounding Crops
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020185 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Ageratina adenophora is one of the most invasive weeds in China. Following an outbreak in Yunnan in the 1960s, A. adenophora has been spreading in Southwest China at tremendous speed. Previous research indicated A. adenophora contained many Colletotrichum species as endophytes. In this [...] Read more.
Ageratina adenophora is one of the most invasive weeds in China. Following an outbreak in Yunnan in the 1960s, A. adenophora has been spreading in Southwest China at tremendous speed. Previous research indicated A. adenophora contained many Colletotrichum species as endophytes. In this study, we investigated the diversity of Colletotrichum in healthy and diseased leaves of the invasive plant A. adenophora and several surrounding crops in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou provinces in China, and obtained over 1000 Colletotrichum strains. After preliminary delimitation using the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) sequences, 44 representative strains were selected for further study. Their phylogenetic positions were determined by phylogenetic analyses using combined sequences of ITS, actin (ACT), chitin synthase (CHS-1), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and beta-tubulin (TUB2). Combined with morphological characteristics, 14 new Colletotrichum species were named as C. adenophorae, C. analogum, C. cangyuanense, C. dimorphum, C. gracile, C. nanhuaense, C. nullisetosum, C. oblongisporum, C. parvisporum, C. robustum, C. simulanticitri, C. speciosum, C. subhenanense, and C. yunajiangense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
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Review
When Viruses Meet Fungi: Tackling the Enemies in Hematology
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020184 - 13 Feb 2022
Viewed by 853
Abstract
The association of invasive fungal infections (IFI) and viral infections has been described in patients with hematologic malignancies (HM), in particular in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Regrettably, the diagnosis is often challenging, making the treatment inappropriate in some circumstances. The present review [...] Read more.
The association of invasive fungal infections (IFI) and viral infections has been described in patients with hematologic malignancies (HM), in particular in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Regrettably, the diagnosis is often challenging, making the treatment inappropriate in some circumstances. The present review takes into consideration the viral infections commonly associated with IFI. Clinical presentation of IFI and viral infections, risk factors, and impact on the outcome of HM patients are discussed throughout the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Infections in Immunocompromised Hosts)
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