Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition

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 (1 September 2023) | Viewed by 26844

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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 (12 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 1941 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Fungal Succession in Decomposing Swine Carcasses (Sus scrofa L.) Using DNA Metabarcoding
by M. Denise Gemmellaro, Nicholas Steven Lorusso, Rachel Domke, Kristina M. Kovalska, Ayesha Hashim, Maria Arevalo Mojica, Amanda Joy O’Connor, Urvi Patel, Olivia Pate, Gloria Raise and Maria Shumskaya
J. Fungi 2023, 9(9), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9090866 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2552
Abstract
The decomposition of animal bodies is a process defined by specific stages, described by the state of the body and participation of certain guilds of invertebrates and microorganisms. While the participation of invertebrates in decomposing is well-studied and actively used in crime scene [...] Read more.
The decomposition of animal bodies is a process defined by specific stages, described by the state of the body and participation of certain guilds of invertebrates and microorganisms. While the participation of invertebrates in decomposing is well-studied and actively used in crime scene investigations, information on bacteria and fungi from the scene is rarely collected or used in the identification of important factors such as estimated time of death. Modern molecular techniques such as DNA metabarcoding allow the identification and quantification of the composition of microbial communities. In this study, we used DNA metabarcoding to monitor fungal succession during the decomposition of juvenile pigs in grasslands of New Jersey, USA. Our findings show that decomposition stages differ in a diversity of fungal communities. In particular, we noted increased fungal species richness in the more advanced stages of decomposition (e.g., bloat and decay stages), with unique fungal taxa becoming active with the progression of decay. Overall, our findings improve knowledge of how fungi contribute to forensically relevant decomposition and could help with the assessment of crime scenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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28 pages, 4255 KiB  
Article
Biogeography of Fungal Communities Associated with Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. along the Latitudinal Gradient in Europe
by Valeriia Mishcherikova, Jūratė Lynikienė, Adas Marčiulynas, Artūras Gedminas, Oleh Prylutskyi, Diana Marčiulynienė and Audrius Menkis
J. Fungi 2023, 9(8), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9080829 - 6 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
We assessed the diversity and composition of fungal communities in different functional tissues and the rhizosphere soil of Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies stands along the latitudinal gradient of these tree species distributions in Europe to model possible changes in fungal communities imposed [...] Read more.
We assessed the diversity and composition of fungal communities in different functional tissues and the rhizosphere soil of Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies stands along the latitudinal gradient of these tree species distributions in Europe to model possible changes in fungal communities imposed by climate change. For each tree species, living needles, shoots, roots, and the rhizosphere soil were sampled and subjected to high-throughput sequencing. Results showed that the latitude and the host tree species had a limited effect on the diversity and composition of fungal communities, which were largely explained by the environmental variables of each site and the substrate they colonize. The mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation had a strong effect on root fungal communities, isothermality on needle fungal communities, mean temperature of the warmest quarter and precipitation of the driest month on shoot fungal communities, and precipitation seasonality on soil fungal communities. Fungal communities of both tree species are predicted to shift to habitats with a lower annual temperature amplitude and with increasing precipitation during the driest month, but the suitability of these habitats as compared to the present conditions is predicted to decrease in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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19 pages, 10693 KiB  
Article
Molecular Phylogeny and Morphology Reveal Cryptic Species in the Cordyceps militaris Complex from Vietnam
by Yao Wang, Quan-Ying Dong, Run Luo, Qi Fan, Dong-E Duan, Van-Minh Dao, Yuan-Bing Wang and Hong Yu
J. Fungi 2023, 9(6), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9060676 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
The Cordyceps militaris complex, which is a special group in the genus Cordyceps, is rich in species diversity and is widely distributed in nature. Throughout the investigations of arthropod-pathogenic fungi in the national reserves and in Vietnam parks, collections of C. militaris attacking [...] Read more.
The Cordyceps militaris complex, which is a special group in the genus Cordyceps, is rich in species diversity and is widely distributed in nature. Throughout the investigations of arthropod-pathogenic fungi in the national reserves and in Vietnam parks, collections of C. militaris attacking lepidopteran pupae or larvae were located in the soil and on the leaf litter. The phylogenetic analyses of the combined nrSSU, nrLSU, TEF, RPB1, and RPB2 sequence data indicated that the fungal materials collected in Vietnam belonged to C. militaris and two hidden species in the C. militaris complex. The phylogenetic analyses and morphological comparisons presented here strongly supported the descriptions of C. polystromata and C. sapaensis as new taxa as well as C. militaris as a known species. The morphological characteristics of 11 species in the C. militaris complex, which included two novel species and nine known taxa, were also compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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15 pages, 11134 KiB  
Article
Biogeographic Patterns of Fungal Sub-Communities under Different Land-Use Types in Subtropical China
by Hao Liu, Heming Han, Ruoling Zhang, Weidong Xu, Yuwei Wang, Bo Zhang, Yifan Yin and Hui Cao
J. Fungi 2023, 9(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9060646 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Revealing the regional distribution and diversity of fungal sub-communities under different land management practices is essential to conserve biodiversity and predict microbial change trends. In this study, a total of 19 tilled and 25 untilled soil samples across different land-use types were collected [...] Read more.
Revealing the regional distribution and diversity of fungal sub-communities under different land management practices is essential to conserve biodiversity and predict microbial change trends. In this study, a total of 19 tilled and 25 untilled soil samples across different land-use types were collected from subtropical China to investigate the differences between the spatial distribution patterns, diversity, and community assembly of fungal sub-communities using high-throughput sequencing technology. Our results found that anthropogenic disturbances significantly reduced the diversity of abundant taxa but significantly increased the diversity of rare taxa, suggesting that the small-scale intensive management of land by individual farmers is beneficial for fungal diversity, especially for the conservation of rare taxa. Abundant, intermediate, and rare fungal sub-communities were significantly different in tilled and untilled soils. Anthropogenic disturbances both enhanced the homogenization of fungal communities and decreased the spatial-distance–decay relationship of fungal sub-communities in tilled soils. Based on the null model approach, the changes in the assembly processes of the fungal sub-communities in tilled soils were found to shift consistently to stochastic processes, possibly as a result of the significant changes in the diversity of those fungal sub-communities and associated ecological niches in different land-use types. Our results provide support for the theoretical contention that fungal sub-communities are changed by different land management practices and open the way to the possibility of predicting those changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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23 pages, 5472 KiB  
Article
Appendage-Bearing Sordariomycetes from Dipterocarpus alatus Leaf Litter in Thailand
by Nethmini P. Samaradiwakara, Antonio Roberto Gomes de Farias, Danushka S. Tennakoon, Janith V. S. Aluthmuhandiram, Chitrabhanu S. Bhunjun, K. W. Thilini Chethana, Jaturong Kumla and Saisamorn Lumyong
J. Fungi 2023, 9(6), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9060625 - 29 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1614
Abstract
Leaf litter is an essential functional aspect of forest ecosystems, acting as a source of organic matter, a protective layer in forest soils, and a nurturing habitat for micro- and macro-organisms. Through their successional occurrence, litter-inhabiting microfungi play a key role in litter [...] Read more.
Leaf litter is an essential functional aspect of forest ecosystems, acting as a source of organic matter, a protective layer in forest soils, and a nurturing habitat for micro- and macro-organisms. Through their successional occurrence, litter-inhabiting microfungi play a key role in litter decomposition and nutrient recycling. Despite their importance in terrestrial ecosystems and their abundance and diversity, information on the taxonomy, diversity, and host preference of these decomposer taxa is scarce. This study aims to clarify the taxonomy and phylogeny of four saprobic fungal taxa inhabiting Dipterocarpus alatus leaf litter. Leaf litter samples were collected from Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Fungal isolates were characterized based on morphology and molecular phylogeny of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS, LSU) and protein-coding genes (tub2, tef1-α, rpb2). One novel saprobic species, Ciliochorella dipterocarpi, and two new host records, Pestalotiopsis dracontomelon and Robillarda australiana, are introduced. The newly described taxa are compared with similar species, and comprehensive descriptions, micrographs, and phylogenetic trees are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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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 2988
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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28 pages, 9249 KiB  
Article
Lecanora s.lat. (Ascomycota, Lecanoraceae) in Brazil: DNA Barcoding Coupled with Phenotype Characters Reveals Numerous Novel Species
by Lidiane Alves dos Santos, André Aptroot, Robert Lücking and Marcela Eugenia da Silva Cáceres
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040415 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
We sequenced over 200 recent specimens of Lecanora s.lat. from Brazil, delimiting 28 species in our material. Many seem to represent undescribed species, some of which being morphologically and chemically similar to each other or to already described species. Here, we present a [...] Read more.
We sequenced over 200 recent specimens of Lecanora s.lat. from Brazil, delimiting 28 species in our material. Many seem to represent undescribed species, some of which being morphologically and chemically similar to each other or to already described species. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis based on ITS, including our specimens and GenBank data. We describe nine new species. The purpose of the paper is to illustrate the diversity of the genus in Brazil, not to focus on segregate genera. However, we found that all Vainionora species cluster together and these will be treated separately. Other Lecanora species with dark hypothecium clustered in several different clades. Species with the morphology of Lecanora caesiorubella, in which currently several subspecies with different chemistry and distribution are recognized, fall apart in different, distantly related clades, so they cannot be regarded as subspecies but should be recognized at species level. A key is given for the Lecanora species from Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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83 pages, 17280 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Distribution of Calonectria Species in Soils from Eucalyptus urophylla × E. grandis, Pinus massoniana, and Cunninghamia lanceolata Plantations in Four Provinces in Southern China
by Ying Liu and Shuaifei Chen
J. Fungi 2023, 9(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9020198 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1996
Abstract
The species of Calonectria include many notorious plant pathogens and are widely distributed around the world. Leaf blight caused by Calonectria species is considered one of the most prominent diseases in Eucalyptus plantations in China. Some Calonectria species isolated from soils in Eucalyptus [...] Read more.
The species of Calonectria include many notorious plant pathogens and are widely distributed around the world. Leaf blight caused by Calonectria species is considered one of the most prominent diseases in Eucalyptus plantations in China. Some Calonectria species isolated from soils in Eucalyptus plantations are highly pathogenic to inoculated Eucalyptus genotypes. In southern China, the plantation trees Cunninghamia lanceolata, Eucalyptus spp., and Pinus massoniana are always adjacently planted, especially in FuJian, GuangDong, GuangXi, and YunNan Provinces. The aim of this study was to understand the diversity and distribution of Calonectria in soils from plantations of different tree species in different geographic regions. Soil samples were collected from 12 sampling sites in Eucalyptus urophylla × E. grandis, P. massoniana, and C. lanceolata plantations in FuJian, GuangDong, GuangXi, and YunNan Provinces. Approximately 250 soil samples were collected from each sampling site, and a total of 2991 soil samples were obtained. A total of 1270 Calonectria isolates were obtained from 1270 soil samples. The 1270 isolates were identified based on DNA sequence comparisons of the partial gene regions of act, cmdA, his3, rpb2, tef1, and tub2. These isolates were identified as 11 Calonectria species: Calonectria aconidialis (69.50%), C. kyotensis (13.10%), C. hongkongensis (10.80%), C. ilicicola (2.50%), C. asiatica (2.36%), C. curvispora (0.31%), C. chinensis (0.24%), C. pacifica (0.24%), C. yunnanensis (0.16%), and C. canadiana (0.08%) in the C. kyotensis species complex and C. eucalypti (0.71%) in the C. colhounii species complex. The three dominant species, C. aconidialis, C. kyotensis, and C. hongkongensis, were widely distributed. The richness of Calonectria (percentage of soil samples that yielded Calonectria) in soils in the eastern regions (relatively humid regions) was higher than that in the western regions. The Calonectria richness of E. urophylla × E. grandis, P. massoniana, and C. lanceolata plantations decreased gradually. For each of the three dominant species, its richness in the eastern regions was generally higher than that in the western regions; the species richness was highest in E. urophylla × E. grandis plantations for C. aconidialis, while for each of C. kyotensis and C. hongkongensis, its species richness was highest in P. massoniana plantations. The genetic variation in C. aconidialis, C. kyotensis, and C. hongkongensis was more greatly affected by geographic region than by plantation tree species. This study expanded our understanding of the richness, species diversity, and distribution characteristics of Calonectria in soils from the plantations of different tree species in different geographic regions in southern China. Results in this study enhanced our understanding of the influencing characteristics of geographic region and tree species on the species and genetic diversity of soilborne fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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20 pages, 1609 KiB  
Article
The Analysis of the Mycobiota in Plastic Polluted Soil Reveals a Reduction in Metabolic Ability
by Marta Elisabetta Eleonora Temporiti, Lidia Nicola, Carolina Elena Girometta, Anna Roversi, Chiara Daccò and Solveig Tosi
J. Fungi 2022, 8(12), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8121247 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Plastic pollution is a growing environmental issue that results in its accumulation and persistence in soil for many decades, with possible effects on soil quality and ecosystem services. Microorganisms, and especially fungi, are a keystone of soil biodiversity and soil metabolic capacity. The [...] Read more.
Plastic pollution is a growing environmental issue that results in its accumulation and persistence in soil for many decades, with possible effects on soil quality and ecosystem services. Microorganisms, and especially fungi, are a keystone of soil biodiversity and soil metabolic capacity. The aim of this research was to study soil fungal biodiversity and soil microbial metabolic profiles in three different sites in northern Italy, where macro- and microplastic concentration in soil was measured. The metabolic analyses of soil microorganisms were performed by Biolog EcoPlates, while the ITS1 fragment of the 18S ribosomal cDNA was used as a target for the metabarcoding of fungal communities. The results showed an intense and significant decrease in soil microbial metabolic ability in the site with the highest concentration of microplastics. Moreover, the soil fungal community composition was significantly different in the most pristine site when compared with the other two sites. The metabarcoding of soil samples revealed a general dominance of Mortierellomycota followed by Ascomycota in all sampled soils. Moreover, a dominance of fungi involved in the degradation of plant residues was observed in all three sites. In conclusion, this study lays the foundation for further research into the effect of plastics on soil microbial communities and their activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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9 pages, 2468 KiB  
Article
Screening of Insecticidal and Antifungal Activities of the Culturable Fungi Isolated from the Intertidal Zones of Qingdao, China
by Xiufang Wang, Guixia Ji, Jingfang Cun, Pengjun Xu, Xinwei Wang, Guangwei Ren and Wei Li
J. Fungi 2022, 8(12), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8121240 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Numerous studies focused on drug discovery perspective have proved the great potential for exploration of marine-derived fungi to seek bioactive chemicals. Yet, marine-derived fungi are less explored compared to their terrestrial counterparts. Here, 181 fungal strains (134 species) isolated from marine algae and [...] Read more.
Numerous studies focused on drug discovery perspective have proved the great potential for exploration of marine-derived fungi to seek bioactive chemicals. Yet, marine-derived fungi are less explored compared to their terrestrial counterparts. Here, 181 fungal strains (134 species) isolated from marine algae and sediment in Chinese intertidal zones were screened to reveal bioactivities using brine shrimp, green peach aphid and plant pathogens as targets. Fermentation supernatants of 85 fungal strains exhibited a high lethality (>70%) of brine shrimp at 24 h, and 14 strains appeared to be acute-toxic as featured by more than 75% mortality at 4 h, indicating efficient insecticidal bioactivity. The crude extracts of 34 strains displayed high toxicity to green peach aphid with more than 70% of mortality at 48 h. For the plant pathogens tested, the inhibitory rates of eight fungal strains affiliated with Alternaria (AS3, AS4), Amphichorda (AS7), Aspergillus (AS14), Chaetomium (AS21), Penicillium (AS46), Purpureocillium (AS55) and Trichoderma (AS67) were equal or higher than that of the positive Prochloraz, and five of them (AS7, AS14, AS21, AS55, AS67) were also strongly toxic to brine shrimp or aphid. Our findings indicate broad potential for exploration of marine-derived fungi as candidate resources to pursue bioactive compounds in controlling agricultural pests and pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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Review

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27 pages, 2857 KiB  
Review
OMICS and Other Advanced Technologies in Mycological Applications
by Nalin N. Wijayawardene, Nattawut Boonyuen, Chathuranga B. Ranaweera, Heethaka K. S. de Zoysa, Rasanie E. Padmathilake, Faarah Nifla, Dong-Qin Dai, Yanxia Liu, Nakarin Suwannarach, Jaturong Kumla, Thushara C. Bamunuarachchige and Huan-Huan Chen
J. Fungi 2023, 9(6), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9060688 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3593
Abstract
Fungi play many roles in different ecosystems. The precise identification of fungi is important in different aspects. Historically, they were identified based on morphological characteristics, but technological advancements such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing now enable more accurate identification and [...] Read more.
Fungi play many roles in different ecosystems. The precise identification of fungi is important in different aspects. Historically, they were identified based on morphological characteristics, but technological advancements such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing now enable more accurate identification and taxonomy, and higher-level classifications. However, some species, referred to as “dark taxa”, lack distinct physical features that makes their identification challenging. High-throughput sequencing and metagenomics of environmental samples provide a solution to identifying new lineages of fungi. This paper discusses different approaches to taxonomy, including PCR amplification and sequencing of rDNA, multi-loci phylogenetic analyses, and the importance of various omics (large-scale molecular) techniques for understanding fungal applications. The use of proteomics, transcriptomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, and interactomics provides a comprehensive understanding of fungi. These advanced technologies are critical for expanding the knowledge of the Kingdom of Fungi, including its impact on food safety and security, edible mushrooms foodomics, fungal secondary metabolites, mycotoxin-producing fungi, and biomedical and therapeutic applications, including antifungal drugs and drug resistance, and fungal omics data for novel drug development. The paper also highlights the importance of exploring fungi from extreme environments and understudied areas to identify novel lineages in the fungal dark taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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37 pages, 21369 KiB  
Review
Re-Evaluating Botryosphaeriales: Ancestral State Reconstructions of Selected Characters and Evolution of Nutritional Modes
by Achala R. Rathnayaka, K. W. Thilini Chethana, Alan J. L. Phillips, Jian-Kui Liu, Milan C. Samarakoon, E. B. Gareth Jones, Samantha C. Karunarathna and Chang-Lin Zhao
J. Fungi 2023, 9(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9020184 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2852
Abstract
Botryosphaeriales (Dothideomycetes, Ascomycota) occur in a wide range of habitats as endophytes, saprobes, and pathogens. The order Botryosphaeriales has not been subjected to evaluation since 2019 by Phillips and co-authors using phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses. Subsequently, many studies introduced novel [...] Read more.
Botryosphaeriales (Dothideomycetes, Ascomycota) occur in a wide range of habitats as endophytes, saprobes, and pathogens. The order Botryosphaeriales has not been subjected to evaluation since 2019 by Phillips and co-authors using phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses. Subsequently, many studies introduced novel taxa into the order and revised several families separately. In addition, no ancestral character studies have been conducted for this order. Therefore, in this study, we re-evaluated the character evolution and taxonomic placements of Botryosphaeriales species based on ancestral character evolution, divergence time estimation, and phylogenetic relationships, including all the novel taxa that have been introduced so far. Maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian inference analyses were conducted on a combined LSU and ITS sequence alignment. Ancestral state reconstruction was carried out for conidial colour, septation, and nutritional mode. Divergence times estimates revealed that Botryosphaeriales originated around 109 Mya in the early epoch of the Cretaceous period. All six families in Botryosphaeriales evolved in the late epoch of the Cretaceous period (66–100 Mya), during which Angiosperms also appeared, rapidly diversified and became dominant on land. Families of Botryosphaeriales diversified during the Paleogene and Neogene periods in the Cenozoic era. The order comprises the families Aplosporellaceae, Botryosphaeriaceae, Melanopsaceae, Phyllostictaceae, Planistromellaceae and Saccharataceae. Furthermore, current study assessed two hypotheses; the first one being “All Botryosphaeriales species originated as endophytes and then switched into saprobes when their hosts died or into pathogens when their hosts were under stress”; the second hypothesis states that “There is a link between the conidial colour and nutritional mode in botryosphaerialean taxa”. Ancestral state reconstruction and nutritional mode analyses revealed a pathogenic/saprobic nutritional mode as the ancestral character. However, we could not provide strong evidence for the first hypothesis mainly due to the significantly low number of studies reporting the endophytic botryosphaerialean taxa. Results also showed that hyaline and aseptate conidia were ancestral characters in Botryosphaeriales and supported the relationship between conidial pigmentation and the pathogenicity of Botryosphaeriales species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology, 3rd Edition)
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