Special Issue "Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Evolution, Biodiversity and Systematics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 34852

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Lei Cai
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Interests: fungal diversity; molecular ecology; fungal taxonomy; microbiome
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues, 

Public awareness on biodiversity has been mainly focused on animals and plants. Fungi, by contrast, as one of the eukaryotic kingdoms, have been largely neglected. In fact, there are about 2.2 to 3.8 million fungal species on earth, and only about 120,000 species of these have been described, which represents no more than 8% of the total number. Recently, a number of studies based on high-throughput sequencing have shown that the diversity of fungi inhabiting Earth may even largely exceed our previous estimations. Considering the essential ecological roles of fungi in various ecosystems, it is extremely important to investigate fungal diversity and their roles in various ecosystems. This Special Issue aims to bring together a collection of papers focusing on Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, with areas including, but not limited to fungal diversity assessments (traditional methods and metabarcoding), diversity conservation, fungal systematics and evolution, fungal interactions with environments and other organisms, and ecological roles of fungi in various ecosystems.

Prof. Dr. Lei Cai
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fungal systematics
  • fungal diversity
  • fungal ecology
  • fungal interactions
  • metabarcoding

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Published Papers (22 papers)

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Research

Article
Exploring the Species Diversity of Edible Mushrooms in Yunnan, Southwestern China, by DNA Barcoding
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040310 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Yunnan Province, China, is famous for its abundant wild edible mushroom diversity and a rich source of the world’s wild mushroom trade markets. However, much remains unknown about the diversity of edible mushrooms, including the number of wild edible mushroom species and their [...] Read more.
Yunnan Province, China, is famous for its abundant wild edible mushroom diversity and a rich source of the world’s wild mushroom trade markets. However, much remains unknown about the diversity of edible mushrooms, including the number of wild edible mushroom species and their distributions. In this study, we collected and analyzed 3585 mushroom samples from wild mushroom markets in 35 counties across Yunnan Province from 2010 to 2019. Among these samples, we successfully obtained the DNA barcode sequences from 2198 samples. Sequence comparisons revealed that these 2198 samples likely belonged to 159 known species in 56 different genera, 31 families, 11 orders, 2 classes, and 2 phyla. Significantly, 51.13% of these samples had sequence similarities to known species at lower than 97%, likely representing new taxa. Further phylogenetic analyses on several common mushroom groups including 1536 internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences suggested the existence of 20 new (cryptic) species in these groups. The extensive new and cryptic species diversity in wild mushroom markets in Yunnan calls for greater attention for the conservation and utilization of these resources. Our results on both the distinct barcode sequences and the distributions of these sequences should facilitate new mushroom species discovery and forensic authentication of high-valued mushrooms and contribute to the scientific inventory for the management of wild mushroom markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Microbiome Status of Cider-Apples, from Orchard to Processing, with a Special Focus on Penicillium expansum Occurrence and Patulin Contamination
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040244 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Patulin is a secondary metabolite produced primarily by the fungus Penicillium expansum, responsible for the blue mold disease on apples. It is found in apple products including apple cider when apple juice is added after fermentation. In the present study, two hundred [...] Read more.
Patulin is a secondary metabolite produced primarily by the fungus Penicillium expansum, responsible for the blue mold disease on apples. It is found in apple products including apple cider when apple juice is added after fermentation. In the present study, two hundred and twenty-five cider-apples of the variety “Bedan”, cultivated in Brittany in France, were sampled from the orchard during harvesting until the storage step, right before processing. The patulin analysis on these samples reported a low contamination at the orchard and a significantly higher-level of contamination in the cider-apples starting from the transporting bin. The percentage of positive samples increased from 6% to 47% after 12 h in the harvesting bin before transporting and reached 95% after 24 h of transporting, decreasing then to 69% at the end of the storage. Penicillium expansum was quantified on the surface of apples using real-time PCR and was observed to be mostly consistent between the harvest and post-harvest steps. It was detected on average, on the surface of 85% of all sampled apples with a mean value around 2.35 × 106Penicillium expansum DNA/g of apple. Moreover, the changes in the fungal and bacterial epiphytic microbiota in the different steps were studied using a metabarcoding approach. The alpha and beta diversity analysis revealed the presence of unique and more diverse bacterial and fungal communities on the surface of apples picked from the orchard compared to the rest of the sampling steps. Potential indigenous biological control agents were identified on the surface of sampled apples. Future perspective includes developing actions of prevention and control of the contamination by Penicillium expansum during the harvest and along the various critical post-harvest stages before transformation in a sustainable development concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
The Abundance and Diversity of Fungi in a Hypersaline Microbial Mat from Guerrero Negro, Baja California, México
J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7030210 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The abundance and diversity of fungi were evaluated in a hypersaline microbial mat from Guerrero Negro, México, using a combination of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification of domain-specific primers, and metagenomic sequencing. Seven different layers were analyzed in the mat (Layers 1–7) [...] Read more.
The abundance and diversity of fungi were evaluated in a hypersaline microbial mat from Guerrero Negro, México, using a combination of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification of domain-specific primers, and metagenomic sequencing. Seven different layers were analyzed in the mat (Layers 1–7) at single millimeter resolution (from the surface to 7 mm in depth). The number of copies of the 18S rRNA gene of fungi ranged between 106 and 107 copies per g mat, being two logarithmic units lower than of the 16S rRNA gene of bacteria. The abundance of 18S rRNA genes of fungi varied significantly among the layers with layers 2–5 mm from surface contained the highest numbers of copies. Fifty-six fungal taxa were identified by metagenomic sequencing, classified into three different phyla: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Microsporidia. The prevalent genera of fungi were Thermothelomyces, Pyricularia, Fusarium, Colletotrichum, Aspergillus, Botrytis, Candida and Neurospora. Genera of fungi identified in the mat were closely related to genera known to have saprotrophic and parasitic lifestyles, as well as genera related to human and plant pathogens and fungi able to perform denitrification. This research suggests that fungi in the mat may participate in nutrient recycling, modification of community composition through parasitic activities, and denitrification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Insight into the Systematics of Microfungi Colonizing Dead Woody Twigs of Dodonaea viscosa in Honghe (China)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7030180 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
Members of Dodonaea are broadly distributed across subtropical and tropical areas of southwest and southern China. This host provides multiple substrates that can be richly colonized by numerous undescribed fungal species. There is a severe lack of microfungal studies on Dodonaea in China, [...] Read more.
Members of Dodonaea are broadly distributed across subtropical and tropical areas of southwest and southern China. This host provides multiple substrates that can be richly colonized by numerous undescribed fungal species. There is a severe lack of microfungal studies on Dodonaea in China, and consequently, the diversity, phylogeny and taxonomy of these microorganisms are all largely unknown. This paper presents two new genera and four new species in three orders of Dothideomycetes gathered from dead twigs of Dodonaea viscosa in Honghe, China. All new collections were made within a selected area in Honghe from a single Dodonaea sp. This suggests high fungal diversity in the region and the existence of numerous species awaiting discovery. Multiple gene sequences (non-translated loci and protein-coding regions) were analysed with maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Results from the phylogenetic analyses supported placing Haniomyces dodonaeae gen. et sp. in the Teratosphaeriaceae family. Analysis of Rhytidhysteron sequences resulted in Rhytidhysteron hongheense sp. nov., while analysed Lophiostomataceae sequences revealed Lophiomurispora hongheensis gen. et sp. nov. Finally, phylogeny based on a combined dataset of pyrenochaeta-like sequences demonstrates strong statistical support for placing Quixadomyceshongheensis sp. nov. in Parapyrenochaetaceae. Morphological and updated phylogenetic circumscriptions of the new discoveries are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Pineapple Mycobiome Related to Fruitlet Core Rot Occurrence and the Influence of Fungal Species Dispersion Patterns
J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7030175 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Fruitlet Core Rot (FCR) is a fungal disease that negatively impacts the quality of pineapple, in particular the ‘Queen Victoria’ cultivar. The main FCR causal agent has been identified as Fusariumananatum. This study focused on the correlation between FCR disease occurrence, [...] Read more.
Fruitlet Core Rot (FCR) is a fungal disease that negatively impacts the quality of pineapple, in particular the ‘Queen Victoria’ cultivar. The main FCR causal agent has been identified as Fusariumananatum. This study focused on the correlation between FCR disease occurrence, fungal diversity, and environmental factors. FCR incidence and fungal species repartition patterns were spatially contextualized with specific surrounding parameters of the experimental plots. The mycobiome composition of healthy and diseased fruitlets was compared in order to search for potential fungal markers. A total of 240 pineapple fruits were sampled, and 344 fungal isolates were identified as belonging to 49 species among 17 genera. FCR symptom distribution revealed a significant gradient that correlated to that of the most abundant fungal species. The association of wind direction and the position of proximal cultivated crops sharing pathogens constituted an elevated risk of FCR incidence. Five highly represented species were assayed by Koch’s postulates, and their pathogenicity was confirmed. These novel pathogens belonging to Fusariumfujikuroi and Talaromycespurpureogenus species complexes were identified, unravelling the complexity of the FCR pathosystem and the difficulty of apprehending the pathogenesis over the last several decades. This study revealed that FCR is an airborne disease characterized by a multi-partite pathosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Local Tree Diversity Suppresses Foliar Fungal Infestation and Decreases Morphological but Not Molecular Richness in a Young Subtropical Forest
J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7030173 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1290
Abstract
Leaf fungal pathogens alter their host species’ performance and, thus, changes in fungal species composition can translate into effects at the tree community scale. Conversely, the functional diversity of tree species in a host tree’s local neighbourhood can affect the host’s foliar fungal [...] Read more.
Leaf fungal pathogens alter their host species’ performance and, thus, changes in fungal species composition can translate into effects at the tree community scale. Conversely, the functional diversity of tree species in a host tree’s local neighbourhood can affect the host’s foliar fungal infestation. Therefore, understanding the factors that affect fungal infestations is important to advance our understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships. Here we make use of the largest BEF tree experiment worldwide, the BEF-China experiment, where we selected tree host species with different neighbour species. Identifying fungal taxa by microscopy and by high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA region, we analysed the fungal richness and infestation rates of our target trees as a function of local species richness. Based on the visual microscopic assessment, we found that a higher tree diversity reduced fungal richness and host-specific fungal infestation in the host’s local neighbourhood, while molecular fungal richness was unaffected. This diversity effect was mainly explained by the decrease in host proportion. Thus, the dilution of host species in the local neighbourhood was the primary mechanism in reducing the fungal disease severity. Overall, our study suggests that diverse forests will suffer less from foliar fungal diseases compared to those with lower diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
New Xerophilic Species of Penicillium from Soil
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020126 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Soil is one of the main reservoirs of fungi. The aim of this study was to study the richness of ascomycetes in a set of soil samples from Mexico and Spain. Fungi were isolated after 2% w/v phenol treatment of samples. [...] Read more.
Soil is one of the main reservoirs of fungi. The aim of this study was to study the richness of ascomycetes in a set of soil samples from Mexico and Spain. Fungi were isolated after 2% w/v phenol treatment of samples. In that way, several strains of the genus Penicillium were recovered. A phylogenetic analysis based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS), beta-tubulin (BenA), calmodulin (CaM), and RNA polymerase II subunit 2 gene (rpb2) sequences showed that four of these strains had not been described before. Penicillium melanosporum produces monoverticillate conidiophores and brownish conidia covered by an ornate brown sheath. Penicillium michoacanense and Penicillium siccitolerans produce sclerotia, and their asexual morph is similar to species in the section Aspergilloides (despite all of them pertaining to section Lanata-Divaricata). P. michoacanense differs from P. siccitolerans in having thick-walled peridial cells (thin-walled in P. siccitolerans). Penicillium sexuale differs from Penicillium cryptum in the section Crypta because it does not produce an asexual morph. Its ascostromata have a peridium composed of thick-walled polygonal cells, and its ascospores are broadly lenticular with two equatorial ridges widely separated by a furrow. All four new species are xerophilic. Despite the genus Penicillium containing more than 480 known species, they are rarely reported as xerophilic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Five Novel Freshwater Ascomycetes Indicate High Undiscovered Diversity in Lotic Habitats in Thailand
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020117 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1889
Abstract
An investigation of freshwater fungi in Thailand resulted in the collection of one new monotypic genus, Neoxylomyces, and a novel species each in Camposporium, Brunneofusispora, Rattania, Neoxylomyces, and Phaeoacremonium. Camposporium dulciaquae resembles C. septatum in conidial morphology [...] Read more.
An investigation of freshwater fungi in Thailand resulted in the collection of one new monotypic genus, Neoxylomyces, and a novel species each in Camposporium, Brunneofusispora, Rattania, Neoxylomyces, and Phaeoacremonium. Camposporium dulciaquae resembles C. septatum in conidial morphology and number of septa but differs in conidial sizes. Brunneofusispora hyalina is similar to B. sinensis in conidiogenesis and conidial shape but differs in the sizes of conidiomata and conidiogenous cells. Rattania aquatica is the second species in Rattania, while Phaeoacremonium thailandense is the third species recorded from freshwater habitats. A new genus, Neoxylomyces, typified by N. multiseptatus, is similar to Xylomyces giganteus, but differs in the number of septa, chlamydospore measurements, and absence of a mucilaginous coating around the chlamydospores. These novel taxa form an independent lineage distinct from other species based on multi-loci phylogenetic analyses. Descriptions, illustrations, and notes are provided for each taxon. These new freshwater ascomycetes add to the increasing number of fungi known from Thailand and it is now evident that there are numerous novel taxa awaiting to be described as new freshwater habitats are explored. An update of newly discovered taxa in the widely studied freshwater habitats of Thailand over the last five years is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
The Evolution of Life Modes in Stictidaceae, with Three Novel Taxa
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020105 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Ostropales sensu lato is a large group comprising both lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, with several lineages expressing optional lichenization where individuals of the same fungal species exhibit either saprotrophic or lichenized lifestyles depending on the substrate (bark or wood). Greatly variable phenotypic characteristics [...] Read more.
Ostropales sensu lato is a large group comprising both lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, with several lineages expressing optional lichenization where individuals of the same fungal species exhibit either saprotrophic or lichenized lifestyles depending on the substrate (bark or wood). Greatly variable phenotypic characteristics and large-scale phylogenies have led to frequent changes in the taxonomic circumscription of this order. Ostropales sensu lato is currently split into Graphidales, Gyalectales, Odontotrematales, Ostropales sensu stricto, and Thelenellales. Ostropales sensu stricto is now confined to the family Stictidaceae, which includes a large number of species that are poorly known, since they usually have small fruiting bodies that are rarely collected, and thus, their taxonomy remains partly unresolved. Here, we introduce a new genus Ostropomyces to accommodate a novel lineage related to Ostropa, which is composed of two new species, as well as a new species of Sphaeropezia, S. shangrilaensis. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses of mitochondrial small subunit spacers (mtSSU), large subunit nuclear rDNA (LSU), and internal transcribed spacers (ITS) sequence data, together with phenotypic data documented by detailed morphological and anatomical analyses, support the taxonomic affinity of the new taxa in Stictidaceae. Ancestral character state analysis did not resolve the ancestral nutritional status of Stictidaceae with confidence using Bayes traits, but a saprotrophic ancestor was indicated as most likely in a Bayesian binary Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling (MCMC) approach. Frequent switching in nutritional modes between lineages suggests that lifestyle transition played an important role in the evolution of this family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
In Silico Study Suggesting the Bias of Primers Choice in the Molecular Identification of Fungal Aerosols
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020099 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 920
Abstract
This paper presents an in silico analysis to assess the current state of the fungal UNITE database in terms of the two eukaryote nuclear ribosomal regions, Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1 and ITS2), used in describing fungal diversity. Microbial diversity is [...] Read more.
This paper presents an in silico analysis to assess the current state of the fungal UNITE database in terms of the two eukaryote nuclear ribosomal regions, Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1 and ITS2), used in describing fungal diversity. Microbial diversity is often evaluated with amplicon-based high-throughput sequencing approaches, which is a target enrichment method that relies on the amplification of a specific target using particular primers before sequencing. Thus, the results are highly dependent on the quality of the primers used for amplification. The goal of this study is to validate if the mismatches of the primers on the binding sites of the targeted taxa could explain the differences observed when using either ITS1 or ITS2 in describing airborne fungal diversity. Hence, the choice of the pairs of primers for each barcode concur with a study comparing the performance of ITS1 and ITS2 in three occupational environments. The sequence length varied between the amplicons retrieved from the UNITE database using the pair of primers targeting ITS1 and ITS2. However, the database contains an equal number of unidentified taxa from ITS1 and ITS2 regions in the six taxonomic levels employed (phylum, class, order, family, genus, species). The chosen ITS primers showed differences in their ability to amplify fungal sequences from the UNITE database. Eleven taxa consisting of Trichocomaceae, Dothioraceae, Botryosphaeriaceae, Mucorales, Saccharomycetes, Pucciniomycetes, Ophiocordyceps, Microsporidia, Archaeorhizomycetes, Mycenaceae, and Tulasnellaceae showed large variations between the two regions. Note that members of the latter taxa are not all typical fungi found in the air. As no universal method is currently available to cover all the fungal kingdom, continuous work in designing primers, and particularly combining multiple primers targeting the ITS region is the best way to compensate for the biases of each one to get a larger view of the fungal diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Integrating Different Lines of Evidence to Establish a Novel Ascomycete Genus and Family (Anastomitrabeculia, Anastomitrabeculiaceae) in Pleosporales
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020094 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1071
Abstract
A novel genus, Anastomitrabeculia, is introduced herein for a distinct species, Anastomitrabeculia didymospora, collected as a saprobe on dead bamboo culms from a freshwater stream in Thailand. Anastomitrabeculia is distinct in its trabeculate pseudoparaphyses and ascospores with longitudinally striate wall ornamentation. A [...] Read more.
A novel genus, Anastomitrabeculia, is introduced herein for a distinct species, Anastomitrabeculia didymospora, collected as a saprobe on dead bamboo culms from a freshwater stream in Thailand. Anastomitrabeculia is distinct in its trabeculate pseudoparaphyses and ascospores with longitudinally striate wall ornamentation. A new family, Anastomitrabeculiaceae, is introduced to accommodate Anastomitrabeculia. Anastomitrabeculiaceae forms an independent lineage basal to Halojulellaceae in Pleosporales and it is closely related to Neohendersoniaceae based on phylogenetic analyses of a combined LSU, SSU and TEF1α dataset. In addition, divergence time estimates provide further support for the establishment of Anastomitrabeculiaceae. The family diverged around 84 million years ago (MYA) during the Cretaceous period, which supports the establishment of the new family. The crown and stem age of Anastomitrabeculiaceae was also compared to morphologically similar pleosporalean families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Species Diversity, Mating Strategy and Pathogenicity of Calonectria Species from Diseased Leaves and Soils in the Eucalyptus Plantation in Southern China
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7020073 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Many Calonectria species are causal agents of diseases on several forestry, agricultural and horticultural crops. Calonectria leaf blight is one of the most important diseases associated with Eucalyptus plantations and nurseries in Asia and South America. Recently, symptoms of leaf rot and leaf [...] Read more.
Many Calonectria species are causal agents of diseases on several forestry, agricultural and horticultural crops. Calonectria leaf blight is one of the most important diseases associated with Eucalyptus plantations and nurseries in Asia and South America. Recently, symptoms of leaf rot and leaf blight caused by Calonectria species were observed in a one-year-old Eucalyptus experimental plantation in GuangXi Province, southern China. To better understand the species diversity, mating strategy and pathogenicity of Calonectria species isolated from diseased tissues and soils, diseased leaves and soils under the trees from ten Eucalyptus urophylla hybrid genotypes were collected. Three hundred and sixty-eight Calonectria isolates were obtained from diseased Eucalyptus leaves and soils under these trees, and 245 representative isolates were selected based on the sampling substrates and Eucalyptus genotypes and identified by DNA sequence analyses based on the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1), β-tubulin (tub2), calmodulin (cmdA) and histone H3 (his3) gene regions, as well as a combination of morphological characteristics. These isolates were identified as Calonectria hongkongensis (50.2%), C. pseudoreteaudii (47.4%), C. aconidialis (1.6%), C. reteaudii (0.4%) and C. auriculiformis (0.4%). This is the first report of C. reteaudii and C. auriculiformis occurrence in China. Calonectria pseudoreteaudii was isolated from both Eucalyptus diseased leaves and soils; the other four species were only obtained from soils. MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 gene amplification and mating type assignment results showed that C. pseudoreteaudii is heterothallic and an asexual cycle represents the primary reproductive mode, C. reteaudii and C. auriculiformis are likely to be heterothallic and C. hongkongensis and C. aconidialis are homothallic. Based on the genetic diversity comparisons for C. pseudoreteaudii isolates from diseased leaves and soils, we hypothesize that C. pseudoreteaudii in soils was spread from diseased leaves. Both the mycelia plug and conidia suspension inoculations indicated that all five Calonectria species were pathogenic to the two Eucalyptus genotypes tested and the tolerance of the two genotypes differed. It is necessary to understand the ecological niche and epidemiological characteristics of these Calonectria species and to select disease resistant Eucalyptus genotypes in southern China in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Identification and Characterization of Leaf-Inhabiting Fungi from Castanea Plantations in China
J. Fungi 2021, 7(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7010064 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
Two Castanea plant species, C. henryi and C. mollissima, are cultivated in China to produce chestnut crops. Leaf spot diseases commonly occur in Castanea plantations, however, little is known about the fungal species associated with chestnut leaf spots. In this study, leaf [...] Read more.
Two Castanea plant species, C. henryi and C. mollissima, are cultivated in China to produce chestnut crops. Leaf spot diseases commonly occur in Castanea plantations, however, little is known about the fungal species associated with chestnut leaf spots. In this study, leaf samples of C. henryi and C. mollissima were collected from Beijing, Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, and leaf-inhabiting fungi were identified based on morphology and phylogeny. As a result, twenty-six fungal species were confirmed, including one new family, one new genus, and five new species. The new taxa are Pyrisporaceae fam. nov., Pyrispora gen. nov., Aureobasidium castaneae sp. nov., Discosia castaneae sp. nov., Monochaetia castaneae sp. nov., Neopestalotiopsis sichuanensis sp. nov. and Pyrispora castaneae sp. nov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Colletotrichum Species Causing Anthracnose of Citrus in Australia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7010047 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2795
Abstract
Colletotrichum spp. are important pathogens of citrus that cause dieback of branches and postharvest disease. Globally, several species of Colletotrichum have been identified as causing anthracnose of citrus. One hundred and sixty-eight Colletotrichum isolates were collected from anthracnose symptoms on citrus stems, leaves, [...] Read more.
Colletotrichum spp. are important pathogens of citrus that cause dieback of branches and postharvest disease. Globally, several species of Colletotrichum have been identified as causing anthracnose of citrus. One hundred and sixty-eight Colletotrichum isolates were collected from anthracnose symptoms on citrus stems, leaves, and fruit from Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, and from State herbaria in Australia. Colletotrichum australianum sp. nov., C. fructicola, C. gloeosporioides, C. karstii, C. siamense, and C. theobromicola were identified using multi-gene phylogenetic analyses based on seven genomic loci (ITS, gapdh, act, tub2, ApMat, gs, and chs-1) in the gloeosporioides complex and five genomic loci (ITS, tub2, act, chs-1, and his3) in the boninense complex, as well as morphological characters. Several isolates pathogenic to chili (Capsicum annuum), previously identified as C. queenslandicum, formed a clade with the citrus isolates described here as C. australianum sp. nov. The spore shape and culture characteristics of the chili and citrus isolates of C. australianum were similar and differed from those of C. queenslandicum. This is the first report of C. theobromicola isolated from citrus and the first detection of C. karstii and C. siamense associated with citrus anthracnose in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Relationship between Species Richness, Biomass and Structure of Vegetation and Mycobiota along an Altitudinal Transect in the Polar Urals
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040353 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Aboveground species richness patterns of vascular plants, aphyllophoroid macrofungi, bryophytes and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (80–310 m a.s.l.) on the Slantsevaya mountain at the eastern macroslope of the Polar Urals (Russia). Five altitudinal levels were included in the study: (1) [...] Read more.
Aboveground species richness patterns of vascular plants, aphyllophoroid macrofungi, bryophytes and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (80–310 m a.s.l.) on the Slantsevaya mountain at the eastern macroslope of the Polar Urals (Russia). Five altitudinal levels were included in the study: (1) Northern boreal forest with larch-spruce in the Sob’ river valley habitats; (2–3) two levels of closed, northern boreal, larch-dominated forests on the slopes; (4) crook-stemmed forest; (5) tundra habitats above the timberline. Vascular plant or bryophyte species richness was not affected by altitudinal levels, but lichen species richness significantly increased from the river valley to the tundra. For aphyllophoroid macrofungi, species richness was highest at intermediate and low altitudes, and poorest in the tundra. These results indicate a positive ecotone effect on aphyllophoroid fungal species richness. The species richness of aphyllophoroid fungi as a whole was neither correlated to mortmass stocks, nor to species richness of vascular plants, but individual ecological or morphological groups depended on these parameters. Poroid fungal species richness was positively correlated to tree age, wood biomass and crown density, and therefore peaked in the middle of the slope and at the foot of the mountain. In contrast, clavarioid fungal species richness was negatively related to woody bio- and mortmass, and therefore peaked in the tundra. This altitudinal level was characterized by high biomass proportions of lichens and mosses, and by high litter mortmass. The proportion of corticoid fungi increased with altitude, reaching its maximum at the timberline. Results from the different methods used in this work were concordant, and showed significant patterns. Tundra communities differ significantly from the forest communities, as is also confirmed by nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses based on the spectrum of morphological and ecological groups of aphyllophoroid fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Haloadaptative Responses of Aspergillus sydowii to Extreme Water Deprivation: Morphology, Compatible Solutes, and Oxidative Stress at NaCl Saturation
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040316 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Water activity (aw) is critical for microbial growth, as it is severely restricted at aw < 0.90. Saturating NaCl concentrations (~5.0 M) induce extreme water deprivation (aw ≅ 0.75) and cellular stress responses. Halophilic fungi have cellular adaptations that [...] Read more.
Water activity (aw) is critical for microbial growth, as it is severely restricted at aw < 0.90. Saturating NaCl concentrations (~5.0 M) induce extreme water deprivation (aw ≅ 0.75) and cellular stress responses. Halophilic fungi have cellular adaptations that enable osmotic balance and ionic/oxidative stress prevention to grow at high salinity. Here we studied the morphology, osmolyte synthesis, and oxidative stress defenses of the halophile Aspergillus sydowii EXF-12860 at 1.0 M and 5.13 M NaCl. Colony growth, pigmentation, exudate, and spore production were inhibited at NaCl-saturated media. Additionally, hyphae showed unpolarized growth, lower diameter, and increased septation, multicellularity and branching compared to optimal NaCl concentration. Trehalose, mannitol, arabitol, erythritol, and glycerol were produced in the presence of both 1.0 M and 5.13 M NaCl. Exposing A. sydowii cells to 5.13 M NaCl resulted in oxidative stress evidenced by an increase in antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation biomarkers. Also, genes involved in cellular antioxidant defense systems were upregulated. This is the most comprehensive study that investigates the micromorphology and the adaptative cellular response of different non-enzymatic and enzymatic oxidative stress biomarkers in halophilic filamentous fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Unravelling Diaporthe Species Associated with Woody Hosts from Karst Formations (Guizhou) in China
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040251 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Though several Diaporthe species have been reported in China, little is known about the species associated with nature reserves in Guizhou province. During a survey of fungi in six nature reserves in Guizhou province of China, thirty-one Diaporthe isolates were collected from different [...] Read more.
Though several Diaporthe species have been reported in China, little is known about the species associated with nature reserves in Guizhou province. During a survey of fungi in six nature reserves in Guizhou province of China, thirty-one Diaporthe isolates were collected from different woody hosts. Based on morphology, culture characteristics and molecular phylogenetic analysis, these isolates were characterized and identified. Phylogenetic analysis of internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), combined with translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef), β-tubulin (tub), calmodulin (cal) and histone H3 (his) gene regions identified five known Diaporthe species and seven distinct lineages representing novel Diaporthe species. The details of five known species: Diaporthe cercidis, D. cinnamomi, D. conica, D. nobilis and D. sackstonii are given and the seven new species D. constrictospora, D. ellipsospora, D. guttulata, D. irregularis, D. lenispora, D. minima, and D. minusculata are introduced with detailed descriptions and illustrations. This study revealed a high diversity of previously undescribed Diaporthe species associated with woody hosts in various nature reserves of Guizhou province, indicating that there is a potential of Diaporthe species remains to be discovered in this unique landform (Karst formations) in China. Interestingly, the five known Diaporthe species have been reported as pathogens of various hosts, and this could indicate that those newly introduced species in this study could be potentially pathogenic pending further studies to confirm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Production of Fungal Mycelia in a Temperate Coniferous Forest Shows Distinct Seasonal Patterns
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040190 - 26 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
In temperate forests, climate seasonality restricts the photosynthetic activity of primary producers to the warm season from spring to autumn, while the cold season with temperatures below the freezing point represents a period of strongly reduced plant activity. Although soil microorganisms are active [...] Read more.
In temperate forests, climate seasonality restricts the photosynthetic activity of primary producers to the warm season from spring to autumn, while the cold season with temperatures below the freezing point represents a period of strongly reduced plant activity. Although soil microorganisms are active all-year-round, their expressions show seasonal patterns. This is especially visible on the ectomycorrhizal fungi, the most abundant guild of fungi in coniferous forests. We quantified the production of fungal mycelia using ingrowth sandbags in the organic layer of soil in temperate coniferous forest and analysed the composition of fungal communities in four consecutive seasons. We show that fungal biomass production is as low as 0.029 µg g−1 of sand in December–March, while it reaches 0.122 µg g−1 in June–September. The majority of fungi show distinct patterns of seasonal mycelial production, with most ectomycorrhizal fungi colonising ingrowth bags in the spring or summer, while the autumn and winter colonisation was mostly due to moulds. Our results indicate that fungal taxa differ in their seasonal patterns of mycelial production. Although fungal biomass turnover appears all-year-round, its rates are much faster in the period of plant activity than in the cold season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Unveiling the Hidden Diversity of Rock-Inhabiting Fungi: Chaetothyriales from China
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040187 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
Rock-inhabiting fungi (RIF) are nonlichenized fungi that naturally colonize rock surfaces and subsurfaces. The extremely slow growth rate and lack of distinguishing morphological characteristics of RIF resulted in a poor understanding on their biodiversity. In this study, we surveyed RIF colonizing historical stone [...] Read more.
Rock-inhabiting fungi (RIF) are nonlichenized fungi that naturally colonize rock surfaces and subsurfaces. The extremely slow growth rate and lack of distinguishing morphological characteristics of RIF resulted in a poor understanding on their biodiversity. In this study, we surveyed RIF colonizing historical stone monuments and natural rock formations from throughout China. Among over 1000 isolates, after preliminary delimitation using the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) sequences, representative isolates belonging to Trichomeriaceae and Herpotrichiellaceae were selected for a combined analysis of ITS and the nuclear ribosomal large subunit (nucLSU) to determine the generic placements. Eight clades representing seven known genera and one new genus herein named as Anthracina were placed in Trichomeriaceae. While, for Herpotrichiellaceae, two clades corresponded to two genera: Cladophialophora and Exophiala. Fine-scale phylogenetic analyses using combined sequences of the partial actin gene (ACT), ITS, mitochondrial small subunit ribosomal DNA (mtSSU), nucLSU, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB1), small subunit of nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (SSU), translation elongation factor (TEF), and β-tubulin gene (TUB) revealed that these strains represented 11 and 6 new species, respectively, in Trichomeriaceae and Herpotrichiellaceae. The 17 new species were described, illustrated for their morphologies and compared with similar taxa. Our study demonstrated that the diversity of RIF is surprisingly high and still poorly understood. In addition, a rapid strategy for classifying RIF was proposed to determine the generic and familial placements through preliminary ITS and nucLSU analyses, followed by combined analyses of five loci selected from ACT, ITS, mtSSU, nucLSU, RPB1, and/or the second subunit of RNA polymerase II gene (RPB2), SSU, TEF, and TUB regions to classify RIF to the species level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Molecular Phylogeny and Morphology of Amphisphaeria (= Lepteutypa) (Amphisphaeriaceae)
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030174 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Amphisphaeriaceous taxa (fungi) are saprobes on decaying wood in terrestrial, mangrove, and freshwater habitats. The generic boundaries of the family have traditionally been based on morphology, and the delimitation of genera has always been challenging. Amphisphaeria species have clypeate ascomata and 1-septate ascospores [...] Read more.
Amphisphaeriaceous taxa (fungi) are saprobes on decaying wood in terrestrial, mangrove, and freshwater habitats. The generic boundaries of the family have traditionally been based on morphology, and the delimitation of genera has always been challenging. Amphisphaeria species have clypeate ascomata and 1-septate ascospores and a coelomycetous asexual morph. Lepteutypa is different from Amphisphaeria in having eutypoid stromata and more than 1-septate ascospores. These main characters have been used for segregation of Lepteutypa from Amphisphaeria for a long time. However, the above characters are overlapping among Amphisphaeria and Lepteutypa species. Therefore, here we synonymized Lepteutypa under Amphisphaeria based on holomorphic morphology and multigene phylogeny. Further, our cluster analysis reveals the relationship between seven morphological traits among Amphisphaeria/Lepteutypa species and suggests those morphologies are not specific to either genus. Three new species (i.e., Amphisphaeria camelliae, A. curvaticonidia, and A. micheliae) are introduced based on morphology and LSU-ITS-RPB2-TUB2 phylogenies. Furthermore, the monotypic genus Trochilispora, which had been accepted in Amphisphaeriaceae, is revisited and synonymized under Hymenopleella and placed in Sporocadaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Phylogenetic and Chemotaxonomic Studies Confirm the Affinities of Stromatoneurospora phoenix to the Coprophilous Xylariaceae
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030144 - 23 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2309
Abstract
The genus Stromatoneurospora was erected in 1973 by Jong and Davis to accommodate the pyrophilic pyrenomycete Sphaeria phoenix and has traditionally been placed in the family Xylariaceae based on morphological features. However, no living culture of this genus has so far been available [...] Read more.
The genus Stromatoneurospora was erected in 1973 by Jong and Davis to accommodate the pyrophilic pyrenomycete Sphaeria phoenix and has traditionally been placed in the family Xylariaceae based on morphological features. However, no living culture of this genus has so far been available in the public domain. Molecular data were restricted to an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence that only confirmed the familial position, and was generated from a strain that is not deposited in a public culture collection. We have recently collected fresh material and were able to culture this fungus from Thailand. The secondary metabolites of this strains were analysed after fermentation in multiple media. The the prominent components of these fermentation were purified, using preparative chromatography. Aside from two new eremophilane sesquiterpenoids named phoenixilanes A–B (12), four other components that are known from species of the xylariaceous genera Xylaria and Poronia were identified by spectral methods (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry). Notably, (−)-(R)-6-hydroxy-3-methyl-4-dihydroisocoumarin-5-carboxylic acid (6) has not been reported as a natural product before. Moreover, DNA sequences of Stromatoneurospora phoenix clustered with members of the genera Poronia and Podosordaria in a multi-locus molecular phylogeny. These results confirmed that the genus belongs to the same evolutionary lineage as the coprophilic Xylariaceae. The results also suggest that this lineage has evolved independently from the plant-inhabiting saprotrophs and endophytes that are closely related to the genus Xylaria. These findings are discussed in relation to some theories about the endophytic vs. the pyrophilic/coprophilic fungal life style. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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Article
Congruence Amidst Discordance between Sequence and Protein-Content Based Phylogenies of Fungi
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030134 - 13 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Amid the genomic data explosion, phylogenomic analysis has resolved the tree of life of different organisms, including fungi. Genome-wide clustering has also been conducted based on gene content data that can lighten the issue of the unequal evolutionary rate of genes. In this [...] Read more.
Amid the genomic data explosion, phylogenomic analysis has resolved the tree of life of different organisms, including fungi. Genome-wide clustering has also been conducted based on gene content data that can lighten the issue of the unequal evolutionary rate of genes. In this study, using different fungal species as models, we performed phylogenomic and protein-content (PC)-based clustering analysis. The obtained sequence tree reflects the phylogenetic trajectory of examined fungal species. However, 15 PC-based trees constructed from the Pfam matrices of the whole genomes, four protein families, and ten subcellular locations largely failed to resolve the speciation relationship of cross-phylum fungal species. However, lifestyle and taxonomic associations were more or less evident between closely related fungal species from PC-based trees. Pairwise congruence tests indicated that a varied level of congruent or discordant relationships were observed between sequence- and PC-based trees, and among PC-based trees. It was intriguing to find that a few protein family and subcellular PC-based trees were more topologically similar to the phylogenomic tree than was the whole genome PC-based phylogeny. In particular, a most significant level of congruence was observed between sequence- and cell wall PC-based trees. Cophylogenetic analysis conducted in this study may benefit the prediction of the magnitude of evolutionary conservation, interactive associations, or networking between different family or subcellular proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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