Special Issue "Emergent Fungal Models for Genetics and Cell Biology"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 14 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Pedro Gonçalves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan
Interests: microbial genetics; fungal biology; sociobiology; host-pathogen interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The fungal kingdom encompasses an astounding diversity of organisms capable of the most wondrous activities. Despite this diversity, with estimates pointing to some millions of species around the globe, the number of fungal species that have been domesticated for industrial purposes or established in the laboratory to become models for genetics and cell biology is fairly small. Similarly, despite the countless contributions made to science using conventional fungal models such as the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae or the filamentous Neurospora crassa, various research questions have compelled lab mycologists to adapt previous knowledge or create new methodologies to make lesser popular species amenable to genetic manipulation and cell biology experimentation. This goal has been greatly facilitated by the increasing availability of whole genome sequencing and metagenomics as relatively widespread technologies and the development of the bioinformatics discipline.

In this Special Issue, we will cover some recent advances linked to the establishment of less conventional fungi as genetic models and how this can aid the community to understand their biology as well as ecological and evolutionary importance. We believe that this will prove to be an interesting series of articles.

Dr. Pedro Gonçalves
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Fungi is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fungal model
  • genetics
  • cell biology
  • animal and plant pathogen
  • animal pathogen
  • ectomycorrhiza
  • arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • endophyte
  • symbiosis
  • mycobiome

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Differential Physiological Prerequisites and Gene Expression Profiles of Conidial Anastomosis Tube and Germ Tube Formation in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
J. Fungi 2021, 7(7), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7070509 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
The conidia of a hemibiotrophic fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, can conventionally form a germ tube (GT) and develop into a fungal colony. Under certain conditions, they tend to get connected through a conidial anastomosis tube (CAT) to share the nutrients. CAT fusion is [...] Read more.
The conidia of a hemibiotrophic fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, can conventionally form a germ tube (GT) and develop into a fungal colony. Under certain conditions, they tend to get connected through a conidial anastomosis tube (CAT) to share the nutrients. CAT fusion is believed to be responsible for the generation of genetic variations in few asexual fungi, which appears problematic for effective fungal disease management. The physiological and molecular requirements underlying the GT formation versus CAT fusion remained underexplored. In the present study, we have deciphered the physiological prerequisites for GT formation versus CAT fusion in C. gloeosporioides. GT formation occurred at a high frequency in the presence of nutrients, while CAT fusion was found to be higher in the absence of nutrients. Younger conidia were found to form GT efficiently, while older conidia preferentially formed CAT. Whole transcriptome analysis of GT and CAT revealed highly differential gene expression profiles, wherein 11,050 and 9786 genes were differentially expressed during GT formation and CAT fusion, respectively. A total of 1567 effector candidates were identified; out of them, 102 and 100 were uniquely expressed during GT formation and CAT fusion, respectively. Genes coding for cell wall degrading enzymes, germination, hyphal growth, host-fungus interaction, and virulence were highly upregulated during GT formation. Meanwhile, genes involved in stress response, cell wall remodeling, membrane transport, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, and cell rescue were highly upregulated during CAT fusion. To conclude, the GT formation and CAT fusion were found to be mutually exclusive processes, requiring differential physiological conditions and sets of DEGs in C. gloeosporioides. This study will help in understanding the basic CAT biology in emerging fungal model species of the genus Colletotrichum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Fungal Models for Genetics and Cell Biology)
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Article
Functional Analysis of a Novel ABL (Abnormal Browning Related to Light) Gene in Mycelial Brown Film Formation of Lentinula edodes
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040272 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Lentinula edodes is a globally important edible mushroom species that is appreciated for its medicinal properties as well as its nutritional value. During commercial cultivation, a mycelial brown film forms on the surface of the sawdust growth medium at the late vegetative stage. [...] Read more.
Lentinula edodes is a globally important edible mushroom species that is appreciated for its medicinal properties as well as its nutritional value. During commercial cultivation, a mycelial brown film forms on the surface of the sawdust growth medium at the late vegetative stage. Mycelial film formation is a critical developmental process that contributes to the quantity and quality of the mushroom yield. However, little is known regarding the genetic underpinnings of brown film formation on the surface of mycelial tissue. A novel causal gene associated with the formation of the mycelial brown film, named ABL (Abnormal browning related to light), was identified in this study. The comparative genetic analysis by dihybrid crosses between normal and abnormal browning film cultivars demonstrated that a single dominant allele was responsible for the abnormal mycelium browning phenotype. Whole-genome sequencing analysis of hybrid isolates revealed five missense single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ABL locus of individuals forming abnormal partial brown films. Additional whole-genome resequencing of a further 16 cultivars showed that three of the five missense SNPs were strongly associated with the abnormal browning phenotype. Overexpression of the dominant abl-D allele in a wild-type background conferred the abnormal mycelial browning phenotype upon transformants, with slender hyphae observed as a general defective mycelial growth phenotype. Our methodology will aid the future discovery of candidate genes associated with favorable traits in edible mushrooms. The discovery of a novel gene, ABL, associated with mycelial film formation will facilitate marker-associated breeding in L. edodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Fungal Models for Genetics and Cell Biology)
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Review

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Review
In Vitro or In Vivo Models, the Next Frontier for Unraveling Interactions between Malassezia spp. and Hosts. How Much Do We Know?
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030155 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Malassezia is a lipid-dependent genus of yeasts known for being an important part of the skin mycobiota. These yeasts have been associated with the development of skin disorders and cataloged as a causal agent of systemic infections under specific conditions, making them opportunistic [...] Read more.
Malassezia is a lipid-dependent genus of yeasts known for being an important part of the skin mycobiota. These yeasts have been associated with the development of skin disorders and cataloged as a causal agent of systemic infections under specific conditions, making them opportunistic pathogens. Little is known about the host–microbe interactions of Malassezia spp., and unraveling this implies the implementation of infection models. In this mini review, we present different models that have been implemented in fungal infections studies with greater attention to Malassezia spp. infections. These models range from in vitro (cell cultures and ex vivo tissue), to in vivo (murine models, rabbits, guinea pigs, insects, nematodes, and amoebas). We additionally highlight the alternative models that reduce the use of mammals as model organisms, which have been gaining importance in the study of fungal host–microbe interactions. This is due to the fact that these systems have been shown to have reliable results, which correlate with those obtained from mammalian models. Examples of alternative models are Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Tenebrio molitor, and Galleria mellonella. These are invertebrates that have been implemented in the study of Malassezia spp. infections in order to identify differences in virulence between Malassezia species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Fungal Models for Genetics and Cell Biology)
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