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J. Fungi, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 71 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Coccidioides spp. are highly pathogenic fungi found in the soil of desert regions in the western hemisphere. Coccidioidomycosis is particularly prevalent in the southwestern region of the United States, where up to 40% of people in some regions have been infected. Despite the virulence of this fungus, about half of the infections are asymptomatic, and a very large majority of infections are self-limited. This article reviews the mechanisms of the host's response to infection. Innate immunity is discussed, from the initial interaction with the organism to the cytokine responses made by macrophages and dendritic cells and the acquired immune response. The genetics of resistance to infection and the search for an effective vaccine are also reviewed. Hopefully, this review will be useful to those interested in studying this primary pathogenic fungus. View this paper
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12 pages, 3224 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Reproduction Trends of Phytophthora infestans in Estonia: EU_41_A2 Detected without an Indication of Clonal Reproduction
by Britt Puidet, Mati Koppel and Riinu Kiiker
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030233 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
This study explores the population dynamics of Phytophthora infestans in Estonia from 2005 to 2022, focusing on genetic diversity and potential shifts in reproductive strategies. In total, 153 P. infestans isolates were collected throughout Estonia over ten growing seasons. Genotyping revealed considerable genetic [...] Read more.
This study explores the population dynamics of Phytophthora infestans in Estonia from 2005 to 2022, focusing on genetic diversity and potential shifts in reproductive strategies. In total, 153 P. infestans isolates were collected throughout Estonia over ten growing seasons. Genotyping revealed considerable genetic diversity, with most isolates not corresponding to known multilocus genotypes (MLGs). Still, instances of invasive clonal lineages were observed, notably EU_41_A2. The data indicate the likelihood of random mating rather than clonal reproduction in all the analyzed years. The principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) results revealed no distinct clustering among the sampling years. Statistical analysis and the minimum spanning network (MSN) indicated low genetic differentiation between years with minimal fluctuations in allele frequencies. The continuous monitoring of P. infestans populations is essential for detecting any changes from the current evolutionary trajectory and implement effective disease management strategies, especially considering the recent emergence of EU_41_A2 in the Nordics and the potential impacts of climate change. Full article
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1 pages, 159 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Navarro-Fernandez, I. Nailing down Clinical Nuances. Comment on “Crotti et al. A Terbinafine Sensitive Trichophyton indotineae Strain in Italy: The First Clinical Case of tinea corporis and onychomycosis. J. Fungi 2023, 9, 865”
by Silvia Crotti, Deborah Cruciani and Manuela Papini
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030232 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
We have read with interest the comments and observations made regarding the paper “A terbinafine sensitive Trichophyton indotineae strain in Italy: the first clinical case of tinea corporis and onychomycosis” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
1 pages, 159 KiB  
Comment
Nailing down Clinical Nuances. Comment on Crotti et al. A Terbinafine Sensitive Trichophyton indotineae Strain in Italy: The First Clinical Case of tinea corporis and onychomycosis. J. Fungi 2023, 9, 865
by Inigo Navarro-Fernandez
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030231 - 21 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 507
Abstract
I have read the paper “A Terbinafine Sensitive Trichophyton indotineae Strain in Italy: The First Clinical Case of tinea corporis and onychomycosis” by Crotti et al [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
17 pages, 3010 KiB  
Article
Pestalotiopsis jiangsuensis sp. nov. Causing Needle Blight on Pinus massoniana in China
by Hui Li, Bing-Yao Peng, Jun-Ya Xie, Yu-Qing Bai, De-Wei Li and Li-Hua Zhu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030230 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 720
Abstract
Pinus massoniana Lamb. is an important, common afforestation and timber tree species in China. Species of Pestalotiopsis are well-known pathogens of needle blight. In this study, the five representative strains were isolated from needle blight from needles of Pi. massoniana in Nanjing, Jiangsu, [...] Read more.
Pinus massoniana Lamb. is an important, common afforestation and timber tree species in China. Species of Pestalotiopsis are well-known pathogens of needle blight. In this study, the five representative strains were isolated from needle blight from needles of Pi. massoniana in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Based on multi-locus phylogenetic analyses of the three genomic loci (ITS, TEF1, and TUB2), in conjunction with morphological characteristics, a new species, namely Pestalotiopsis jiangsuensis sp. nov., was described and reported. Pathogenicity tests revealed that the five representative strains of the species described above were pathogenic to Pi. massoniana. The study revealed the diversity of pathogenic species of needle blight on Pi. massoniana. This is the first report of needle blight caused by P. jiangsuensis on Pi. massoniana in China and worldwide. This provides useful information for future research on management strategies of this disease. Full article
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12 pages, 7240 KiB  
Communication
The Function of Different Subunits of the Molecular Chaperone CCT in the Microsporidium Nosema bombycis: NbCCTζ Interacts with NbCCTα
by Sheng Xu, Ying Chen, Jingru Qi, Runpeng Wang, Erjun Wei, Qiang Wang, Yiling Zhang, Xudong Tang and Zhongyuan Shen
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030229 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Chaperonin containing tailless complex polypeptide 1 (CCT) is a molecular chaperone protein that consists of eight completely different subunits and assists in the folding of newly synthesized peptides. The zeta subunit of CCT is a regulatory factor for the folding and assembly of [...] Read more.
Chaperonin containing tailless complex polypeptide 1 (CCT) is a molecular chaperone protein that consists of eight completely different subunits and assists in the folding of newly synthesized peptides. The zeta subunit of CCT is a regulatory factor for the folding and assembly of cytoskeletal proteins as individuals or complexes. In this study, the zeta subunit of Nosema bombycis (NbCCTζ) is identified for the first time. The complete ORF of the NbCCTζ gene is 1533 bp in length and encodes a 510 amino acid polypeptide. IFA results indicate that NbCCTζ is colocalized with actin and β-tubulin in the cytoplasm during the proliferative phase and that NbCCTζ is completely colocalized with NbCCTα in the cytoplasm of N. bombycis throughout the entire life cycle. Furthermore, the yeast two-hybrid assay revealed that the NbCCTζ interacts with NbCCTα. The transcriptional level of NbCCTζ is significantly downregulated by knocking down the NbCCTα gene, while the transcriptional level of NbCCTα is downregulated after knocking down the NbCCTζ gene. These results suggest that NbCCTζ may play a vital role in the proliferation of N. bombycis by coordinating with NbCCTα. Full article
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16 pages, 3210 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Assessment of Ultraviolet-Radiation-Induced Mutations in Flammulina filiformis Using Whole-Genome Resequencing
by Qianhui Huang, Xing Han, Zongjun Tong, Youjin Deng, Luyu Xie, Shengrong Liu, Baogui Xie and Weirui Zhang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030228 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Nucleotide substitutions have played an important role in molecular evolution, and understanding their dynamics would contribute to genetic studies. Related research with defined DNA sequences lasted for decades until whole-genome sequencing arose. UV radiation (UVR) can generate base changes and other genetic variations [...] Read more.
Nucleotide substitutions have played an important role in molecular evolution, and understanding their dynamics would contribute to genetic studies. Related research with defined DNA sequences lasted for decades until whole-genome sequencing arose. UV radiation (UVR) can generate base changes and other genetic variations in a short period of time, so it would be more meaningful to explore mutations caused by UVR from a genomic perspective. The monokaryon enoki strain WT583 was selected as the experimental material in this study because it can spontaneously produce large amounts of oidia on PDA plates, and the monokaryons originating from oidia have the same genotype as their mother monokaryon. After exposure to UV radiation, 100 randomly selected mutants, with WT583 as the reference genome, were sent for genome sequencing. BWA, samtools, and GATK software were employed for SNP calling, and the R package CMplot was used to visualize the distribution of the SNPs on the contigs of the reference genome. Furthermore, a k-mer-based method was used to detect DNA fragment deletion. Moreover, the non-synonymous genes were functionally annotated. A total of 3707 single-base substitutions and 228 tandem mutations were analyzed. The immediate adjacent bases showed different effects on the mutation frequencies of adenine and cytosine. For adenine, the overall effects of the immediate 5′-side and 3′-side bases were T > A > C > G and A > T > G > C, respectively; for cytosine, the overall effects of the immediate 5′-side and 3′-side bases were T > C > A > G and C > T > A > G, respectively. Regarding tandem mutations, the mutation frequencies of double-transition, double-transversion, 3′-side transition, and 5′-side transition were 131, 8, 72, and 17, respectively. Transitions at the 3′-side with a high mutation frequency shared a common feature, where they held transversions at the 5′-side of A→T or T→A without covalent bond changes, suggesting that the sequence context of tandem motifs might be related to their mutation frequency. In total, 3707 mutation sites were non-randomly distributed on the contigs of the reference genome. In addition, pyrimidines at the 3′-side of adenine promoted its transversion frequency, and UVR generated DNA fragment deletions over 200 bp with a low frequency in the enoki genome. The functional annotation of the genes with non-synonymous mutation indicated that UVR could produce abundant mutations in a short period of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Genomics of Mushroom-Forming Fungi)
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8 pages, 1826 KiB  
Case Report
Systemic Candida Infection and Pulmonary Aspergillosis in an Alpaca (Vicugna pacos): A Case Report
by Andrea Grassi, Claudia Cafarchia, Nicola Decaro, Wafa Rhimi, Vittoriana De Laurentiis, Giulia D’Annunzio, Andrea Luppi and Paola Prati
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030227 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 786
Abstract
This study reports a peculiar case of systemic candidiasis infection associated with pulmonary aspergillosis in an apparently immunocompetent alpaca. A captive 7-year-old female alpaca exhibited respiratory symptoms, underwent treatment with benzylpenicillin and dexamethasone, and succumbed to the infection 40 days later. During the [...] Read more.
This study reports a peculiar case of systemic candidiasis infection associated with pulmonary aspergillosis in an apparently immunocompetent alpaca. A captive 7-year-old female alpaca exhibited respiratory symptoms, underwent treatment with benzylpenicillin and dexamethasone, and succumbed to the infection 40 days later. During the post-mortem examination, subcutaneous emphysema, widespread pneumonia with multiple suppurative foci, scattered necro-suppurative lesions throughout the renal and hepatic parenchyma were evident. Histopathological analysis of the collected tissues revealed multifocal mild lymphoplasmacytic chronic interstitial nephritis, necro-suppurative pneumonia with the presence of fungal hyphae, multifocal foci of mineralization, and fibrosis in the liver. Fungal cultures confirmed the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus from the lungs, and Candida albicans from the liver, kidney, and heart. The only recognizable risk factor for candidiasis and pulmonary aspergillosis in this case was prior corticosteroid and antibiotic therapy. Nevertheless, it is crucial to consider systemic candidosis and pulmonary aspergillosis as potential differential diagnoses in respiratory infections among camelids. Prolonged treatment with glucocorticoids and antibiotics should be avoided as it could represent a risk factor for the onset of pathologies caused by opportunistic fungi such as Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diseases in Animals, 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 3430 KiB  
Article
Potential Role of Sugars in the Hyphosphere of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to Enhance Organic Phosphorus Mobilization
by Zexing Jin, Guiwei Wang, Timothy S. George and Lin Zhang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030226 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 852
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi engage in symbiosis with more than 80% of terrestrial plants, enlarging root phosphorus (P) absorption volume by producing extensive extraradical hyphae (ERH) in the soil. In addition, AM fungi recruit and cooperate with soil bacteria to enhance soil organic [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi engage in symbiosis with more than 80% of terrestrial plants, enlarging root phosphorus (P) absorption volume by producing extensive extraradical hyphae (ERH) in the soil. In addition, AM fungi recruit and cooperate with soil bacteria to enhance soil organic P mobilization and improve fungal and plant fitness through hyphal exudates. However, the role of the dominant compounds in the hyphal exudates in enhancing organic P mobilization in the mycorrhizal pathway is still not well understood. In this study, we added sugars, i.e., glucose, fructose, and trehalose, which are detected in the hyphal exudates, to the hyphal compartments (HCs) that allowed the ERH of the AM fungus to grow or not. The results showed that in AM fungus-inoculated pots, adding three sugars at a concentration of 2 mmol C kg−1 soil significantly increased the phosphatase activity and facilitated the mobilization of organic P in the HCs. The addition of fructose at a concentration of 2 mmol C kg−1 soil was the most efficient in increasing the phosphatase activity and enhancing organic P mobilization. The released inorganic P was then absorbed by the ERH of the AM fungus. The enhanced mobilization of organic P was correlated with the increase in phoD gene number and the changing bacterial community in the presence of fungal hyphae. The sugar addition enriched the relative abundance of some bacterial taxa, e.g., Betaproteobacteriales. Our study suggested that the addition of the sugars by mycorrhizae could be a pivotal strategy in managing P uptake in agricultural production, potentially directing future practices to optimize plant–fungi–bacteria interactions for improved P use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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21 pages, 1138 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Green Extraction Technologies on the Chemical Composition of Medicinal Chaga Mushroom Extracts
by Vesna Lazić, Anita Klaus, Maja Kozarski, Ana Doroški, Tomislav Tosti, Siniša Simić and Jovana Vunduk
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030225 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 777
Abstract
The mushroom industry should implement green extraction technologies; however, there is not enough information on the differences between these techniques expressed as the chemical composition of the resulting extract. In this study, selected types of green extraction techniques (GETs) were used on Chaga [...] Read more.
The mushroom industry should implement green extraction technologies; however, there is not enough information on the differences between these techniques expressed as the chemical composition of the resulting extract. In this study, selected types of green extraction techniques (GETs) were used on Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) (Fr.) Pilát from Serbia (IS) and Mongolia (IM) to examine the differences that would enable the composition-based technology choices in the mushroom supplement industry. Subcritical water extraction (SWE), microwave-assisted (MW) extraction, and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (VAE) were used to prepare the extracts. SWE was performed at two different temperatures (120 and 200 °C), while 96% ethanol, 50% ethanol, and water were used for MW and VAE. The yield, the content of total phenols, total proteins, and carbohydrates, qualitative and quantitative analysis of phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, including α- and β- and total glucans, and fatty acids, were determined in the obtained extracts. SWE resulted in a significantly higher yield, total polysaccharide, and glucan content than any other technique. Glucose was the most dominant monosaccharide in the SWE samples, especially those extracted at 200 °C. The MW 50% EtOH extracts showed the highest yield of total phenols. Among the tested phenolic compounds, chlorogenic acid was the most dominant. SWE can be recommended as the most efficient method for extracting commercially important compounds, especially glucans and phenols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible and Medicinal Macrofungi, 3rd Edition)
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8 pages, 1764 KiB  
Article
Candida albicans Genes Modulating Echinocandin Susceptibility of Caspofungin-Adapted Mutants Are Constitutively Expressed in Clinical Isolates with Intermediate or Full Resistance to Echinocandins
by Anshuman Yadav, Sudisht K. Sah, David S. Perlin and Elena Rustchenko
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030224 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The opportunistic fungus Candida albicans is the leading cause of invasive candidiasis in immune-compromised individuals. Drugs from the echinocandin (ECN) class, including caspofungin, are used as a first line of therapy against invasive candidiasis. The only known mechanism of clinical resistance to ECNs [...] Read more.
The opportunistic fungus Candida albicans is the leading cause of invasive candidiasis in immune-compromised individuals. Drugs from the echinocandin (ECN) class, including caspofungin, are used as a first line of therapy against invasive candidiasis. The only known mechanism of clinical resistance to ECNs is point mutations in the FKS1 gene, which encodes the drug target. However, many clinical isolates developed decreased ECN susceptibilities in the absence of resistance-associated FKS1 mutations. We have identified 15 C. albicans genes that contribute to decreased drug susceptibility. We explored the expression of these 15 genes in clinical isolates with different levels of ECN susceptibility. We found that these 15 genes are expressed in clinical isolates with or without FKS1 mutations, including those strains that are less susceptible to ECNs. In addition, FKS1 expression was increased in such less susceptible isolates compared to highly susceptible isolates. Similarities of gene expression patterns between isolates with decreased ECN susceptibilities in the absence of FKS1 mutations and clinically resistant isolates with mutations in FKS1 suggest that clinical isolates with decreased ECN susceptibilities may be a precursor to development of resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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24 pages, 15627 KiB  
Article
New Data on Boletaceae (Agaricomycetes, Basidiomycota) from Central Vietnam with Description of Two New Species and Creation of a New Combination Based on Morphological and Phylogenetic Evidence
by Thi Ha Giang Pham, Eugene Popov, Alina Alexandrova, Daria Ivanova and Olga Morozova
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030223 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 852
Abstract
Two new species of Boletaceae (Hortiboletus rubroreticulatus and Tylopilus aurantiovulpinus) discovered during an investigation of the mycobiota of Central Vietnam (Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve; Ta Dung National Park; Bidoup—Nui Ba National Park; Kon Ka Kinh National Park) are described on [...] Read more.
Two new species of Boletaceae (Hortiboletus rubroreticulatus and Tylopilus aurantiovulpinus) discovered during an investigation of the mycobiota of Central Vietnam (Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve; Ta Dung National Park; Bidoup—Nui Ba National Park; Kon Ka Kinh National Park) are described on the basis of molecular and morphological data. Illustrated descriptions of their macro- and microscopic features and discussion on similar taxa are given. Additionally, eight species which were recorded for the first time in Vietnam are listed and illustrated here. A new combination Kgaria virescens was made for one of these species. These results were confirmed by the phylogenetic analysis based on nrITS1-5.8S-ITS2, nrLSU, and tef1α regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution of Forestry Fungi, 2nd Edition)
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22 pages, 5876 KiB  
Article
Hsp90-Mediated Multi-Drug Resistance in DNA Polymerase-Defective Strains of Candida albicans
by Bhabasha Gyanadeep Utkalaja, Satya Ranjan Sahu, Sushree Subhashree Parida and Narottam Acharya
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030222 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 813
Abstract
The incidence of infections caused by Candida species, specifically by drug-resistant isolates, is a major health concern as they can disseminate to and colonize most vital organs, enhancing morbidity and mortality. Several molecular mechanisms have been reported to be involved in drug resistance. [...] Read more.
The incidence of infections caused by Candida species, specifically by drug-resistant isolates, is a major health concern as they can disseminate to and colonize most vital organs, enhancing morbidity and mortality. Several molecular mechanisms have been reported to be involved in drug resistance. These are mostly drug- and isolate-specific. Here, we characterized three different genetically modified strains of C. albicans that were multi-drug-resistant (MDR) and deciphered a uniform mechanism responsible for resistance. DNA polymerase epsilon (Polε) is a leading strand-specific polymerase consisting of four subunits, namely, Pol2, Dpb2, Dpb3, and Dpb4. The deletion of one or both of the Dpb3 and Dpb4 subunits in C. albicans rendered multi-drug resistance. A detailed characterization of these strains revealed that acquired mutagenesis, drug efflux pumps, and other known mechanisms did not play a significant role because the complemented strain showed drug sensitivity. More importantly, the function of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) in these knockout strains is critical for reducing susceptibility to several antifungal drugs. Cell wall deformity and composition in these strains can add to such a phenotype. The inhibition of Hsp90 function by geldanamycin and tricostatin A sensitized the MDR strains to antifungals. Considering our earlier research and this report, we suggest that replication stress induces Hsp90 expression and activity in order to orchestrate a cellular stress response circuit and thus develop fungal drug resistance. Thus, Hsp90 is an important drug target for use in combinatorial therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Mechanism of Action of Genomic-Based Antifungals)
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18 pages, 3169 KiB  
Article
The Oxidative Stress Response Highly Depends on Glucose and Iron Availability in Aspergillus fumigatus
by Tamás Emri, Károly Antal, Kinga Varga, Barnabás Csaba Gila and István Pócsi
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030221 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Pathogens have to cope with oxidative, iron- and carbon(glucose)-limitation stresses in the human body. To understand how combined iron–carbon limitation alters oxidative stress responses, Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured in glucose–peptone or peptone containing media supplemented or not with deferiprone as an iron chelator. [...] Read more.
Pathogens have to cope with oxidative, iron- and carbon(glucose)-limitation stresses in the human body. To understand how combined iron–carbon limitation alters oxidative stress responses, Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured in glucose–peptone or peptone containing media supplemented or not with deferiprone as an iron chelator. Changes in the transcriptome in these cultures were recorded after H2O2 treatment. Responses to oxidative stress were highly dependent on the availability of glucose and iron. Out of the 16 stress responsive antioxidative enzyme genes, only the cat2 catalase–peroxidase gene was upregulated in more than two culturing conditions. The transcriptional responses observed in iron metabolism also varied substantially in these cultures. Only extracellular siderophore production appeared important regardless of culturing conditions in oxidative stress protection, while the enhanced synthesis of Fe-S cluster proteins seemed to be crucial for oxidative stress treated iron-limited and fast growing (glucose rich) cultures. Although pathogens and host cells live together in the same place, their culturing conditions (e.g., iron availability or occurrence of oxidative stress) can be different. Therefore, inhibition of a universally important biochemical process, like Fe-S cluster assembly, may selectively inhibit the pathogen growth in vivo and represent a potential target for antifungal therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Research in Filamentous Fungi and Yeasts)
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22 pages, 39848 KiB  
Article
Five New Species of Gymnopilus from Xizang Autonomous Region of China and Surrounding Areas
by Wen-Qiang Yang, Jia-Xin Li, Mao-Qiang He, Shi-Hui Wang, Xin-Yu Zhu, Dorji Phurbu, Jian-Min Yun and Rui-Lin Zhao
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030220 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 903
Abstract
The species of Gymnopilus (Hymenogastraceae, Agricales) are commonly recognized as wood-decaying fungi. Certain members of this genus have been identified as psilocybin-producing mushrooms. Gymnopilus exhibits a diverse range and has a global distribution. In this study, a total of seventy-eight specimens were gathered [...] Read more.
The species of Gymnopilus (Hymenogastraceae, Agricales) are commonly recognized as wood-decaying fungi. Certain members of this genus have been identified as psilocybin-producing mushrooms. Gymnopilus exhibits a diverse range and has a global distribution. In this study, a total of seventy-eight specimens were gathered from ten provinces in China. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted, employing gene sequences including ITS, nrLSU, nrSSU, rpb1, rpb2, and tef1-α. Additionally, morphological examinations were also carried out. The phylogenetic topology of Gymnopilus from this study generally agreed with previous studies and facilitated the identification of all those specimens. As a result, eleven species, including five newly discovered ones named Gy. gyirongensis, Gy. variisporus, Gy. tomentosiceps, Gy. tenuibasidialis, and Gy. aurantipileatus, were recognized. Significantly, four of the five newly identified species are native to the Xizang Autonomous Region, emphasizing their specialization in this distinctive habitat. This research contributes to our comprehension of Gymnopilus diversity and lays the groundwork for the conservation and sustainable utilization of Gymnopilus resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible and Medicinal Macrofungi, 3rd Edition)
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12 pages, 2472 KiB  
Review
New Vision of Cell Walls in Aspergillus fumigatus from Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy
by Isha Gautam, Kalpana Singh, Malitha C. Dickwella Widanage, Jayasubba Reddy Yarava and Tuo Wang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030219 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 838
Abstract
The fungal cell wall plays a critical role in regulating cellular integrity and communication, and serves as a frontline defense against stress. It is also a prime target for the development of antifungal agents. The cell wall is comprised of diverse polysaccharides and [...] Read more.
The fungal cell wall plays a critical role in regulating cellular integrity and communication, and serves as a frontline defense against stress. It is also a prime target for the development of antifungal agents. The cell wall is comprised of diverse polysaccharides and proteins and poses a challenging target for high-resolution structural characterization. Recently, the solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) analysis of intact Aspergillus fumigatus cells has provided atomic-level insights into the structural polymorphism and functional assembly principles of carbohydrate components within the cell wall. This physical perspective, alongside structural information from biochemical assays, offers a renewed understanding of the cell wall as a highly complex and dynamic organelle. Here, we summarize key conceptual advancements in the structural elucidation of A. fumigatus mycelial and conidial cell walls and their responses to stressors. We also highlight underexplored areas and discuss the opportunities facilitated by technical advancements in ssNMR spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Clinical and Basic Studies on Aspergillus spp.)
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18 pages, 1222 KiB  
Article
Chromogenic, Biochemical and Proteomic Identification of Yeast and Yeast-like Microorganisms Isolated from Clinical Samples from Animals of Costa Rica
by Alejandra Calderón-Hernández, Nelly Castro-Bonilla and Mariamalia Cob-Delgado
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030218 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1499
Abstract
Yeast infections are challenging human and animal medicine due to low rates of detection and the emergence of unknown ecology isolates. The aim of this study was to verify the biochemical identification of yeasts and yeast-like microorganisms obtained from animals comparing the results [...] Read more.
Yeast infections are challenging human and animal medicine due to low rates of detection and the emergence of unknown ecology isolates. The aim of this study was to verify the biochemical identification of yeasts and yeast-like microorganisms obtained from animals comparing the results with chromogenic media and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF MS). Between January and August 2023, yeast and yeast-like isolates from samples of animals with suspicion of mycosis were identified using Vitek® 2 Compact, Brilliance® Candida Agar and MALDI Biotyper® MSP. A total of 39 cases were included, and 45 isolations were obtained. Cryptococcus neoformans (15.5%, 7/45), Meyerozyma guilliermondii (13.3%, 6/45), Candida parapsilosis (11.1%, 5/45), Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis (8.9%, each one 4/45) were the most identified organisms. There was full agreement with the three identification methods in 71.1% (32/45) of the isolates, disagreement on species in 17.8% (8/45), disagreement on genus and species in 6.7% (3/45) and, in 4.4% (2/45), there was no matched pattern in MALDI-TOF to compare the results. Biochemical methods are a good option in laboratories where proteomics are not available, and chromogenic media enhances diagnostics by detecting mixed infections. Surveillance must be implemented to improve the detection of agents shared between humans and animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diseases in Animals, 2nd Edition)
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31 pages, 13668 KiB  
Article
Microfungi Associated with Peach Branch Diseases in China
by Ying Zhou, Ishara S. Manawasinghe, Zhizheng He, Wei Zhang, Mei Liu, Jinyan Song, Shifang Li, Zaifeng Fan and Jiye Yan
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030217 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Peach (Prunus persica L.) is one of the most important and oldest stone fruits grown in China. Even though P. persica is one of the most commonly grown stone fruits in China, little is known about the biodiversity of microfungi associated with [...] Read more.
Peach (Prunus persica L.) is one of the most important and oldest stone fruits grown in China. Even though P. persica is one of the most commonly grown stone fruits in China, little is known about the biodiversity of microfungi associated with peach branch diseases. In the present study, samples were collected from a wide range of peach growing areas in China, and fungal pathogens associated with peach branch diseases were isolated. In total, 85 isolates were obtained and further classified into nine genera and 10 species. Most of the isolates belonged to Botryosphaeriaceae (46), including Botryosphaeria, Diplodia, Neofusicoccum, Phaeobotryon, and Lasiodiplodia species; Ascochyta, Didymella, and Nothophoma species representing Didymellaceae were also identified. Herein, we introduce Ascochyta prunus and Lasiodiplodia pruni as novel species. In addition, we report the first records of Nothophoma pruni, Neofusicoccum occulatum, and Phaeobotryon rhois on peach worldwide, and Didymella glomerata, Nothophoma quercina, and Phaeoacremonium scolyti are the first records from China. This research is the first comprehensive investigation to explore the microfungi associated with peach branch disease in China. Future studies are necessary to understand the pathogenicity and disease epidemiology of these identified species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ascomycota: Diversity, Taxonomy and Phylogeny 2.0)
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21 pages, 3613 KiB  
Article
Genome Comparisons between Botrytis fabae and the Closely Related Gray Mold Fungus Botrytis cinerea Reveal Possible Explanations for Their Contrasting Host Ranges
by Klaus Klug, Pinkuan Zhu, Patrick Pattar, Tobias Mueller, Nassim Safari, Frederik Sommer, Claudio A. Valero-Jiménez, Jan A. L. van Kan, Bruno Huettel, Kurt Stueber, David Scheuring, Michael Schroda and Matthias Hahn
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030216 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 908
Abstract
While Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold on many plants, its close relative, Botrytis fabae, is host-specifically infecting predominantly faba bean plants. To explore the basis for its narrow host range, a gapless genome sequence of B. fabae strain G12 (BfabG12) was generated. [...] Read more.
While Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold on many plants, its close relative, Botrytis fabae, is host-specifically infecting predominantly faba bean plants. To explore the basis for its narrow host range, a gapless genome sequence of B. fabae strain G12 (BfabG12) was generated. The BfabG12 genome encompasses 45.0 Mb, with 16 chromosomal telomere-to-telomere contigs that show high synteny and sequence similarity to the corresponding B. cinerea B05.10 (BcB0510) chromosomes. Compared to BcB0510, it is 6% larger, due to many AT-rich regions containing remnants of transposable elements, but encodes fewer genes (11,420 vs. 11,707), due to losses of chromosomal segments with up to 20 genes. The coding capacity of BfabG12 is further reduced by nearly 400 genes that had been inactivated by mutations leading to truncations compared to their BcB0510 orthologues. Several species-specific gene clusters for secondary metabolite biosynthesis with stage-specific expression were identified. Comparison of the proteins secreted during infection revealed high similarities, including 17 phytotoxic proteins that were detected in both species. Our data indicate that evolution of the host-specific B. fabae occurred from an ancestral pathogen with wide host range similar to B. cinerea and was accompanied by losses and degeneration of genes, thereby reducing its pathogenic flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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34 pages, 4859 KiB  
Review
Unlocking the Power: New Insights into the Anti-Aging Properties of Mushrooms
by Jing Luo, Kumar Ganesan and Baojun Xu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030215 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2022
Abstract
Aging is a complex biological process that is influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Recently, it has been discovered that reactive oxygen species can accelerate the aging process, leading to an increased incidence of age-related diseases that are characteristic of aging. This [...] Read more.
Aging is a complex biological process that is influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Recently, it has been discovered that reactive oxygen species can accelerate the aging process, leading to an increased incidence of age-related diseases that are characteristic of aging. This review aims to discuss the potential of mushrooms as a dietary intervention for anti-aging, focusing on their nutritional perspective. Mushrooms contain various bioactive compounds, including carbohydrates, bioactive proteins, fungal lipids, and phenolic compounds. These compounds have shown promising effectiveness in combating skin aging and age-related diseases. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that treatments with mushrooms or their extracts can significantly extend lifespan and improve health span. Furthermore, studies have aimed to elucidate the precise cellular and molecular mechanisms of action and the structure–activity relationship of mushroom bioactive compounds. These findings provide a strong basis for further research, including human clinical trials and nutritional investigations, to explore the potential benefits of mushrooms in real-life anti-aging practices. By exploring the anti-aging effects of mushrooms, this review aims to provide valuable insights that can contribute to the development of broader strategies for healthy aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biotechnology and Application 2.0)
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25 pages, 937 KiB  
Review
Commercial Methods for Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Saprophytic Molds: Can They Be Used to Detect Resistance?
by Paschalis Paranos, Ana Espinel-Ingroff and Joseph Meletiadis
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030214 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 753
Abstract
Commercial tests are often employed in clinical microbiology laboratories for antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi. Method-dependent epidemiological cutoff values (ECVs) have been defined in order to detect non-wild-type (NWT) isolates harboring resistance mechanisms. We reviewed the literature in order to find studies [...] Read more.
Commercial tests are often employed in clinical microbiology laboratories for antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi. Method-dependent epidemiological cutoff values (ECVs) have been defined in order to detect non-wild-type (NWT) isolates harboring resistance mechanisms. We reviewed the literature in order to find studies where commercial methods were used to evaluate for in vitro susceptibility of filamentous fungi and assess their ability to detect NWT isolates according to the available ECVs. Data were found for the gradient concentration strips Etest and MIC Test Strips (MTS), broth microdilution Sensititre YeastOne (SYO), Micronaut-AM and the agar dilution VIPcheck assays. Applying itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole Etest ECVs for A. fumigatus, Etest was able to detect 90.3% (84/93), 61.2% (90/147) and 86% (31/36) of isolates with known cyp51A mutations, respectively. Moreover, Etest also was able to detect 3/3 fks mutants using caspofungin ECVs and 2/3 micafungin mutant isolates. Applying the voriconazole and posaconazole SYO ECVs, 57.7% (67/116) and 100% (47/47) of mutants with known cyp51A substitutions were classified as NWT, respectively. VIPcheck detected 90.3% (159/176), 80.1% (141/176) and 66% (141/176)of mutants via itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole, respectively, whereas Micronaut-AM detected 88% (22/25). In conclusion, Etest posaconazole and itraconazole, as well as micafungin and caspofungin ECVs, detected A. fumigatus mutants. On the other hand, while the posaconazole SYO ECV was able to detect cyp51A mutants, similar data were not observed with the SYO voriconazole ECV. Full article
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9 pages, 2213 KiB  
Article
Copper Sulfate Combined with Photodynamic Therapy Enhances Antifungal Effect by Downregulating AIF1
by Meimei Zhang, Qiyuan An, Yingzhe Wang, Shigan Ye and Xiaoliang Zhu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030213 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Candida albicans is a clinically significant opportunistic fungus that is generally treated with antifungal drugs such as itraconazole and fluconazole. However, the recent emergence of fungal resistance has made treatment increasingly difficult. Therefore, novel antifungal treatment methods are urgently required. Hexanol ethosome photodynamic [...] Read more.
Candida albicans is a clinically significant opportunistic fungus that is generally treated with antifungal drugs such as itraconazole and fluconazole. However, the recent emergence of fungal resistance has made treatment increasingly difficult. Therefore, novel antifungal treatment methods are urgently required. Hexanol ethosome photodynamic therapy (HE-PDT) is a method that uses photosensitizers (PS), such as hexanol ethosome, to exert antifungal effects, and can be used to treat resistant fungal strains. However, due to the high dose of PS required for antifungal treatment, excess photosensitizers may remain. Furthermore, once exposed to light, normal tissues or cells are damaged after photodynamic therapy, which limits the clinical application of HE-PDT. Therefore, improving the efficacy without increasing the dose is the key to this treatment. In this study, the antifungal effect of copper sulfate combined with HE-PDT was investigated, and its mechanism was explored. The results suggested that exogenous copper sulfate significantly increased the antifungal effect of HE-PDT by enhancing the rate of C. albicans inhibition, increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, increasing the rate of apoptosis, and altering the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and ATP concentration, which is related to the downregulation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF1) expression. In conclusion, copper sulfate combined with photodynamic therapy significantly inhibited the activity of C. albicans by inducing apoptosis. The combined approach reported herein provides new insights for future antifungal therapy. Full article
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22 pages, 7627 KiB  
Article
Diversity, Community Structure, and Antagonism of Endophytic Fungi from Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Mongolian Pine Trees
by Ninghong Ren, Lei Wang and Chongjuan You
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030212 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Diplodia tip blight, caused by Diplodia sapinea (=Sphaeropsis sapinea), are widely distributed in Honghuaerji, Inner Mongolia, China, causing severe damage on natural Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica). D. sapinea is an endophyte that becomes pathogenic under conditions of [...] Read more.
Diplodia tip blight, caused by Diplodia sapinea (=Sphaeropsis sapinea), are widely distributed in Honghuaerji, Inner Mongolia, China, causing severe damage on natural Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica). D. sapinea is an endophyte that becomes pathogenic under conditions of drought, hail damage, or temperature-associated stress. The role of the endophytic community inhabiting different pine tissues in the expression of disease is still unknown. In this study, the diversity and community structure of endophytic fungi among asymptomatic and symptomatic Mongolian pine were detected using culture-based isolation and high-throughput sequencing (HTS), and the potential antagonistic endophytes against D. sapinea were also screened. The results indicated that 198 and 235 strains of endophytic fungi were isolated from different tissues of symptomatic and asymptomatic Mongolian pine, respectively. D. sapinea was the most common endophyte isolated from the current-year needles and shoots of symptomatic trees, and Diplodia was also the most common in the HTS data. There were no significant differences in the endophytic fungal species richness among asymptomatic and symptomatic trees, but there were differences observed within specific sampled tissues. The ANOSIM analysis confirmed that the endophytic fungi community structure significantly differed between sampling tissues among symptomatic and asymptomatic Mongolian pine. Furthermore, the antagonism study revealed Penicillium fructuariae-cellae with the ability to inhibit the growth of D. sapinea in vitro, and the potential performance of this fungus, acting as biological control agent, was evaluated under greenhouse. Our findings can pave the way to a better understanding of the interactions between D. sapinea, other endophytic fungi and their hosts, and provide helpful information for more efficient disease management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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22 pages, 5051 KiB  
Article
Chromosome-Level Assembly and Comparative Genomic Analysis of Suillus bovinus Provides Insights into the Mechanism of Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
by Jinhua Zhang, Mengya An, Yanliu Chen, Shengkun Wang and Junfeng Liang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030211 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Suillus bovinus is a wild edible ectomycorrhizal fungus with important economic and ecological value, which often forms an ectomycorrhiza with pine trees. We know little about the mechanisms associated with the metabolism and symbiosis of S. bovinus and its effects on the nutritional [...] Read more.
Suillus bovinus is a wild edible ectomycorrhizal fungus with important economic and ecological value, which often forms an ectomycorrhiza with pine trees. We know little about the mechanisms associated with the metabolism and symbiosis of S. bovinus and its effects on the nutritional value. In this study, the whole-genome sequencing of S. bovinus was performed using Illumina, HiFi, and Hi-C technologies, and the sequencing data were subjected to genome assembly, gene prediction, and functional annotation to obtain a high-quality chromosome-level genome of S. bovinus. The final assembly of the S. bovinus genome includes 12 chromosomes, with a total length of 43.03 Mb, a GC content of 46.58%, and a contig N50 size of 3.78 Mb. A total of 11,199 coding protein sequences were predicted from genome annotation. The S. bovinus genome contains a large number of small secreted proteins (SSPs) and genes that encode enzymes related to carbohydrates, as well as genes related to terpenoids, auxin, and lipochitooligosaccharides. These genes may contribute to symbiotic processes. The whole-genome sequencing and genetic information provide a theoretical basis for a deeper understanding of the mechanism of the mycorrhizal symbiosis of S. bovinus and can serve as a reference for comparative genomics of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Morphology)
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15 pages, 3092 KiB  
Article
Importance of the Aspergillus fumigatus Mismatch Repair Protein Msh6 in Antifungal Resistance Development
by Jose Lucio, Irene Gonzalez-Jimenez, Alejandra Roldan, Jorge Amich, Laura Alcazar-Fuoli and Emilia Mellado
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030210 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
One of the systems responsible for the recognition and repair of mistakes occurring during cell replication is the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system. Two major protein complexes constitute the MMR pathway: MutS and MutL. Here, we investigated the possible relation of four A. [...] Read more.
One of the systems responsible for the recognition and repair of mistakes occurring during cell replication is the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system. Two major protein complexes constitute the MMR pathway: MutS and MutL. Here, we investigated the possible relation of four A. fumigatus MMR genes (msh2, msh6, pms1, and mlh1) with the development of azole resistance related to the phenomenon of multi-drug resistance. We examined the MMR gene variations in 163 Aspergillus fumigatus genomes. Our analysis showed that genes msh2, pms1, and mlh1 have low genetic variability and do not seem to correlate with drug resistance. In contrast, there is a nonsynonymous mutation (G240A) in the msh6 gene that is harbored by 42% of the strains, most of them also harboring the TR34/L98H azole resistance mechanism in cyp51A. The msh6 gene was deleted in the akuBKU80 A. fumigatus strain, and the ∆msh6 isolates were analyzed for fitness, azole susceptibility, and virulence capacity, showing no differences compared with the akuBKU80 parental strain. Wild-type msh6 and Δmsh6 strains were grown on high concentrations of azole and other non-azole fungicides used in crop protection. A 10- and 2-fold higher mutation frequency in genes that confer resistance to boscalid and benomyl, respectively, were observed in Δmsh6 strains compared to the wild-type. This study suggests a link between Msh6 and fungicide resistance acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidrug-Resistant Fungi)
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14 pages, 2389 KiB  
Article
Died or Not Dyed: Assessment of Viability and Vitality Dyes on Planktonic Cells and Biofilms from Candida parapsilosis
by Betsy Verónica Arévalo-Jaimes and Eduard Torrents
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030209 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Viability and vitality assays play a crucial role in assessing the effectiveness of novel therapeutic approaches, with stain-based methods providing speed and objectivity. However, their application in yeast research lacks consensus. This study aimed to assess the performance of four common dyes on [...] Read more.
Viability and vitality assays play a crucial role in assessing the effectiveness of novel therapeutic approaches, with stain-based methods providing speed and objectivity. However, their application in yeast research lacks consensus. This study aimed to assess the performance of four common dyes on C. parapsilosis planktonic cells as well as sessile cells that form well-structured biofilms (treated and not treated with amphotericin B). Viability assessment employed Syto-9 (S9), thiazole orange (TO), and propidium iodide (PI). Metabolic activity was determined using fluorescein diacetate (FDA) and FUN-1. Calcofluor white (CW) served as the cell visualization control. Viability/vitality percentage of treated samples were calculated for each dye from confocal images and compared to crystal violet and PrestoBlue results. Heterogeneity in fluorescence intensity and permeability issues were observed with S9, TO, and FDA in planktonic cells and biofilms. This variability, influenced by cell morphology, resulted in dye-dependent viability/vitality percentages. Notably, PI and FUN-1 exhibited robust C. parapsilosis staining, with FUN-1 vitality results comparable to PrestoBlue. Our finding emphasizes the importance of evaluating dye permeability in yeast species beforehand, incorporating cell visualization controls. An improper dye selection may lead to misinterpreting treatment efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biofilms, 2nd Edition)
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20 pages, 5480 KiB  
Article
FgGmtB Plays an Important Role in Growth, Reproduction, Virulence and Deoxynivalenol Biosynthesis of Fusarium graminearum
by Chenming Zhao, Xiaoyue Yang, Wenqiang Jiang, Guifen Zhang and Dongfang Ma
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030208 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 933
Abstract
GDP-mannose transporters (GMTs) have been implicated in the virulence of some important pathogenic fungi, and guanosine diphosphate (GDP) mannose transporters transport GDP-mannose from the cytosol to the Golgi lumen prior to mannosylation, where mannose attaches to the modified protein. GMTs could be potential [...] Read more.
GDP-mannose transporters (GMTs) have been implicated in the virulence of some important pathogenic fungi, and guanosine diphosphate (GDP) mannose transporters transport GDP-mannose from the cytosol to the Golgi lumen prior to mannosylation, where mannose attaches to the modified protein. GMTs could be potential targets for new antifungal drugs, as disruption of any step in GDP-mannose biosynthesis can affect fungal viability, growth, or virulence. To date, the GDP-mannose transporter has been extensively studied in yeast, but its biological function in fungi, particularly F. graminearum, is still unclear. In this experimental study, the role of the GDP-mannose transporter in F. graminearum was investigated by analysing the VRG4 gene. FgGmtA and FgGmtB were blastp-derived from their Scvrg4 protein sequences and proved to be their functional homologues. The mutant and complementary strains of FgGmtA, FgGmtB and FgGmtA&B genes were generated and used to evaluate the effect of the two GMTs genes on mycelial growth, asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, cell wall sensitivity, glyphosate synthesis and drug susceptibility. Only in the FgGmtB and FgGmtA&B mutants was the rate of mycelial growth slowed, conidium production increased, sexual reproduction impaired, cell wall sensitivity increased, glycemic content decreased, and drug sensitivity reduced. The results of the pathogenicity assessment of GMTs showed that only FgGmtB affects the patogenicity of F. graminearum. At the same time, the effect of GMTs on the ability of rhinoceros to synthesise DON toxins was investigated and the results showed that the ability of ΔFgGmtB and ΔFgGmtA&B mutants to produce the DON toxin was significantly reduced, and the expression of toxin-related genes was also reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Virulence of Plant Pathogenic Fungi)
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22 pages, 1346 KiB  
Review
Just around the Corner: Advances in the Optimization of Yeasts and Filamentous Fungi for Lactic Acid Production
by Nadielle Tamires Moreira Melo, Ana Caroline de Oliveira Junqueira, Letícia Ferreira Lima, Kamila Botelho Sampaio de Oliveira, Micaela Cristiane Gomes dos Reis, Octávio Luiz Franco and Hugo Costa Paes
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030207 - 09 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Lactic acid (LA) production has seen significant progress over the past ten years. LA has seen increased economic importance due to its broadening use in different sectors such as the food, medicine, polymer, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. LA production bioprocesses using microorganisms are [...] Read more.
Lactic acid (LA) production has seen significant progress over the past ten years. LA has seen increased economic importance due to its broadening use in different sectors such as the food, medicine, polymer, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. LA production bioprocesses using microorganisms are economically viable compared to chemical synthesis and can benefit from metabolic engineering for improved productivity, purity, and yield. Strategies to optimize LA productivity in microorganisms on the strain improvement end include modifying metabolic routes, adding gene coding for lactate transporters, inducing tolerance to organic acids, and choosing cheaper carbon sources as fuel. Many of the recent advances in this regard have involved the metabolic engineering of yeasts and filamentous fungi to produce LA due to their versatility in fuel choice and tolerance of industrial-scale culture conditions such as pH and temperature. This review aims to compile and discuss metabolic engineering innovations in LA production in yeasts and filamentous fungi over the 2013–2023 period, and present future directions of research in this area, thus bringing researchers in the field up to date with recent advances. Full article
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17 pages, 3559 KiB  
Article
Myco–Phycobiont Interactions within the “Ramalina farinacea Group”: A Geographical Survey over Europe and Macaronesia
by Patricia Moya, Salvador Chiva, Tamara Pazos, Eva Barreno, Pedro Carrasco, Lucia Muggia and Isaac Garrido-Benavent
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030206 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 890
Abstract
Ramalina farinacea is a widely distributed epiphytic lichen from the Macaronesian archipelagos to Mediterranean and Boreal Europe. Previous studies have indicated a specific association between R. farinacea and Trebouxia microalgae species. Here, we examined the symbiotic interactions in this lichen and its closest [...] Read more.
Ramalina farinacea is a widely distributed epiphytic lichen from the Macaronesian archipelagos to Mediterranean and Boreal Europe. Previous studies have indicated a specific association between R. farinacea and Trebouxia microalgae species. Here, we examined the symbiotic interactions in this lichen and its closest allies (the so-called “R. farinacea group”) across ten biogeographic subregions, spanning diverse macroclimates, analyzing the climatic niche of the primary phycobionts, and discussing the specificity of these associations across the studied area. The most common phycobionts in the “R. farinacea group” were T. jamesii and T. lynnae, which showed a preference for continentality and insularity, respectively. The Canarian endemic R. alisiosae associated exclusively with T. lynnae, while the other Ramalina mycobionts interacted with both microalgae. The two phycobionts exhibited extensive niche overlap in an area encompassing Mediterranean, temperate Europe, and Macaronesian localities. However, T. jamesii occurred in more diverse climate types, whereas T. lynnae preferred warmer and more humid climates, often close to the sea, which could be related to its tolerance to salinity. With the geographical perspective gained in this study, it was possible to show how the association with different phycobionts may shape the ecological adaptation of lichen symbioses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichen Forming Fungi—in Honour of Prof. Ana Rosa Burgaz)
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22 pages, 13875 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic and Taxonomic Analyses of Five New Wood-Inhabiting Fungi of Botryobasidium, Coltricia and Coltriciella (Basidiomycota) from China
by Qian Zhou, Qianquan Jiang, Xin Yang, Jiawei Yang, Changlin Zhao and Jian Zhao
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030205 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 858
Abstract
In this present study, five new wood-inhabiting fungal taxa, Botryobasidium gossypirubiginosum, Botryobasidium incanum, Botryobasidium yunnanense, Coltricia zixishanensis, and Coltriciella yunnanensis are proposed. Botryobasidium gossypirubiginosum is distinguished by its slightly rubiginous hymenial surface, monomitic hyphal system, which branches at right angles, and [...] Read more.
In this present study, five new wood-inhabiting fungal taxa, Botryobasidium gossypirubiginosum, Botryobasidium incanum, Botryobasidium yunnanense, Coltricia zixishanensis, and Coltriciella yunnanensis are proposed. Botryobasidium gossypirubiginosum is distinguished by its slightly rubiginous hymenial surface, monomitic hyphal system, which branches at right angles, and subglobose, smooth basidiospores (14–17.5 × 13–15.5 µm); B. incanum is characterized by its white to incanus basidiomata having a hypochnoid hymenial surface, and ellipsoid, smooth basidiospores (6.5–8.5 × 3.5–5 µm); B. yunnanense is characterized by its buff to slightly yellowish hymenial surface, monomitic hyphal system, and broadly ellipsoid to globose, smooth, thick-walled basidiospores (11.5–14.5 × 9.5–10.5 µm); Coltricia zixishanensis differs in its rust brown pileal surface, and ellipsoid, thick-walled basidiospores (5–6.5 × 4–4.5 µm). Coltriciella yunnanensis is distinguished by its tiny pilei, short stipe, and navicular, verrucose basidiospores (10.5–12.5 × 6–7 µm). Sequences of ITS and nLSU genes were used for phylogenetic analyses using the maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian inference methods. The phylogenetic results inferred from ITS sequences revealed that B. gossypirubiginosum was closely related to B. robustius; the species B. incanum was grouped with B. vagum; B. yunnanense was related to B. indicum. The species C. zixishanensis was grouped with C. confluens and C. perennis. ITS sequences revealed that C. zixishanensis was grouped into the genus Coltriciella, in which it was grouped with Co. globosa and Co. pseudodependens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution of Forestry Fungi, 2nd Edition)
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11 pages, 2631 KiB  
Article
Description and Pathogenicity of Colletotrichum kapreanum sp. nov, a Cherelle Wilt Pathogen Belonging to the Gigasporum Species Complex
by Yoshiki Takata, Celynne Ocampo-Padilla, Mike Andre C. Malonzo, Dan Charlie Joy Camara Pangilinan, Shunsuke Nozawa and Kyoko Watanabe
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030204 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 717
Abstract
Similar to cacao pod rot, cherelle wilt decreases production from cacao fields. Among all known fungal pathogens of the cacao, Colletotrichum spp. are common infectious agents that affect the cherelles and pods of cacao; thus, cacao diseases are often classified by stage. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Similar to cacao pod rot, cherelle wilt decreases production from cacao fields. Among all known fungal pathogens of the cacao, Colletotrichum spp. are common infectious agents that affect the cherelles and pods of cacao; thus, cacao diseases are often classified by stage. Therefore, knowing whether these pathogens are common in both fruit stages is necessary for implementing disease control measures. Symptoms of cherelle wilt were found in cacao plants in Pangasinan, Philippines, in 2022. The fungal strain obtained from the lesion was found to be pathogenic towards cherelles, but not towards pods. The strain was classified as an unknown species belonging to the gigasporum species complex, based on the morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses of ITS, GAPDH, CHS1, ACT, and TUB2. We propose Colletotrichum kapreanum sp. nov. as a causal agent of cacao cherelle wilt, but not pod rot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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