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J. Fungi, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 113 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study presents a systematic review and new data regarding the ecology, evolution, and systematics of Gibellula, a specific parasite of spiders that induces the host to die suspended in vegetation. The review compares traits usually presented in morphological descriptions of the genus and might be used for rapid species comparison, as well as a standard for characters to be included in future taxonomic research. We present a nomenclatural review in light of the existing taxonomic literature and phylogenetic evidence, providing a list of species to be considered as current species, as well as a world map with their known global distribution. Finally, we explore the ecological traits of hosts, serving as a baseline for discussing the specificity of the interaction. View this paper
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19 pages, 3968 KiB  
Article
Exploring Differences in Culturable Fungal Diversity Using Standard Freezing Incubation—A Case Study in the Limestones of Lemos Pantheon (Portugal)
by Diana S. Paiva, Luís Fernandes, Emília Pereira, João Trovão, Nuno Mesquita, Igor Tiago and António Portugal
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040501 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
In this study, we explored the biodiversity and abundance of culturable fungi in four samples associated with different biodeterioration outlines collected from the Lemos Pantheon, a limestone-built artwork in Portugal. We compared the results from prolonged standard freezing with those previously obtained from [...] Read more.
In this study, we explored the biodiversity and abundance of culturable fungi in four samples associated with different biodeterioration outlines collected from the Lemos Pantheon, a limestone-built artwork in Portugal. We compared the results from prolonged standard freezing with those previously obtained from fresh samples to analyze differences in the obtained community and assess the effectiveness of the standard freezing incubation protocol in uncovering a different segment of culturable fungal diversity. Our results showed a slight decrease in culturable diversity, but over 70% of the obtained isolates were not present in the previously studied fresh samples. We also identified a high number of potential new species with this procedure. Moreover, the use of a wide variety of selective culture media positively influenced the diversity of the cultivable fungi obtained in this study. These findings highlight the importance of developing new protocols under varying conditions to accurately characterize the culturable fraction in a given sample. The identification and study of these communities and their possible contribution to the biodeterioration process is crucial knowledge for formulating effective conservation and restoration plans to prevent further damage to valuable cultural heritage assets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodeterioration)
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20 pages, 1471 KiB  
Review
Diagnosis and Treatment of Invasive Aspergillosis Caused by Non-fumigatus Aspergillus spp.
by Jannik Stemler, Christina Többen, Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Jörg Steinmann, Katharina Ackermann, Peter-Michael Rath, Michaela Simon, Oliver Andreas Cornely and Philipp Koehler
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040500 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4196
Abstract
With increasing frequency, clinical and laboratory-based mycologists are consulted on invasive fungal diseases caused by rare fungal species. This review aims to give an overview of the management of invasive aspergillosis (IA) caused by non-fumigatus Aspergillus spp.—namely A. flavus, A. terreus, [...] Read more.
With increasing frequency, clinical and laboratory-based mycologists are consulted on invasive fungal diseases caused by rare fungal species. This review aims to give an overview of the management of invasive aspergillosis (IA) caused by non-fumigatus Aspergillus spp.—namely A. flavus, A. terreus, A. niger and A. nidulans—including diagnostic and therapeutic differences and similarities to A. fumigatus. A. flavus is the second most common Aspergillus spp. isolated in patients with IA and the predominant species in subtropical regions. Treatment is complicated by its intrinsic resistance against amphotericin B (AmB) and high minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for voriconazole. A. nidulans has been frequently isolated in patients with long-term immunosuppression, mostly in patients with primary immunodeficiencies such as chronic granulomatous disease. It has been reported to disseminate more often than other Aspergillus spp. Innate resistance against AmB has been suggested but not yet proven, while MICs seem to be elevated. A. niger is more frequently reported in less severe infections such as otomycosis. Triazoles exhibit varying MICs and are therefore not strictly recommended as first-line treatment for IA caused by A. niger, while patient outcome seems to be more favorable when compared to IA due to other Aspergillus species. A. terreus-related infections have been reported increasingly as the cause of acute and chronic aspergillosis. A recent prospective international multicenter surveillance study showed Spain, Austria, and Israel to be the countries with the highest density of A. terreus species complex isolates collected. This species complex seems to cause dissemination more often and is intrinsically resistant to AmB. Non-fumigatus aspergillosis is difficult to manage due to complex patient histories, varying infection sites and potential intrinsic resistances to antifungals. Future investigational efforts should aim at amplifying the knowledge on specific diagnostic measures and their on-site availability, as well as defining optimal treatment strategies and outcomes of non-fumigatus aspergillosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Epidemiological Trends of Invasive Fungal Infections)
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16 pages, 3158 KiB  
Article
Identification of Aspergillus niger Aquaporins Involved in Hydrogen Peroxide Signaling
by Thanaporn Laothanachareon, Enrique Asin-Garcia, Rita J. M. Volkers, Juan Antonio Tamayo-Ramos, Vitor A. P. Martins dos Santos and Peter J. Schaap
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040499 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Aspergillus niger is a robust microbial cell factory for organic acid production. However, the regulation of many industrially important pathways is still poorly understood. The regulation of the glucose oxidase (Gox) expression system, involved in the biosynthesis of gluconic acid, has recently been [...] Read more.
Aspergillus niger is a robust microbial cell factory for organic acid production. However, the regulation of many industrially important pathways is still poorly understood. The regulation of the glucose oxidase (Gox) expression system, involved in the biosynthesis of gluconic acid, has recently been uncovered. The results of that study show hydrogen peroxide, a by-product of the extracellular conversion of glucose to gluconate, has a pivotal role as a signaling molecule in the induction of this system. In this study, the facilitated diffusion of hydrogen peroxide via aquaporin water channels (AQPs) was studied. AQPs are transmembrane proteins of the major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) superfamily. In addition to water and glycerol, they may also transport small solutes such as hydrogen peroxide. The genome sequence of A. niger N402 was screened for putative AQPs. Seven AQPs were found and could be classified into three main groups. One protein (AQPA) belonged to orthodox AQP, three (AQPB, AQPD, and AQPE) were grouped in aquaglyceroporins (AQGP), two (AQPC and AQPF) were in X-intrinsic proteins (XIPs), and the other (AQPG) could not be classified. Their ability to facilitate diffusion of hydrogen peroxide was identified using yeast phenotypic growth assays and by studying AQP gene knock-outs in A. niger. The X-intrinsic protein AQPF appears to play roles in facilitating hydrogen peroxide transport across the cellular membrane in both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and A. niger experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Biotechnology of Aspergillus niger)
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25 pages, 7242 KiB  
Article
First Description of Non-Enzymatic Radical-Generating Mechanisms Adopted by Fomitiporia mediterranea: An Unexplored Pathway of the White Rot Agent of the Esca Complex of Diseases
by Samuele Moretti, Mary-Lorène Goddard, Alessandro Puca, Jacques Lalevée, Stefano Di Marco, Laura Mugnai, Eric Gelhaye, Barry Goodell, Christophe Bertsch and Sibylle Farine
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040498 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Fomitiporia mediterranea (Fmed) is the primary Basidiomycota species causing white rot in European vineyards affected by the Esca complex of diseases (ECD). In the last few years, an increasing number of studies have highlighted the importance of reconsidering the role of [...] Read more.
Fomitiporia mediterranea (Fmed) is the primary Basidiomycota species causing white rot in European vineyards affected by the Esca complex of diseases (ECD). In the last few years, an increasing number of studies have highlighted the importance of reconsidering the role of Fmed in ECD etiology, justifying an increase in research interest related to Fmed’s biomolecular pathogenetic mechanisms. In the context of the current re-evaluation of the binary distinction (brown vs. white rot) between biomolecular decay pathways induced by Basidiomycota species, our research aims to investigate the potential for non-enzymatic mechanisms adopted by Fmed, which is typically described as a white rot fungus. Our results demonstrate how, in liquid culture reproducing nutrient restriction conditions often found in wood, Fmed can produce low molecular weight compounds, the hallmark of the non-enzymatic “chelator-mediated Fenton” (CMF) reaction, originally described for brown rot fungi. CMF reactions can redox cycle with ferric iron, generating hydrogen peroxide and ferrous iron, necessary reactants leading to hydroxyl radical (OH) production. These observations led to the conclusion that a non-enzymatic radical-generating CMF-like mechanism may be utilized by Fmed, potentially together with an enzymatic pool, to contribute to degrading wood constituents; moreover, indicating significant variability between strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fungal Pathogenesis 2022)
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16 pages, 2829 KiB  
Article
Beech Leaf Disease Severity Affects Ectomycorrhizal Colonization and Fungal Taxa Composition
by Claudia Bashian-Victoroff, Alexis Brown, Andrew L. Loyd, Sarah R. Carrino-Kyker and David J. Burke
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040497 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2444
Abstract
Beech leaf disease (BLD) is an emerging forest infestation affecting beech trees (Fagus spp.) in the midwestern and northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. BLD is attributed to the newly recognized nematode Litylenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii. First described in Lake County, [...] Read more.
Beech leaf disease (BLD) is an emerging forest infestation affecting beech trees (Fagus spp.) in the midwestern and northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. BLD is attributed to the newly recognized nematode Litylenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii. First described in Lake County, Ohio, BLD leads to the disfigurement of leaves, canopy loss, and eventual tree mortality. Canopy loss limits photosynthetic capacity, likely impacting tree allocation to belowground carbon storage. Ectomycorrhizal fungi are root symbionts, which rely on the photosynthesis of autotrophs for nutrition and growth. Because BLD limits tree photosynthetic capacity, ECM fungi may receive less carbohydrates when associating with severely affected trees compared with trees without BLD symptoms. We sampled root fragments from cultivated F. grandifolia sourced from two provenances (Michigan and Maine) at two timepoints (fall 2020 and spring 2021) to test whether BLD symptom severity alters colonization by ectomycorrhizal fungi and fungal community composition. The studied trees are part of a long-term beech bark disease resistance plantation at the Holden Arboretum. We sampled from replicates across three levels of BLD symptom severity and compared fungal colonization via visual scoring of ectomycorrhizal root tip abundance. Effects of BLD on fungal communities were determined through high-throughput sequencing. We found that ectomycorrhizal root tip abundance was significantly reduced on the roots of individuals of the poor canopy condition resulting from BLD, but only in the fall 2020 collection. We found significantly more ectomycorrhizal root tips from root fragments collected in fall 2020 than in spring 2021, suggesting a seasonal effect. Community composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi was not impacted by tree condition but did vary between provenances. We found significant species level responses of ectomycorrhizal fungi between levels of both provenance and tree condition. Of the taxa analyzed, two zOTUs had significantly lower abundance in high-symptomatology trees compared with low-symptomatology trees. These results provide the first indication of a belowground effect of BLD on ectomycorrhizal fungi and contribute further evidence to the role of these root symbionts in studies of tree disease and forest pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Friends of Plants: Mycorrhizal Fungi)
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14 pages, 4370 KiB  
Article
AoMae1 Regulates Hyphal Fusion, Lipid Droplet Accumulation, Conidiation, and Trap Formation in Arthrobotrys oligospora
by Yankun Liu, Meichen Zhu, Wenjie Wang, Xuemei Li, Na Bai, Meihua Xie and Jinkui Yang
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040496 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a key enzyme in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and is essential for energy balance, growth, and tolerance to cold and salt stresses in plants. However, the role of MDH in filamentous fungi is still largely unknown. In this [...] Read more.
Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a key enzyme in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and is essential for energy balance, growth, and tolerance to cold and salt stresses in plants. However, the role of MDH in filamentous fungi is still largely unknown. In this study, we characterized an ortholog of MDH (AoMae1) in a representative nematode-trapping (NT) fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora via gene disruption, phenotypic analysis, and nontargeted metabolomics. We found that the loss of Aomae1 led to a weakening of MDH activity and ATP content, a remarkable decrease in conidia yield, and a considerable increase in the number of traps and mycelial loops. In addition, the absence of Aomae1 also caused an obvious reduction in the number of septa and nuclei. In particular, AoMae1 regulates hyphal fusion under low nutrient conditions but not in nutrient-rich conditions, and the volumes and sizes of the lipid droplets dynamically changed during trap formation and nematode predation. AoMae1 is also involved in the regulation of secondary metabolites such as arthrobotrisins. These results suggest that Aomae1 has an important role in hyphal fusion, sporulation, energy production, trap formation, and pathogenicity in A. oligospora. Our results enhance the understanding of the crucial role that enzymes involved in the TCA cycle play in the growth, development, and pathogenicity of NT fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Entomopathogenic and Nematode-Trapping Fungi)
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14 pages, 5572 KiB  
Article
Fluorescent Labeling of Peroxisome and Nuclear in Colletotrichum aenigma
by Shendan Yu, Jing Wang, Rongyao Chai, Haiping Qiu, Ziqi Lu, Zhen Zhang, Lin Li, Jiaoyu Wang and Guochang Sun
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040493 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Anthracnose is one of the most widespread and destructive diseases in grapes. Grape anthracnose can be caused by various Colletotrichum species, such as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum cuspidosporium. In recent years, Colletotrichum aenigma was reported as a causal agent of Grape anthracnose [...] Read more.
Anthracnose is one of the most widespread and destructive diseases in grapes. Grape anthracnose can be caused by various Colletotrichum species, such as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum cuspidosporium. In recent years, Colletotrichum aenigma was reported as a causal agent of Grape anthracnose in China and South Korea. Peroxisome is an important organelle in eukaryotes, which plays a very important role in the growth, development, and pathogenicity of several plant-pathogenic fungal species i, but it has not been reported in C. aenigma. In this work, the peroxisome of C. aenigma was labeled with a fluorescent protein, using green fluorescent protein (GFP) and red fluorescent protein (DsRED and mCherry) as reporter genes. Via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (AtMT), two fluorescent fusion vectors to mark the peroxisomes, with GFP and DsRED, respectively, were introduced into a wild-type strain of C. aenigma. In the transformants, bright dots of green or red fluorescence in hyphae and spores could be seen in the strains labeled peroxisome. The nuclei labeled by the same method showed bright round fluorescent spots. In addition, we also combined fluorescent protein labeling with chemical staining to show the localization more clearly. The ideal peroxisome and nuclear fluorescence-labeled C. aenigma strain was obtained, which provided a reference for the study of its growth, development, and pathogenicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Detection and Surveillance of Fungal Plant Pathogens)
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23 pages, 16130 KiB  
Article
Extracellular Vesicles of the Plant Pathogen Botrytis cinerea
by Amelie De Vallée, Jean-William Dupuy, Christine Moriscot, Benoit Gallet, Solène Vanderperre, Gaëtan Guignard, Christine Rascle, Glen Calvar, Bastien Malbert, François-Xavier Gillet, Cindy Dieryckx, Mathias Choquer, Vincent Girard, Nathalie Poussereau and Christophe Bruel
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040495 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
Fungal secretomes are known to contain a multitude of components involved in nutrition, cell growth or biotic interactions. Recently, extra-cellular vesicles have been identified in a few fungal species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to identify and characterize extracellular vesicles produced by [...] Read more.
Fungal secretomes are known to contain a multitude of components involved in nutrition, cell growth or biotic interactions. Recently, extra-cellular vesicles have been identified in a few fungal species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to identify and characterize extracellular vesicles produced by the plant necrotroph Botrytis cinerea. Transmission electron microscopy of infectious hyphae and hyphae grown in vitro revealed extracellular vesicles of various sizes and densities. Electron tomography showed the co-existence of ovoid and tubular vesicles and pointed to their release via the fusion of multi-vesicular bodies with the cell plasma membrane. The isolation of these vesicles and exploration of their protein content using mass spectrometry led to the identification of soluble and membrane proteins involved in transport, metabolism, cell wall synthesis and remodeling, proteostasis, oxidoreduction and traffic. Confocal microscopy highlighted the capacity of fluorescently labeled vesicles to target cells of B. cinerea, cells of the fungus Fusarium graminearum, and onion epidermal cells but not yeast cells. In addition, a specific positive effect of these vesicles on the growth of B. cinerea was quantified. Altogether, this study broadens our view on the secretion capacity of B. cinerea and its cell-to-cell communication. Full article
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13 pages, 1855 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Engineering of Pichia pastoris for the Production of Triacetic Acid Lactone
by Linjuan Feng, Junhao Xu, Cuifang Ye, Jucan Gao, Lei Huang, Zhinan Xu and Jiazhang Lian
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040494 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Triacetic acid lactone (TAL) is a promising renewable platform polyketide with broad biotechnological applications. In this study, we constructed an engineered Pichia pastoris strain for the production of TAL. We first introduced a heterologous TAL biosynthetic pathway by integrating the 2-pyrone synthase encoding [...] Read more.
Triacetic acid lactone (TAL) is a promising renewable platform polyketide with broad biotechnological applications. In this study, we constructed an engineered Pichia pastoris strain for the production of TAL. We first introduced a heterologous TAL biosynthetic pathway by integrating the 2-pyrone synthase encoding gene from Gerbera hybrida (Gh2PS). We then removed the rate-limiting step of TAL synthesis by introducing the posttranslational regulation-free acetyl-CoA carboxylase mutant encoding gene from S. cerevisiae (ScACC1*) and increasing the copy number of Gh2PS. Finally, to enhance intracellular acetyl-CoA supply, we focused on the introduction of the phosphoketolase/phosphotransacetylase pathway (PK pathway). To direct more carbon flux towards the PK pathway for acetyl-CoA generation, we combined it with a heterologous xylose utilization pathway or endogenous methanol utilization pathway. The combination of the PK pathway with the xylose utilization pathway resulted in the production of 825.6 mg/L TAL in minimal medium with xylose as the sole carbon source, with a TAL yield of 0.041 g/g xylose. This is the first report on TAL biosynthesis in P. pastoris and its direct synthesis from methanol. The present study suggests potential applications in improving the intracellular pool of acetyl-CoA and provides a basis for the construction of efficient cell factories for the production of acetyl-CoA derived compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of Yeast Resources)
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13 pages, 3181 KiB  
Article
Decline in Morel Production upon Continuous Cropping Is Related to Changes in Soil Mycobiome
by Yan Zhang, Sifan Sun, Didi Luo, Ping Mao, Rusly Rosazlina, Francis Martin and Lingling Xu
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040492 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
The black morel Morchella sextelata (Morchellaceae, Pezizales) is a valuable edible mushroom that can be cultivated on a large scale, but a severe yield decline is observed during continuous cropping. The effect of long-term cropping on soil-borne diseases and the dysbiosis of the [...] Read more.
The black morel Morchella sextelata (Morchellaceae, Pezizales) is a valuable edible mushroom that can be cultivated on a large scale, but a severe yield decline is observed during continuous cropping. The effect of long-term cropping on soil-borne diseases and the dysbiosis of the microbiome and how these biotic factors affect the morel yield are not well understood. To help fill this knowledge gap, we designed an indoor experiment to investigate the influence of black morel cropping regimes on soil physicochemical properties, richness and distribution of fungal community, and morel primordial production. In this study, we employed rDNA metabarcoding and microbial network analysis to evaluate the effect of non-continuous and continuous cropping regimes on the fungal community during three developmental stages of black morel production, namely, the bare soil mycelium, mushroom conidial, and primordial stages. The results showed that during the first year, M. sextelata mycelium overwhelmed the resident soil fungal community by reducing the alpha diversity and niche breadth of soil fungal patterns by a greater amount compared to the continuous cropping regime, leading to high crop yield of 12.39 ± 6.09/quadrat but less complex soil mycobiome. To sustain continuous cropping, exogenous nutrition bags and morel mycelial spawn were consecutively added to the soil. The additional nutrient input stimulated the growth of fungal saprotrophic decomposers. The degrading activity of soil saprotrophs, including M.sextelata, caused a significant increase in soil nutrient content. This led to an inhibitory effect on the formation of morel primordia, resulting in a sharp decline to 0.29 ± 0.25/quadrat and 0.17 ± 0.24/quadrat, respectively, in the final morel cropping. Our findings provided a dynamic overview of the soil fungal community during morel mushroom production, allowing us to identify beneficial and detrimental fungal taxa in the soil mycobiome involved in morel cultivation. The information acquired from this study can be applied to mitigate the adverse impact of continuous cropping on the yield of black morel. Full article
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18 pages, 4266 KiB  
Article
Macrofungal Diversity and Distribution Patterns in the Primary Forests of the Shaluli Mountains
by Xixi Han, Dongmei Liu, Mingzhe Zhang, Maoqiang He, Jiaxin Li, Xinyu Zhu, Meiqi Wang, Naritsada Thongklang, Ruilin Zhao and Bin Cao
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040491 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2806
Abstract
The Shaluli Mountains are located in the southeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau at an elevation of 2500–5000 m. They are characterized by a typical vertical distribution of climate and vegetation and are considered a global biodiversity hotspot. We selected ten vegetation types [...] Read more.
The Shaluli Mountains are located in the southeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau at an elevation of 2500–5000 m. They are characterized by a typical vertical distribution of climate and vegetation and are considered a global biodiversity hotspot. We selected ten vegetation types at different elevation gradients representing distinct forests in the Shaluli Mountains to assess the macrofungal diversity, including subalpine shrub, Pinus spp., Populus spp., Pinus spp. and Quercus spp., Quercus spp., Abies spp., Picea spp. and Abies spp., Picea spp., Juniperus spp., and alpine meadow. In total, 1654 macrofungal specimens were collected. All specimens were distinguished by morphology and DNA barcoding, resulting in the identification of 766 species belonging to 177 genera in two phyla, eight classes, 22 orders, and 72 families. Macrofungal species composition varied widely among vegetation types, but ectomycorrhizal fungi were predominant. In this study, the analysis of observed species richness, the Chao1 diversity index, the invsimpson diversity index, and the Shannon diversity index revealed that the vegetation types with higher macrofungal alpha diversity in the Shaluli Mountains were composed of Abies, Picea, and Quercus. The vegetation types with lower macrofungal alpha diversity were subalpine shrub, Pinus spp., Juniperus spp., and alpine meadow. The results of curve-fitting regression analysis showed that macrofungal diversity in the Shaluli Mountains was closely related to elevation, with a trend of increasing and then decreasing with rising elevation. This distribution of diversity is consistent with the hump-shaped pattern. Constrained principal coordinate analysis based on Bray–Curtis distances indicated that macrofungal community composition was similar among vegetation types at similar elevations, while vegetation types with large differences in elevation differed significantly in macrofungal community composition. This suggests that large changes in elevation increase macrofungal community turnover. This study is the first investigation of the distribution pattern of macrofungal diversity under different vegetation types in high-altitude areas, providing a scientific basis for the conservation of macrofungal resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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14 pages, 2675 KiB  
Article
Aspergillus fumigatus Supernatants Disrupt Bronchial Epithelial Monolayers: Potential Role for Enhanced Invasion in Cystic Fibrosis
by Katie Dunne, Emma Reece, Siobhán McClean, Sean Doyle, Thomas R. Rogers, Philip Murphy and Julie Renwick
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040490 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly isolated fungus in chronic lung diseases, with a prevalence of up to 60% in cystic fibrosis patients. Despite this, the impact of A. fumigatus colonisation on lung epithelia has not been thoroughly explored. We investigated the influence [...] Read more.
Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly isolated fungus in chronic lung diseases, with a prevalence of up to 60% in cystic fibrosis patients. Despite this, the impact of A. fumigatus colonisation on lung epithelia has not been thoroughly explored. We investigated the influence of A. fumigatus supernatants and the secondary metabolite, gliotoxin, on human bronchial epithelial cells (HBE) and CF bronchial epithelial (CFBE) cells. CFBE (F508del CFBE41o) and HBE (16HBE14o) trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured following exposure to A. fumigatus reference and clinical isolates, a gliotoxin-deficient mutant (ΔgliG) and pure gliotoxin. The impact on tight junction (TJ) proteins, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) were determined by western blot analysis and confocal microscopy. A. fumigatus conidia and supernatants caused significant disruption to CFBE and HBE TJs within 24 h. Supernatants from later cultures (72 h) caused the greatest disruption while ΔgliG mutant supernatants caused no disruption to TJ integrity. The ZO-1 and JAM-A distribution in epithelial monolayers were altered by A. fumigatus supernatants but not by ΔgliG supernatants, suggesting that gliotoxin is involved in this process. The fact that ΔgliG conidia were still capable of disrupting epithelial monolayers indicates that direct cell–cell contact also plays a role, independently of gliotoxin production. Gliotoxin is capable of disrupting TJ integrity which has the potential to contribute to airway damage, and enhance microbial invasion and sensitisation in CF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Current Understanding of Host–Fungal Interactions)
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17 pages, 3412 KiB  
Article
Species of the Colletotrichum spp., the Causal Agents of Leaf Spot on European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
by Yu-Hang Qiao, Chen-Ning Zhang, Min Li, Huan Li, Yun-Fei Mao and Feng-Mao Chen
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040489 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) is widely planted in landscaping. In October 2021 and August 2022, leaf spot was observed on C. betulus in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. To identify the causal agent of anthracnose disease on C. betulus, 23 isolates [...] Read more.
European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) is widely planted in landscaping. In October 2021 and August 2022, leaf spot was observed on C. betulus in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. To identify the causal agent of anthracnose disease on C. betulus, 23 isolates were obtained from the symptomatic leaves. Based on ITS sequences and colony morphology, these isolates were divided into four Colletotrichum groups. Koch’s postulates of four Colletotrichum species showed similar symptoms observed in the field. Combining the morphological characteristics and multi-gene phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene, Apn2-Mat1-2 intergenic spacer (ApMat) gene, the calmodulin (CAL) gene, glyceraldehyde3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene, Glutamine synthetase (GS) gene, and beta-tubulin 2 (TUB2) genes, the four Colletotrichum groups were identified as C. gloeosporioides, C. fructicola, C. aenigma, and C. siamense. This study is the first report of four Colletotrichum species causing leaf spot on European hornbeam in China, and it provides clear pathogen information for the further evaluation of the disease control strategies. Full article
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20 pages, 7370 KiB  
Article
Pruning Wound Protection Products Induce Alterations in the Wood Mycobiome Profile of Grapevines
by Giovanni Del Frari, Marie Rønne Aggerbeck, Alex Gobbi, Chiara Ingrà, Lorenzo Volpi, Teresa Nascimento, Alessandra Ferrandino, Lars Hestbjerg Hansen and Ricardo Boavida Ferreira
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040488 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
Fungal pathogens involved in grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) may infect grapevines throughout their lifetime, from nursery to vineyard, via open wounds in stems, canes or roots. In vineyards, pruning wound protection products (PWPPs) offer the best means to reduce the chance of infection [...] Read more.
Fungal pathogens involved in grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) may infect grapevines throughout their lifetime, from nursery to vineyard, via open wounds in stems, canes or roots. In vineyards, pruning wound protection products (PWPPs) offer the best means to reduce the chance of infection by GTD fungi. However, PWPPs may affect non-target microorganisms that comprise the natural endophytic mycobiome residing in treated canes, disrupting microbial homeostasis and indirectly influencing grapevine health. Using DNA metabarcoding, we characterized the endophytic mycobiome of one-year-old canes of cultivars Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in two vineyards in Portugal and Italy and assessed the impact of established and novel PWPPs on the fungal communities of treated canes. Our results reveal a large fungal diversity (176 taxa), and we report multiple genera never detected before in grapevine wood (e.g., Symmetrospora and Akenomyces). We found differences in mycobiome beta diversity when comparing vineyards (p = 0.01) but not cultivars (p > 0.05). When examining PWPP-treated canes, we detected cultivar- and vineyard-dependent alterations in both alpha and beta diversity. In addition, numerous fungal taxa were over- or under-represented when compared to control canes. Among them, Epicoccum sp., a beneficial genus with biological control potential, was negatively affected by selected PWPPs. This study demonstrates that PWPPs induce alterations in the fungal communities of grapevines, requiring an urgent evaluation of their direct and indirect effects on plants health with consideration of factors such as climatic conditions and yearly variations, in order to better advise viticulturists and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol of Grapevine Diseases)
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13 pages, 3399 KiB  
Article
Cyclosporine Affects the Main Virulence Factors of Cryptococcus neoformans In Vitro
by Iara Bastos de Andrade, Dario Corrêa-Junior, Vinicius Alves, Maria Helena Galdino Figueiredo-Carvalho, Marcos Vinicius Santos, Marcos Abreu Almeida, Alessandro Fernandes Valdez, Leonardo Nimrichter, Rodrigo Almeida-Paes and Susana Frases
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040487 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effects of cyclosporine on the morphology, cell wall structure, and secretion characteristics of Cryptococcus neoformans. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of cyclosporine was found to be 2 µM (2.4 µg/mL) for the H99 strain. Yeast cells [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of cyclosporine on the morphology, cell wall structure, and secretion characteristics of Cryptococcus neoformans. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of cyclosporine was found to be 2 µM (2.4 µg/mL) for the H99 strain. Yeast cells treated with cyclosporine at half the MIC showed altered morphology, including irregular shapes and elongated projections, without an effect on cell metabolism. Cyclosporine treatment resulted in an 18-fold increase in chitin and an 8-fold increase in lipid bodies, demonstrating changes in the fungal cell wall structure. Cyclosporine also reduced cell body and polysaccharide capsule diameters, with a significant reduction in urease secretion in C. neoformans cultures. Additionally, the study showed that cyclosporine increased the viscosity of secreted polysaccharides and reduced the electronegativity and conductance of cells. The findings suggest that cyclosporine has significant effects on C. neoformans morphology, cell wall structure, and secretion, which could have implications for the development of new antifungal agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Strategies to Combat Human Fungal Infections)
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19 pages, 2180 KiB  
Article
Molecular Variability of the Fusarium solani Species Complex Associated with Fusarium Wilt of Melon in Iran
by Fatemeh Sabahi, Zia Banihashemi, Maryam Mirtalebi, Martijn Rep and Santa Olga Cacciola
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040486 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2244
Abstract
Species of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) are responsible for the Fusarium wilt disease of melon (Cucumis melo), a major disease of this crop in Iran. According to a recent taxonomic revision of Fusarium based primarily on multilocus phylogenetic analysis, [...] Read more.
Species of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) are responsible for the Fusarium wilt disease of melon (Cucumis melo), a major disease of this crop in Iran. According to a recent taxonomic revision of Fusarium based primarily on multilocus phylogenetic analysis, Neocosmospora, a genus distinct from Fusarium sensu stricto, has been proposed to accommodate the FSSC. This study characterized 25 representative FSSC isolates from melon collected in 2009–2011 during a field survey carried out in five provinces of Iran. Pathogenicity assays showed the isolates were pathogenic on different varieties of melon and other cucurbits, including cucumber, watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin, and bottle gourd. Based on morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analysis of three genetic regions, including nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS), 28S nrDNA large subunit (LSU) and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1), Neocosmospora falciformis (syn. F. falciforme), N. keratoplastica (syn. F. keratoplasticum), N. pisi (syn. F. vanettenii), and Neocosmospora sp. were identified among the Iranian FSSC isolates. The N. falciformis isolates were the most numerous. This is the first report of N. pisi causing wilt and root rot disease in melon. Iranian FSSC isolates from different regions in the country shared the same multilocus haplotypes suggesting a long-distance dispersal of FSSC, probably through seeds. Full article
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18 pages, 4046 KiB  
Article
The First Whole Genome Sequencing of Agaricus bitorquis and Its Metabolite Profiling
by Chunhua Zhao, Xi-long Feng, Zhen-xin Wang and Jianzhao Qi
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040485 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
Agaricus bitorquis, an emerging wild mushroom with remarkable biological activities and a distinctive oversized mushroom shape, has gained increasing attention in recent years. Despite its status as an important resource of wild edible fungi, knowledge about this mushroom is still limited. In [...] Read more.
Agaricus bitorquis, an emerging wild mushroom with remarkable biological activities and a distinctive oversized mushroom shape, has gained increasing attention in recent years. Despite its status as an important resource of wild edible fungi, knowledge about this mushroom is still limited. In this study, we used the Illumina NovaSeq and Nanopore PromethION platforms to sequence, de novo assemble, and annotate the whole genome and mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the A. bitorquis strain BH01 isolated from Bosten Lake, Xinjiang Province, China. Using the genome-based biological information, we identified candidate genes associated with mating type and carbohydrate-active enzymes in A. bitorquis. Cluster analysis based on P450 of basidiomycetes revealed the types of P450 members of A. bitorquis. Comparative genomic, mitogenomic, and phylogenetic analyses were also performed, revealing interspecific differences and evolutionary features of A. bitorquis and A. bisporus. In addition, the molecular network of metabolites was investigated, highlighting differences in the chemical composition and content of the fruiting bodies of A. bitorquis and A. bisporus. The genome sequencing provides a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of A. bitorquis and the genus Agaricus mushrooms. This work provides valuable insights into the potential for artificial cultivation and molecular breeding of A. bitorquis, which will facilitate the development of A. bitorquis in the field of edible mushrooms and functional food manufacture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Genomics of Mushroom-Forming Fungi)
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15 pages, 6545 KiB  
Article
Hyphopodium-Specific Signaling Is Required for Plant Infection by Verticillium dahliae
by Qingyan Liu, Yingchao Li, Huawei Wu, Bosen Zhang, Chuanhui Liu, Yi Gao, Huishan Guo and Jianhua Zhao
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040484 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
For successful colonization, fungal pathogens have evolved specialized infection structures to overcome the barriers present in host plants. The morphology of infection structures and pathogenic mechanisms are diverse according to host specificity. Verticillium dahliae, a soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus, generates hyphopodium with a [...] Read more.
For successful colonization, fungal pathogens have evolved specialized infection structures to overcome the barriers present in host plants. The morphology of infection structures and pathogenic mechanisms are diverse according to host specificity. Verticillium dahliae, a soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus, generates hyphopodium with a penetration peg on cotton roots while developing appressoria, that are typically associated with leaf infection on lettuce and fiber flax roots. In this study, we isolated the pathogenic fungus, V. dahliae (VdaSm), from Verticillium wilt eggplants and generated a GFP-labeled isolate to explore the colonization process of VdaSm on eggplants. We found that the formation of hyphopodium with penetration peg is crucial for the initial colonization of VdaSm on eggplant roots, indicating that the colonization processes on eggplant and cotton share a similar feature. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the VdNoxB/VdPls1-dependent Ca2+ elevation activating VdCrz1 signaling is a common genetic pathway to regulate infection-related development in V. dahliae. Our results indicated that VdNoxB/VdPls1-dependent pathway may be a desirable target to develop effective fungicides, to protect crops from V. dahliae infection by interrupting the formation of specialized infection structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Fungi in Plant Defense Mechanisms)
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18 pages, 3058 KiB  
Article
Ectomycorrhizal Community Shifts at a Former Uranium Mining Site
by Olga Bogdanova, Erika Kothe and Katrin Krause
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040483 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Ectomycorrhizal communities at young oak, pine, and birch stands in a former uranium mining site showed a low diversity of morphotypes with a preference for contact and short-distance exploration strategies formed by the fungi Russulaceae, Inocybaceae, Cortinariaceae, Thelephoraceae, Rhizopogonaceae [...] Read more.
Ectomycorrhizal communities at young oak, pine, and birch stands in a former uranium mining site showed a low diversity of morphotypes with a preference for contact and short-distance exploration strategies formed by the fungi Russulaceae, Inocybaceae, Cortinariaceae, Thelephoraceae, Rhizopogonaceae, Tricholomataceae, as well as abundant Meliniomyces bicolor. In order to have better control over abiotic conditions, we established pot experiments with re-potted trees taken from the sites of direct investigation. This more standardized cultivation resulted in a lower diversity and decreased prominence of M. bicolor. In addition, the exploration strategies shifted to include long-distance exploration types. To mimic secondary succession with a high prevalence of fungal propagules present in the soil, inoculation of re-potted trees observed under standardized conditions for two years was used. The super-inoculation increased the effect of lower abundance and diversity of morphotypes. The contact morphotypes correlated with high Al, Cu, Fe, Sr, and U soil contents, the dark-colored short-distance exploration type did not show a specific preference for soil characteristics, and the medium fringe type with rhizomorphs on oaks correlated with total nitrogen. Thus, we could demonstrate that field trees, in a species-dependent manner, selected for ectomycorrhizal fungi with exploration types are likely to improve the plant’s tolerance to specific abiotic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals in Mushrooms)
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15 pages, 2359 KiB  
Article
Clinical and Demographic Features of Paracoccidioidomycosis in Argentina: A Multicenter Study Analysis of 466 Cases
by Gustavo Giusiano, Fernanda Tracogna, Gabriela Santiso, Florencia Rojas, Fernando Messina, Vanesa Sosa, Yone Chacón, Maria de los Ángeles Sosa, Javier Mussin, María Emilia Cattana, Andrea Vazquez, Patricia Formosa, Norma Fernández, Milagros Piedrabuena, Ruth Valdez, Florencia Davalos, Mariana Fernández, Alejandra Acuña, Alejandra Aguilera, Liliana Guelfand, Javier Afeltra, Guillermo Garcia Effron, Gladys Posse, Susana Amigot, Julian Serrano, Otilia Sellares, Christian Álvarez, Gloria Pineda, Susana Carnovale, Laura Zalazar and Cristina Canterosadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040482 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Information on paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) in Argentina is fragmented and has historically been based on estimates, supported only by a series of a few reported cases. Considering the lack of global information, a national multicentric study in order to carry out a more comprehensive [...] Read more.
Information on paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) in Argentina is fragmented and has historically been based on estimates, supported only by a series of a few reported cases. Considering the lack of global information, a national multicentric study in order to carry out a more comprehensive analysis was warranted. We present a data analysis including demographic and clinical aspects of a historical series of 466 cases recorded over 10 years (2012–2021). Patients were aged from 1 to 89 years. The general male: female (M:F) ratio was 9.5:1 with significant variation according to the age group. Interestingly, the age range 21–30 shows an M:F ratio of 2:1. Most of the cases (86%) were registered in northeast Argentina (NEA), showing hyperendemic areas in Chaco province with more than 2 cases per 10,000 inhabitants. The chronic clinical form occurred in 85.6% of cases and the acute/subacute form occurred in 14.4% of cases, but most of these juvenile type cases occurred in northwestern Argentina (NWA). In NEA, the incidence of the chronic form was 90.6%; in NWA, the acute/subacute form exceeded 37%. Diagnosis by microscopy showed 96% positivity but antibody detection displays 17% of false negatives. Tuberculosis was the most frequent comorbidity, but a diverse spectrum of bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, and other non-infectious comorbidities was recorded. This national multicenter registry was launched in order to better understand the current status of PCM in Argentina and shows the two endemic zones with a highly diverse epidemiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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19 pages, 7908 KiB  
Article
Genomic and Transcriptomic Approaches Provide a Predictive Framework for Sesquiterpenes Biosynthesis in Desarmillaria tabescens CPCC 401429
by Tao Zhang, Jianjv Feng, Wenni He, Xiaoting Rong, Hui Lv, Jun Li, Xinxin Li, Hao Wang, Lu Wang, Lixin Zhang and Liyan Yu
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040481 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Terpenoids constitute a structurally diverse class of secondary metabolites with wide applications in the pharmaceutical, fragrance and flavor industries. Desarmillaria tabescens CPCC 401429 is a basidiomycetous mushroom that could produce anti-tumor melleolides. To date, no studies have been conducted to thoroughly investigate the [...] Read more.
Terpenoids constitute a structurally diverse class of secondary metabolites with wide applications in the pharmaceutical, fragrance and flavor industries. Desarmillaria tabescens CPCC 401429 is a basidiomycetous mushroom that could produce anti-tumor melleolides. To date, no studies have been conducted to thoroughly investigate the sesquiterpenes biosynthetic potential in Desarmillaria or related genus. This study aims to unravel the phylogeny, terpenome, and functional characterization of unique sesquiterpene biosynthetic genes of the strain CPCC 401429. Herein, we report the genome of the fungus containing 15,145 protein-encoding genes. MLST-based phylogeny and comparative genomic analyses shed light on the precise reclassification of D. tabescens suggesting that it belongs to the genus Desarmillaria. Gene ontology enrichment and pathway analyses uncover the hidden capacity for producing polyketides and terpenoids. Genome mining directed predictive framework reveals a diverse network of sesquiterpene synthases (STSs). Among twelve putative STSs encoded in the genome, six ones are belonging to the novel minor group: diverse Clade IV. In addition, RNA-sequencing based transcriptomic profiling revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of the fungus CPCC 401429 in three different fermentation conditions, that of which enable us to identify noteworthy genes exemplified as STSs coding genes. Among the ten sesquiterpene biosynthetic DEGs, two genes including DtSTS9 and DtSTS10 were selected for functional characterization. Yeast cells expressing DtSTS9 and DtSTS10 could produce diverse sesquiterpene compounds, reinforced that STSs in the group Clade IV might be highly promiscuous producers. This highlights the potential of Desarmillaria in generating novel terpenoids. To summarize, our analyses will facilitate our understanding of phylogeny, STSs diversity and functional significance of Desarmillaria species. These results will encourage the scientific community for further research on uncharacterized STSs of Basidiomycota phylum, biological functions, and potential application of this vast source of secondary metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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14 pages, 4199 KiB  
Article
Engineering and Implementation of Synthetic Molecular Tools in the Basidiomycete Fungus Ustilago maydis
by Nicole Heucken, Kun Tang, Lisa Hüsemann, Natascha Heßler, Kira Müntjes, Michael Feldbrügge, Vera Göhre and Matias D. Zurbriggen
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040480 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
The basidiomycete Ustilago maydis is a well-characterized model organism for studying pathogen–host interactions and of great interest for a broad spectrum of biotechnological applications. To facilitate research and enable applications, in this study, three luminescence-based and one enzymatic quantitative reporter were implemented and [...] Read more.
The basidiomycete Ustilago maydis is a well-characterized model organism for studying pathogen–host interactions and of great interest for a broad spectrum of biotechnological applications. To facilitate research and enable applications, in this study, three luminescence-based and one enzymatic quantitative reporter were implemented and characterized. Several dual-reporter constructs were generated for ratiometric normalization that can be used as a fast-screening platform for reporter gene expression, applicable to in vitro and in vivo detection. Furthermore, synthetic bidirectional promoters that enable bicisitronic expression for gene expression studies and engineering strategies were constructed and implemented. These noninvasive, quantitative reporters and expression tools will significantly widen the application range of biotechnology in U. maydis and enable the in planta detection of fungal infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Understanding of Smut Biology)
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15 pages, 2318 KiB  
Article
AMF Inoculation Alleviates Molybdenum Toxicity to Maize by Protecting Leaf Performance
by Mengge Zhang, Zhaoyong Shi, Shichuan Lu and Fayuan Wang
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040479 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is a vital strategy for enhancing the phytoremediation of heavy metals. However, the role of AMF under molybdenum (Mo) stress is elusive. A pot culture experiment was conducted to explore the effects of AMF (Claroideoglomus [...] Read more.
The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is a vital strategy for enhancing the phytoremediation of heavy metals. However, the role of AMF under molybdenum (Mo) stress is elusive. A pot culture experiment was conducted to explore the effects of AMF (Claroideoglomus etunicatum and Rhizophagus intraradices) inoculation on the uptake and transport of Mo and the physiological growth of maize plants under different levels of Mo addition (0, 100, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg). AMF inoculation significantly increased the biomass of maize plants, and the mycorrhizal dependency reached 222% at the Mo addition level of 1000 mg/kg. Additionally, AMF inoculation could induce different growth allocation strategies in response to Mo stress. Inoculation significantly reduced Mo transport, and the active accumulation of Mo in the roots reached 80% after inoculation at the high Mo concentration of 2000 mg/kg. In addition to enhancing the net photosynthetic and pigment content, inoculation also increased the biomass by enhancing the uptake of nutrients, including P, K, Zn, and Cu, to resist Mo stress. In conclusion, C. etunicatum and R. intraradices were tolerant to the Mo stress and could alleviate the Mo-induced phytotoxicity by regulating the allocation of Mo in plants and improving photosynthetic leaf pigment contents and the uptake of nutrition. Compared with C. etunicatum, R. intraradices showed a stronger tolerance to Mo, which was manifested by a stronger inhibition of Mo transport and a higher uptake of nutrient elements. Accordingly, AMF show potential for the bioremediation of Mo-polluted soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioremediation of Contaminated Soil by Fungi)
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16 pages, 3086 KiB  
Article
Loss of Phosphomannose Isomerase Impairs Growth, Perturbs Cell Wall Integrity, and Reduces Virulence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense on Banana Plants
by Sayed Usman, Xinwei Ge, Yueqiang Xu, Qijian Qin, Jin Xie, Bin Wang, Cheng Jin and Wenxia Fang
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040478 - 16 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4) causes Fusarium wilt of banana, necessitating urgent measures to control this disease. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Foc TR4 virulence remain elusive. Phosphomannose isomerase is a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis [...] Read more.
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4) causes Fusarium wilt of banana, necessitating urgent measures to control this disease. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Foc TR4 virulence remain elusive. Phosphomannose isomerase is a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of GDP mannose, an important precursor of fungal cell walls. In this study, two phosphomannose isomerases were identified in the Foc TR4 genome, of which only Focpmi1 was highly expressed throughout all developmental stages. Generated null mutants in Foc TR4 showed that only the ΔFocpmi1 mutant required exogenous mannose for growth, indicating that Focpmi1 is the key enzyme involved in GDP mannose biosynthesis. The Focpmi1 deficient strain was unable to grow without exogenous mannose and exhibited impaired growth under stress conditions. The mutant had reduced chitin content in its cell wall, rendering it vulnerable to cell wall stresses. Transcriptomic analysis revealed up- and down-regulation of several genes involved in host cell wall degradation and physiological processes due to the loss of Focpmi1. Furthermore, Focpmi1 was also found to be crucial for Foc TR4 infection and virulence, making it a potential antifungal target to address the threats posed by Foc TR4. Full article
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23 pages, 4661 KiB  
Article
Novelties in Macrofungi of the Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Mexico
by Ricardo Valenzuela, Isolda Luna-Vega, Michelle Martínez-Pineda, César Ramiro Martínez-González, Jesús García-Jiménez, Javier de la Fuente, Silvia Bautista-Hernández, Salvador Acosta-Castellanos and Tania Raymundo
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040477 - 15 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1898
Abstract
The tropical montane cloud forest in Mexico is the most diverse and threatened ecosystem. Mexican macrofungi numbers more than 1408 species. This study described four new species of Agaricomycetes (Bondarzewia, Gymnopilus, Serpula, Sparassis) based on molecular and morphological [...] Read more.
The tropical montane cloud forest in Mexico is the most diverse and threatened ecosystem. Mexican macrofungi numbers more than 1408 species. This study described four new species of Agaricomycetes (Bondarzewia, Gymnopilus, Serpula, Sparassis) based on molecular and morphological characteristics. Our results support that Mexico is among the most biodiverse countries in terms of macrofungi in the Neotropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogeny and Diversity of Forestry Fungi)
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18 pages, 1685 KiB  
Article
Uniparental Inheritance and Recombination as Strategies to Avoid Competition and Combat Muller’s Ratchet among Mitochondria in Natural Populations of the Fungus Amanita phalloides
by Yen-Wen Wang, Holly Elmore and Anne Pringle
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040476 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Uniparental inheritance of mitochondria enables organisms to avoid the costs of intracellular competition among potentially selfish organelles. By preventing recombination, uniparental inheritance may also render a mitochondrial lineage effectively asexual and expose mitochondria to the deleterious effects of Muller’s ratchet. Even among animals [...] Read more.
Uniparental inheritance of mitochondria enables organisms to avoid the costs of intracellular competition among potentially selfish organelles. By preventing recombination, uniparental inheritance may also render a mitochondrial lineage effectively asexual and expose mitochondria to the deleterious effects of Muller’s ratchet. Even among animals and plants, the evolutionary dynamics of mitochondria remain obscure, and less is known about mitochondrial inheritance among fungi. To understand mitochondrial inheritance and test for mitochondrial recombination in one species of filamentous fungus, we took a population genomics approach. We assembled and analyzed 88 mitochondrial genomes from natural populations of the invasive death cap Amanita phalloides, sampling from both California (an invaded range) and Europe (its native range). The mitochondrial genomes clustered into two distinct groups made up of 57 and 31 mushrooms, but both mitochondrial types are geographically widespread. Multiple lines of evidence, including negative correlations between linkage disequilibrium and distances between sites and coalescent analysis, suggest low rates of recombination among the mitochondria (ρ = 3.54 × 10−4). Recombination requires genetically distinct mitochondria to inhabit a cell, and recombination among A. phalloides mitochondria provides evidence for heteroplasmy as a feature of the death cap life cycle. However, no mushroom houses more than one mitochondrial genome, suggesting that heteroplasmy is rare or transient. Uniparental inheritance emerges as the primary mode of mitochondrial inheritance, even as recombination appears as a strategy to alleviate Muller’s ratchet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Evolution of Macrofungi)
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17 pages, 1026 KiB  
Review
Fungal β-Glucan-Based Nanotherapeutics: From Fabrication to Application
by Fan Yang and Peter Chi Keung Cheung
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040475 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
Fungal β-glucans are naturally occurring active macromolecules used in food and medicine due to their wide range of biological activities and positive health benefits. Significant research efforts have been devoted over the past decade to producing fungal β-glucan-based nanomaterials and promoting their uses [...] Read more.
Fungal β-glucans are naturally occurring active macromolecules used in food and medicine due to their wide range of biological activities and positive health benefits. Significant research efforts have been devoted over the past decade to producing fungal β-glucan-based nanomaterials and promoting their uses in numerous fields, including biomedicine. Herein, this review offers an up-to-date report on the synthetic strategies of common fungal β-glucan-based nanomaterials and preparation methods such as nanoprecipitation and emulsification. In addition, we highlight current examples of fungal β-glucan-based theranostic nanosystems and their prospective use for drug delivery and treatment in anti-cancer, vaccination, as well as anti-inflammatory treatments. It is anticipated that future advances in polysaccharide chemistry and nanotechnology will aid in the clinical translation of fungal β-glucan-based nanomaterials for the delivery of drugs and the treatment of illnesses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Bioactive Compounds in Mushrooms)
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16 pages, 3725 KiB  
Article
β-Glucan Enhances the Biocontrol Efficacy of Marine Yeast Scheffersomyeces spartinae W9 against Botrytis cinerea in Strawberries
by Xueyan Chen, Yingying Wei, Xiurong Zou, Zichang Zhao, Shu Jiang, Yi Chen, Feng Xu and Xingfeng Shao
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040474 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1414
Abstract
The marine yeast Scheffersomyeces spartinae W9 is a promising biocontrol agent for gray mold caused by Botrytis cinerea in strawberries. Improving the biocontrol efficacy of S. spartinae W9 is necessary for its commercial application. In this study, different concentrations of β-glucan were added [...] Read more.
The marine yeast Scheffersomyeces spartinae W9 is a promising biocontrol agent for gray mold caused by Botrytis cinerea in strawberries. Improving the biocontrol efficacy of S. spartinae W9 is necessary for its commercial application. In this study, different concentrations of β-glucan were added to the culture medium to evaluate its effect on the biocontrol efficacy of S. spartinae W9. The results showed that 0.1% β-glucan could increase the biocontrol effect of S. spartinae W9 against B. cinerea in strawberries and in vitro. We found that adding 0.1% β-glucan to the culture medium promoted the growth of S. spartinae W9 in wounds of strawberries, enhanced biofilm formation ability, and secreted more β-1,3-glucanase. In addition, 0.1% β-glucan increased the survival rate of S. spartinae W9 under oxidative, thermal, osmotic, and plasma membrane stressors. Transcriptome analysis revealed 188 differential expressed genes in S. spartinae W9 cultured with or without 0.1% β-glucan, including 120 upregulated and 68 downregulated genes. The upregulated genes were associated with stress response, cell wall formation, energy production, growth, and reproduction. Thus, culturing with 0.1% β-glucan is an effective way to improve the biocontrol ability of S. spartinae W9 against gray mold in strawberries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isolation and Control of Fruit and Vegetable Rot Fungi)
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17 pages, 2159 KiB  
Article
Biodiversity of Basidiomycetous Yeasts Associated with Cladonia rei Lichen in Japan, with a Description of Microsporomyces cladoniophilus sp. nov
by Ngoc-Hung Nguyen, Phuong-Thao Nguyen, Hitomi Otake, Ayana Nagata, Nobuharu Hirano, Yumi Imanishi-Shimizu and Kiminori Shimizu
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040473 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1727
Abstract
For more than a century, lichens have been used as an example of dual-partner symbiosis. Recently, this has been challenged by the discovery of various basidiomycetous yeasts that coexist in multiple lichen species, among which Cladonia lichens from Europe and the United States [...] Read more.
For more than a century, lichens have been used as an example of dual-partner symbiosis. Recently, this has been challenged by the discovery of various basidiomycetous yeasts that coexist in multiple lichen species, among which Cladonia lichens from Europe and the United States were discovered to be highly specifically associated with the basidiomycetous yeast of the family Microsporomycetaceae. To verify this highly specific relationship, we investigated the diversity of basidiomycetous yeasts associated with Cladonia rei, a widely distributed lichen in Japan, by applying two approaches: yeast isolation from the lichen thalli and meta-barcoding analysis. We obtained 42 cultures of Cystobasidiomycetous yeast which were grouped into six lineages within the family Microsporomycetaceae. Unexpectedly, although the cystobasidiomycetes-specific primer was used, not only the cystobasidiomycetous yeasts but species from other classes were also detected via the meta-barcoding dataset; in particular, pucciniomycetous yeasts were found at a high frequency in some samples. Further, Halobasidium xiangyangense, which was detected in every sample with high abundance, is highly likely a generalist epiphytic fungus that has the ability to associate with C. rei. In the pucciniomycetous group, most of the detected species belong to the scale insect-associated yeast Septobasidium genus. In conclusion, even though Microsporomyces species are not the only yeast group associated with Cladonia lichen, our study demonstrated that the thalli of Cladonia rei lichen could be a suitable habit for them. Full article
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12 pages, 25313 KiB  
Article
A Novel Effector, FSE1, Regulates the Pathogenicity of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 to Banana by Targeting the MYB Transcription Factor MaEFM-Like
by Yongbao Yang, Bang An, Yunfeng Guo, Hongli Luo, Chaozu He and Qiannan Wang
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040472 - 14 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Phytopathogenic fungi secretes a range of effectors to manipulate plant defenses. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4) is a soil-borne pathogen that causes destructive banana wilt disease. Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind Foc TR4 effectors and their regulation of [...] Read more.
Phytopathogenic fungi secretes a range of effectors to manipulate plant defenses. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4) is a soil-borne pathogen that causes destructive banana wilt disease. Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind Foc TR4 effectors and their regulation of pathogenicity is helpful for developing disease control strategies. In the present study, we identified a novel effector, Fusarium special effector 1 (FSE1), in Foc TR4. We constructed FSE1 knock-out and overexpression mutants and investigated the functions of this effector. In vitro assays revealed that FSE1 was not required for vegetative growth and conidiation of Foc TR4. However, inoculation analysis of banana plantlets demonstrated that knock-out of FSE1 increased the disease index, while overexpression of FSE1 decreased it. Microscope analysis suggested that FSE1 was distributed in the cytoplasm and nuclei of plant cells. Furthermore, we identified an MYB transcription factor, MaEFM-like, as the target of FSE1, and the two proteins physically interacted in the nuclei of plant cells. In addition, Transient expression of MaEFM-like induced cell death in tobacco leaves. Our findings suggest that FSE1 is involved in the pathogenicity of Foc TR4 by targeting MaEFM-like. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Pathogenic Fusarium Species 2.0)
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