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J. Fungi, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 81 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the course of a project on culturable Ascomycota diversity from freshwater sediments, 63 strains belonging to the order Onygenales were isolated. These well-known ascomycetes, able to infect both humans and animals, are commonly found in terrestrial habitats, colonizing keratin-rich soils or dung. However, little is known about their diversity in aquatic environments. Combining morphological and sequence analyses of the ITS and LSU regions of the nrDNA, 14 known onygenalean species were identified, and several novel taxa, including the new family Neoarthropsidaceae, were delineated. Our findings indicate that freshwater sediments may serve as a reservoir for intriguing Onygenales, which warrant further investigation to address gaps in their phylogenetic relationships. View this paper
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38 pages, 1563 KiB  
Review
Main Factors Determining the Scale-Up Effectiveness of Mycoremediation for the Decontamination of Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Soil
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121205 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Soil contamination constitutes a significant threat to the health of soil ecosystems in terms of complexity, toxicity, and recalcitrance. Among all contaminants, aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons (APH) are of particular concern due to their abundance and persistence in the environment and the need of [...] Read more.
Soil contamination constitutes a significant threat to the health of soil ecosystems in terms of complexity, toxicity, and recalcitrance. Among all contaminants, aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons (APH) are of particular concern due to their abundance and persistence in the environment and the need of remediation technologies to ensure their removal in an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable way. Soil remediation technologies presently available on the market to tackle soil contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons (PH) include landfilling, physical treatments (e.g., thermal desorption), chemical treatments (e.g., oxidation), and conventional bioremediation. The first two solutions are costly and energy-intensive approaches. Conversely, bioremediation of on-site excavated soil arranged in biopiles is a more sustainable procedure. Biopiles are engineered heaps able to stimulate microbial activity and enhance biodegradation, thus ensuring the removal of organic pollutants. This soil remediation technology is currently the most environmentally friendly solution available on the market, as it is less energy-intensive and has no detrimental impact on biological soil functions. However, its major limitation is its low removal efficiency, especially for long-chain hydrocarbons (LCH), compared to thermal desorption. Nevertheless, the use of fungi for remediation of environmental contaminants retains the benefits of bioremediation treatments, including low economic, social, and environmental costs, while attaining removal efficiencies similar to thermal desorption. Mycoremediation is a widely studied technology at lab scale, but there are few experiences at pilot scale. Several factors may reduce the overall efficiency of on-site mycoremediation biopiles (mycopiles), and the efficiency detected in the bench scale. These factors include the bioavailability of hydrocarbons, the selection of fungal species and bulking agents and their application rate, the interaction between the inoculated fungi and the indigenous microbiota, soil properties and nutrients, and other environmental factors (e.g., humidity, oxygen, and temperature). The identification of these factors at an early stage of biotreatability experiments would allow the application of this on-site technology to be refined and fine-tuned. This review brings together all mycoremediation work applied to aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons (APH) and identifies the key factors in making mycoremediation effective. It also includes technological advances that reduce the effect of these factors, such as the structure of mycopiles, the application of surfactants, and the control of environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi Activity on Remediation of Polluted Environments)
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21 pages, 7970 KiB  
Article
Mushrooms Adapted to Seawater: Two New Species of Candolleomyces (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) from China
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121204 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 3017
Abstract
Marine fungi have been studied for a long history in many realms, but there are few reports on marine mushrooms. In this study, marine fungi with conspicuous subglobose sequestrate basidioma were discovered from mangrove forests in South China. They grow on the deadwood [...] Read more.
Marine fungi have been studied for a long history in many realms, but there are few reports on marine mushrooms. In this study, marine fungi with conspicuous subglobose sequestrate basidioma were discovered from mangrove forests in South China. They grow on the deadwood of mangroves in the intertidal zone, periodically submerging into seawater due to the tide. Some marine animals were observed to nest in their basidiomata or consume them as food. The pileus-gleba-inner veil complex (PGI) of the basidioma was observed to be detached from the stipe and transferred into seawater by external forces, and drifting on sea to spread spores after maturity. The detachment mechanism of their PGIs was revealed through detailed microscopic observations. The contrast culturing experiment using freshwater and seawater potato dextrose agar media showed they have probably obligately adapted to the marine environment. Based on morphological and molecular phylogenetic evidence, two new species of Candolleomyces (Basidiomycota, Agaricales), namely C. brunneovagabundus and C. albovagabundus, were described. They are similar and close to each other, but can be distinguished by the size and color of the basidioma, and the size of the basidiospores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Marine Fungi)
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17 pages, 23776 KiB  
Article
Functional Study of cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase A in Penicillium oxalicum
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121203 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Signaling pathways play a crucial role in regulating cellulase production. The pathway mediated by signaling proteins plays a crucial role in understanding how cellulase expression is regulated. In this study, using affinity purification of ClrB, we have identified sixteen proteins that potentially interact [...] Read more.
Signaling pathways play a crucial role in regulating cellulase production. The pathway mediated by signaling proteins plays a crucial role in understanding how cellulase expression is regulated. In this study, using affinity purification of ClrB, we have identified sixteen proteins that potentially interact with ClrB. One of the proteins, the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PoPKA-C), is an important component of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway. Knocking out PoPKA-C resulted in significant decreases in the growth, glucose utilization, and cellulose hydrolysis ability of the mutant strain. Furthermore, the cellulase activity and gene transcription levels were significantly reduced in the ΔPoPKA-C mutant, while the expression activity of CreA, a transcriptional regulator of carbon metabolism repression, was notably increased. Additionally, deletion of PoPKA-C also led to earlier timing of conidia production. The expression levels of key transcription factor genes stuA and brlA, which are involved in the production of the conidia, showed significant enhancement in the ΔPoPKA-C mutant. These findings highlight the involvement of PoPKA-C in mycelial development, conidiation, and the regulation of cellulase expression. The functional analysis of PoPKA-C provides insights into the mechanism of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway in cellulase expression in filamentous fungi and has significant implications for the development of high-yielding cellulase strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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16 pages, 5350 KiB  
Article
Structure of the Mating-Type Genes and Mating Systems of Verpa bohemica and Verpa conica (Ascomycota, Pezizomycotina)
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121202 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Verpa spp. are potentially important economic fungi within Morchellaceae. However, fundamental research on their mating systems, the key aspects of their life cycle, remains scarce. Fungal sexual reproduction is chiefly governed by mating-type genes, where the configuration of these genes plays a pivotal [...] Read more.
Verpa spp. are potentially important economic fungi within Morchellaceae. However, fundamental research on their mating systems, the key aspects of their life cycle, remains scarce. Fungal sexual reproduction is chiefly governed by mating-type genes, where the configuration of these genes plays a pivotal role in facilitating the reproductive process. For this study, de novo assembly methodologies based on genomic data from Verpa spp. were employed to extract precise information on the mating-type genes, which were then precisely identified in silico and by amplifying their single-ascospore populations using MAT-specific primers. The results suggest that the MAT loci of the three tested strains of V. bohemica encompassed both the MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 genes, implying homothallism. On the other hand, amongst the three V. conica isolates, only the MAT1-1-1 or MAT1-2-1 genes were present in their MAT loci, suggesting that V. conica is heterothallic. Moreover, bioinformatic analysis reveals that the three tested V. bohemica strains and one V. conica No. 21110 strain include a MAT1-1-10 gene in their MAT loci, while the other two V. conica strains contained MAT1-1-11, exhibiting high amino acid identities with those from corresponding Morchella species. In addition, MEME analysis shows that a total of 17 conserved protein motifs are present among the MAT1-1-10 encoded protein, while the MAT1-1-11 protein contained 10. Finally, the mating type genes were successfully amplified in corresponding single-ascospore populations of V. bohemica and V. conica, further confirming their life-cycle type. This is the first report on the mating-type genes and mating systems of Verpa spp., and the presented results are expected to benefit further exploitation of these potentially important economic fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible and Medicinal Macrofungi, 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 1232 KiB  
Article
Antifungal Activity of Chitosan against Histoplasma capsulatum in Planktonic and Biofilm Forms: A Therapeutic Strategy in the Future?
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121201 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, a dimorphic fungus, with high mortality and morbidity rates, especially in immunocompromised patients. Considering the small existing therapeutic arsenal, new treatment approaches are still required. Chitosan, a linear polysaccharide obtained from partial chitin [...] Read more.
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, a dimorphic fungus, with high mortality and morbidity rates, especially in immunocompromised patients. Considering the small existing therapeutic arsenal, new treatment approaches are still required. Chitosan, a linear polysaccharide obtained from partial chitin deacetylation, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and non-toxicity properties. Chitosan with different deacetylation degrees and molecular weights has been explored as a potential agent against fungal pathogens. In this study, the chitosan antifungal activity against H. capsulatum was evaluated using the broth microdilution assay, obtaining minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) ranging from 32 to 128 µg/mL in the filamentous phase and 8 to 64 µg/mL in the yeast phase. Chitosan combined with classical antifungal drugs showed a synergic effect, reducing chitosan’s MICs by 32 times, demonstrating that there were no antagonistic interactions relating to any of the strains tested. A synergism between chitosan and amphotericin B or itraconazole was detected in the yeast-like form for all strains tested. For H. capsulatum biofilms, chitosan reduced biomass and metabolic activity by about 40% at 512 µg/mL. In conclusion, studying chitosan as a therapeutic strategy against Histoplasma capsulatum is promising, mainly considering its numerous possible applications, including its combination with other compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Strategies to Combat Human Fungal Infections)
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20 pages, 1719 KiB  
Article
Nutraceutical Potential of Lentinula edodes’ Spent Mushroom Substrate: A Comprehensive Study on Phenolic Composition, Antioxidant Activity, and Antibacterial Effects
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121200 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1338
Abstract
Lentinula edodes, commonly known as shiitake mushroom, is renowned for its potential health advantages. This research delves into the often-overlooked by-product of shiitake cultivation, namely spent mushroom substrate (SMS), to explore its nutraceutical properties. The SMS samples were collected and subjected to [...] Read more.
Lentinula edodes, commonly known as shiitake mushroom, is renowned for its potential health advantages. This research delves into the often-overlooked by-product of shiitake cultivation, namely spent mushroom substrate (SMS), to explore its nutraceutical properties. The SMS samples were collected and subjected to different extraction methods, namely short or long agitation, and ultrasound-assisted extractions using different temperatures and distilled water or a 50% (v/v) ethanol as solvents. The extracts were tested for phenolic content (total phenols, ortho-diphenols, and flavonoids), antioxidant capacity (DPPH, 2,2-diphenyl-1 picrylhydrazyl; ABTS, 2,2’-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid; and FRAP, ferric reducing antioxidant power), and antibacterial activity. The different extraction methods revealed substantial variations (p < 0.05) in phenolic composition and antioxidant capacity. The highest phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were achieved using 24 h extraction, agitation, 50 °C, and ethanol as the solvent. Furthermore, the extracted compounds displayed antibacterial activity in specific tested bacterial strains. This study highlights the nutraceutical potential of L. edodes’ SMS, positioning it as a valuable dietary supplement for animal nutrition, with emphasis on its prebiotic properties. Hence, this research unveils the promising health benefits of SMS in both human and animal nutrition. Full article
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20 pages, 3624 KiB  
Article
Transcriptional Reprogramming of Candida tropicalis in Response to Isoespintanol Treatment
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121199 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Candida tropicalis, an opportunistic pathogen, ranks among the primary culprits of invasive candidiasis, a condition notorious for its resistance to conventional antifungal drugs. The urgency to combat these drug-resistant infections has spurred the quest for novel therapeutic compounds, with a particular focus [...] Read more.
Candida tropicalis, an opportunistic pathogen, ranks among the primary culprits of invasive candidiasis, a condition notorious for its resistance to conventional antifungal drugs. The urgency to combat these drug-resistant infections has spurred the quest for novel therapeutic compounds, with a particular focus on those of natural origin. In this study, we set out to evaluate the impact of isoespintanol (ISO), a monoterpene derived from Oxandra xylopioides, on the transcriptome of C. tropicalis. Leveraging transcriptomics, our research aimed to unravel the intricate transcriptional changes induced by ISO within this pathogen. Our differential gene expression analysis unveiled 186 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to ISO, with a striking 85% of these genes experiencing upregulation. These findings shed light on the multifaceted nature of ISO’s influence on C. tropicalis, spanning a spectrum of physiological, structural, and metabolic adaptations. The upregulated DEGs predominantly pertained to crucial processes, including ergosterol biosynthesis, protein folding, response to DNA damage, cell wall integrity, mitochondrial activity modulation, and cellular responses to organic compounds. Simultaneously, 27 genes were observed to be repressed, affecting functions such as cytoplasmic translation, DNA damage checkpoints, membrane proteins, and metabolic pathways like trans-methylation, trans-sulfuration, and trans-propylamine. These results underscore the complexity of ISO’s antifungal mechanism, suggesting that it targets multiple vital pathways within C. tropicalis. Such complexity potentially reduces the likelihood of the pathogen developing rapid resistance to ISO, making it an attractive candidate for further exploration as a therapeutic agent. In conclusion, our study provides a comprehensive overview of the transcriptional responses of C. tropicalis to ISO exposure. The identified molecular targets and pathways offer promising avenues for future research and the development of innovative antifungal therapies to combat infections caused by this pathogenic yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis in Human Fungal Pathogens)
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16 pages, 12425 KiB  
Article
SAGA Complex Subunit Hfi1 Is Important in the Stress Response and Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121198 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 930
Abstract
The Spt-Ada-Gcn Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a highly conserved co-activator found across eukaryotes. It is composed of a number of modules which can vary between species, but all contain the core module. Hfi1 (known as TADA1 in Homo sapiens) is one of [...] Read more.
The Spt-Ada-Gcn Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a highly conserved co-activator found across eukaryotes. It is composed of a number of modules which can vary between species, but all contain the core module. Hfi1 (known as TADA1 in Homo sapiens) is one of the proteins that forms the core module, and has been shown to play an important role in maintaining complex structural integrity in both brewer’s yeast and humans. In this study we successfully identified the gene encoding this protein in the important fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, and named it HFI1. The hfi1Δ mutant is highly pleiotropic in vitro, influencing phenotypes, ranging from temperature sensitivity and melanin production to caffeine resistance and titan cell morphogenesis. In the absence of Hfi1, the transcription of several other SAGA genes is impacted, as is the acetylation and deubiquination of several histone residues. Importantly, loss of the gene significantly impacts virulence in a murine inhalation model of cryptococcosis. In summary, we have established that Hfi1 modulates multiple pathways that directly affect virulence and survival in C. neoformans, and provided deeper insight into the importance of the non-enzymatic components of the SAGA complex. Full article
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15 pages, 6932 KiB  
Article
Dual RNA-Seq Reveals Temperature-Mediated Gene Reprogramming and Molecular Crosstalk between Grapevine and Lasiodiplodia theobromae
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121197 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 815
Abstract
High temperatures associated with a fluctuating climate profoundly accelerate the occurrence of a myriad of plant diseases around the world. A comprehensive insight into how plants respond to pathogenic microorganisms under high-temperature stress is required for plant disease management, whereas the underlying mechanisms [...] Read more.
High temperatures associated with a fluctuating climate profoundly accelerate the occurrence of a myriad of plant diseases around the world. A comprehensive insight into how plants respond to pathogenic microorganisms under high-temperature stress is required for plant disease management, whereas the underlying mechanisms behind temperature-mediated plant immunity and pathogen pathogenicity are still unclear. Here, we evaluated the effect of high temperature on the development of grapevine canker disease and quantified the contribution of temperature variation to the gene transcription reprogramming of grapevine and its pathogenic agent Lasiodiplodia theobromae using a dual RNA-seq approach. The results showed that both grapevine and the pathogen displayed altered transcriptomes under different temperatures, and even the transcription of a plethora of genes from the two organisms responded in different directions and magnitudes. The transcription variability that arose due to temperature oscillation allowed us to identify a total of 26 grapevine gene modules and 17 fungal gene modules that were correlated with more than one gene module of the partner organism, which revealed an extensive web of plant–pathogen gene reprogramming during infection. More importantly, we identified a set of temperature-responsive genes that were transcriptionally orchestrated within the given gene modules. These genes are predicted to be involved in multiple cellular processes including protein folding, stress response regulation, and carbohydrate and peptide metabolisms in grapevine and porphyrin- and pteridine-containing compound metabolisms in L. theobromae, implying that in response to temperature oscillation, a complex web of signaling pathways in two organism cells is activated during infection. This study describes a co-transcription network of grapevine and L. theobromae in the context of considering temperature variation, which provides novel insights into deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying temperature-modulated disease development. Full article
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31 pages, 4546 KiB  
Article
The Conservation and Study of Macromycetes in the Komarov Botanical Institute Basidiomycetes Culture Collection—Their Taxonomical Diversity and Biotechnological Prospects
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121196 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
Culture collections (CCs) play an important role in the ex situ conservation of biological material and maintaining species and strains, which can be used for scientific and practical purposes. The Komarov Botanical Institute Basidiomycetes Culture Collection (LE-BIN) preserves a large number of original [...] Read more.
Culture collections (CCs) play an important role in the ex situ conservation of biological material and maintaining species and strains, which can be used for scientific and practical purposes. The Komarov Botanical Institute Basidiomycetes Culture Collection (LE-BIN) preserves a large number of original dikaryon strains of various taxonomical and ecological groups of fungi from different geographical regions. Started in the late 1950s for the investigation of Basidiomycetes’ biological activity, today, in Russia, it has become a unique specialized macromycetes collection, preserving 3680 strains from 776 species of fungi. The Collection’s development is aimed at ex situ conservation of fungal diversity, with an emphasis on preserving rare and endangered species, ectomycorrhizal fungi, and strains useful for biotechnology and medicine. The main methods applied in the collection for maintaining and working with cultures are described, and the results are presented. Some problems for the isolation and cultivation of species are discussed. The taxonomical structure and variety of the strains in the collection fund are analyzed, and they show that the taxonomical diversity of fungi in the LE-BIN is commensurable with the largest CCs in the world. The achievements from the ex situ conservation of the diversity of macromycetes and the main results from the screening and investigation of the collection’s strains demonstrate that a number of strains can be prospective producers of enzymes (oxidoreductases and proteases), lipids, and biologically active compounds (terpenoids, phthalides, etc.) for biotechnology and medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromycetes: Diversity and Biotechnological Potential)
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18 pages, 2182 KiB  
Article
Generation, Transfer, and Loss of Alternative Oxidase Paralogues in the Aspergillaceae Family
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121195 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Alternative oxidase (Aox) is a terminal oxidase operating in branched electron transport. The activity correlates positively with overflow metabolisms in certain Aspergilli, converting intracellular glucose by the shortest possible path into organic acids, like citrate or itaconate. Aox is nearly ubiquitous in [...] Read more.
Alternative oxidase (Aox) is a terminal oxidase operating in branched electron transport. The activity correlates positively with overflow metabolisms in certain Aspergilli, converting intracellular glucose by the shortest possible path into organic acids, like citrate or itaconate. Aox is nearly ubiquitous in fungi, but aox gene multiplicity is rare. Nevertheless, within the family of the Aspergillaceae and among its various species of industrial relevance—Aspergillus niger, A. oryzae, A. terreus, Penicillium rubens—paralogous aox genes coexist. Paralogous genes generally arise from duplication and are inherited vertically. Here, we provide evidence of four independent duplication events along the lineage that resulted in aox paralogues (aoxB) in contemporary Aspergillus and Penicillium taxa. In some species, three aox genes are co-expressed. The origin of the A. niger paralogue is different than that of the A. terreus paralogue, but all paralogous clades ultimately arise from ubiquitous aoxA parent genes. We found different patterns of uncorrelated gene losses reflected in the Aspergillus pedigree, albeit the original aoxA orthologues persist everywhere and are never replaced. The loss of acquired paralogues co-determines the contemporary aox gene content of individual species. In Aspergillus calidoustus, the two more ancient paralogues have, in effect, been replaced by two aoxB genes of distinct origins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Filamentous and Dimorphic Fungi Research)
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19 pages, 8844 KiB  
Article
The Identification and Role of the Key Mycotoxin of Pestalotiopsis kenyana Causing Leaf Spot Disease of Zanthoxylum schinifolium
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121194 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Leaf spot is a common disease of Zanthoxylum schinifolium (Z. schinifolium), which can seriously harm the plant’s ability to grow, flower, and fruit. Therefore, it is important to identify the mechanism of leaf spot caused by Pestalotiopsis kenyana (P. kenyana [...] Read more.
Leaf spot is a common disease of Zanthoxylum schinifolium (Z. schinifolium), which can seriously harm the plant’s ability to grow, flower, and fruit. Therefore, it is important to identify the mechanism of leaf spot caused by Pestalotiopsis kenyana (P. kenyana) for thorough comprehension and disease control. In this study, to verify whether the mycotoxins produced by P. kenyana cause leaf spot disease, the best medium for P. kenyana, namely PDB, was used. The mycotoxins were determined by ammonium sulfate precipitation as non-protein substances. The crude mycotoxin of P. kenyana was prepared, and the optimal eluent was eluted with petroleum either/ethyle acetate (3:1, v/v) and purified by silica gel column chromatography and preparative high-performance liquid chromatography to obtain the pure mycotoxins PK-1, PK-2, and PK-3. The PK-3 had the highest toxicity to Z. schinifolium, which may be the primary mycotoxin, according to the biological activity test using the spray method. The physiological and biochemical indexes of Z. schinifolium plants treated with PK-3 mycotoxin were determined. Within 35 days after mycotoxin treatment, the results showed that the protein content and malondialdehyde content of leaves increased over time. The soluble sugar and chlorophyll content decreased over time. The superoxide dismutase activity and catalase activity of the leaves increased first and then decreased, and the above changes were the same as those of Z. schinifolium inoculated with the spore suspension of the pathogen. Therefore, it is believed that the mycotoxin pestalopyrone could be a virulence factor that helps P. kenyana induce the infection of Z. schinifolium. In this study, the pathogenic mechanism of Z. schinifolium leaf spot was discussed, offering a theoretical foundation for improved disease prevention and control. Full article
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16 pages, 2883 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic and Proteomic Insights into the Effect of Sterigmatocystin on Aspergillus flavus
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121193 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus is an important fungus that produces aflatoxins, among which aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most toxic and contaminates food and poses a high risk to human health. AFB1 interacts with another mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (STC), which is also [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus is an important fungus that produces aflatoxins, among which aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most toxic and contaminates food and poses a high risk to human health. AFB1 interacts with another mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (STC), which is also a precursor of AFB1. Herein, we determined the effect of STC on AFB1 by evaluating A. flavus transcriptomic and proteomic profiles in the presence or absence of STC by RNA-seq and isobaric tagging, respectively. Overall, 3377 differentially expressed genes were identified by RNA-seq. These genes were mainly associated with the cellular component organisation and biosynthesis, the synthesis of valine, leucine, and isoleucine, and the synthesis of aflatoxin. Clustered genes responsible for AFB1 biosynthesis exhibited varying degrees of downregulation, and norB expression was completely suppressed in the experimental group. During proteomic analysis, 331 genes were differentially expressed in response to STC. These differentially expressed proteins were associated with cell parts and catalytic and antioxidant activities. Differentially expressed proteins predominantly participated in metabolic pathways associated with aflatoxin biosynthesis, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, glutathione metabolism, and carbon metabolism. Notably, the upregulated and downregulated enzymes in carbohydrate and glutathione metabolisms may serve as potential gateways for inhibiting aflatoxin biosynthesis. Moreover, twelve proteins including seven downregulated ones involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis were identified; among them, AflG was the most downregulated, suggesting that it may be the key enzyme responsible for inhibiting aflatoxin synthesis. These findings provide novel insights into A. flavus control and the mechanisms regulating mycotoxin production. Full article
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14 pages, 4357 KiB  
Article
Clinical Implementation of β-Tubulin Gene-Based Aspergillus Polymerase Chain Reaction for Enhanced Aspergillus Diagnosis in Patients with Hematologic Diseases: A Prospective Observational Study
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121192 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 977
Abstract
The β-tubulin (benA) gene is a promising target for the identification of Aspergillus species. Assessment of the clinical implementation and performance of benA gene-based Aspergillus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remains warranted. In this study, we assessed the analytical performance of the [...] Read more.
The β-tubulin (benA) gene is a promising target for the identification of Aspergillus species. Assessment of the clinical implementation and performance of benA gene-based Aspergillus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remains warranted. In this study, we assessed the analytical performance of the BenA probe PCR in comparison with the Aspergenius kit. We prospectively collected bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid via diagnostic bronchoscopy from adult patients with hematologic diseases. BenA gene-based multiplex real-time PCR and sequential melting temperature analysis were performed to detect the azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus. In total, 76 BAL fluids in 75 patients suspicious of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) were collected. Before the application of PCR, the prevalence of proven and probable IPA was 32.9%. However, after implementing the benA gene-based PCR, 15.8% (12 out of 76) of potential IPA cases were reclassified as probable IPA. The analytical performance of the BenA probe PCR in BAL samples was comparable to that of the Aspergenius kit. The diagnostic performance was as follows: sensitivity, 52.0%; specificity, 64.7%; positive predictive value, 41.9%; negative predictive value, 73.3%; positive likelihood ratio, 1.473; and negative likelihood ratio, 0.741. Moreover, benA gene-based Aspergillus PCR discriminated all major sections of Aspergillus, including cryptic species such as Aspergillus tubingensis. Sequential melting temperature analysis successfully detected 2 isolates (15.4%) of A. fumigatus carrying resistant mutations. BenA gene-based Aspergillus PCR with melting temperature analysis enhances diagnostic accuracy and detects not only cryptic species but also resistant mutations of A. fumigatus. It shows promise for clinical applications in the diagnosis of IPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Diseases)
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16 pages, 3793 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Advantages of Culturable Endophytic Fungi from Tea (Camellia sinensis)
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121191 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Sordariomycetes, Dothideomycetes, and Eurotioycetes are three classes of endophytes that colocalize with tea (Camellia sinensis). Overall, the diversity indexes in this study indicated a greater abundance of fungal endophytes in roots and stems. Taking the production system into account, [...] Read more.
Sordariomycetes, Dothideomycetes, and Eurotioycetes are three classes of endophytes that colocalize with tea (Camellia sinensis). Overall, the diversity indexes in this study indicated a greater abundance of fungal endophytes in roots and stems. Taking the production system into account, conventional tea plantations exhibit lower diversity compared to organic tea plantations. Notably, the influence of agrochemicals had the largest impact on the fungal endophyte communities within roots and young leaves. Despite the limited fungal diversity in conventional plantations, three fungal endophytes were isolated from tea in this culture system: Diaporthe sp., YI-005; Diaporthe sp., SI-007; and Eurotium sp., RI-008. These isolated endophytes exhibited high antagonistic activity (93.00–97.00% inhibition of hypha growth) against Stagonosporopsis cucurbitacearum, the causal agent of gummy stem blight disease. On the other hand, endophytic fungi isolated from tea in an organic system—Pleosporales sp., SO-006 and Pleosporales sp., RO-013—established the ability to produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA; 0.65 ± 0.06 µg/mL) and assist the solubilizing phosphorus (5.17 ± 1.03 µg/mL) from the soil, respectively. This suggested that the level of diversity, whether at the tissue level or within the farming system, did not directly correlate with the discovery of beneficial fungi. More importantly, these beneficial fungi showed the potential to develop into biological agents to control the devastating diseases in the cucurbit family and the potential for use as biofertilizers with a wide range of applications in plants. Therefore, it can be concluded that there are no restrictions limiting the use of fungal endophytes solely to the plant host from which they were originally isolated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Plant Pathogens)
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18 pages, 3242 KiB  
Article
Can the Seed Trade Provide a Potential Pathway for the Global Distribution of Foliar Pathogens? An Investigation into the Use of Heat Treatments to Reduce Risk of Dothistroma septosporum Transmission via Seed Stock
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121190 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 829
Abstract
The international plant trade results in the accidental movement of invasive pests and pathogens, and has contributed significantly to recent range expansion of pathogens including Dothistroma septosporum. Seeds are usually thought to present a lower biosecurity risk than plants, but the importation of [...] Read more.
The international plant trade results in the accidental movement of invasive pests and pathogens, and has contributed significantly to recent range expansion of pathogens including Dothistroma septosporum. Seeds are usually thought to present a lower biosecurity risk than plants, but the importation of Pinus contorta seeds from North America to Britain in the mid-1900s, and similarities between British and Canadian D. septosporum populations suggests seeds could be a pathway. Dothistroma septosporum has not been isolated from seeds, but inadequately cleaned seed material could contain infected needle fragments. This case study investigated whether cone kilning, and wet and dry heat treatments could reduce D. septosporum transmission without damaging seed viability. Pinus needles infected with D. septosporum were incubated alongside cones undergoing three commercial seed extraction processes. Additional needles were exposed to temperatures ranging from 10 to 67 °C dry heat for up to 48 h, or incubated in water heated to between 20 and 60 °C for up to one hour. Pinus sylvestris seeds were exposed to 60 and 65 dry heat °C for 48 h, and further seed samples incubated in water heated to between 20 and 60 °C for up to one hour. Dothistroma septosporum survived the three kilning processes and while seeds were not damaged by dry heat exceeding 63.5 °C, at this temperature no D. septosporum survived. Wet heat treatments resulted in less than 10% pathogen survival following incubation at 40 °C, while at this temperature the seeds suffered no significant impacts, even when submerged for one hour. Thus, commercial seed kilning could allow D. septosporum transmission, but elevated wet and dry heat treatments could be applied to seed stock to minimise pathogen risk without significantly damaging seed viability. Full article
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2 pages, 1064 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Silva-Filho et al. Eoscyphella luciurceolata gen. and sp. nov. (Agaricomycetes) Shed Light on Cyphellopsidaceae with a New Lineage of Bioluminescent Fungi. J. Fungi 2023, 9, 1004
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121189 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 584
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Fungal Bioluminescence)
22 pages, 2038 KiB  
Review
In Vitro Susceptibility Tests in the Context of Antifungal Resistance: Beyond Minimum Inhibitory Concentration in Candida spp.
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121188 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance is a matter of rising concern, especially in fungal diseases. Multiple reports all over the world are highlighting a worrisome increase in azole- and echinocandin-resistance among fungal pathogens, especially in Candida species, as reported in the recently published fungal pathogens priority [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance is a matter of rising concern, especially in fungal diseases. Multiple reports all over the world are highlighting a worrisome increase in azole- and echinocandin-resistance among fungal pathogens, especially in Candida species, as reported in the recently published fungal pathogens priority list made by WHO. Despite continuous efforts and advances in infection control, development of new antifungal molecules, and research on molecular mechanisms of antifungal resistance made by the scientific community, trends in invasive fungal diseases and associated antifungal resistance are on the rise, hindering therapeutic options and clinical cures. In this context, in vitro susceptibility testing aimed at evaluating minimum inhibitory concentrations, is still a milestone in the management of fungal diseases. However, such testing is not the only type at a microbiologist’s disposal. There are other adjunctive in vitro tests aimed at evaluating fungicidal activity of antifungal molecules and also exploring tolerance to antifungals. This plethora of in vitro tests are still left behind and performed only for research purposes, but their role in the context of invasive fungal diseases associated with antifungal resistance might add resourceful information to the clinical management of patients. The aim of this review was therefore to revise and explore all other in vitro tests that could be potentially implemented in current clinical practice in resistant and difficult-to-treat cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antifungal Drugs)
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20 pages, 2443 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Molecular Underpinnings of Cancer-Causing Oncohistone Mutants Using Yeast as a Model
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121187 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Understanding the molecular basis of cancer initiation and progression is critical in developing effective treatment strategies. Recently, mutations in genes encoding histone proteins that drive oncogenesis have been identified, converting these essential proteins into “oncohistones”. Understanding how oncohistone mutants, which are commonly single [...] Read more.
Understanding the molecular basis of cancer initiation and progression is critical in developing effective treatment strategies. Recently, mutations in genes encoding histone proteins that drive oncogenesis have been identified, converting these essential proteins into “oncohistones”. Understanding how oncohistone mutants, which are commonly single missense mutations, subvert the normal function of histones to drive oncogenesis requires defining the functional consequences of such changes. Histones genes are present in multiple copies in the human genome with 15 genes encoding histone H3 isoforms, the histone for which the majority of oncohistone variants have been analyzed thus far. With so many wildtype histone proteins being expressed simultaneously within the oncohistone, it can be difficult to decipher the precise mechanistic consequences of the mutant protein. In contrast to humans, budding and fission yeast contain only two or three histone H3 genes, respectively. Furthermore, yeast histones share ~90% sequence identity with human H3 protein. Its genetic simplicity and evolutionary conservation make yeast an excellent model for characterizing oncohistones. The power of genetic approaches can also be exploited in yeast models to define cellular signaling pathways that could serve as actionable therapeutic targets. In this review, we focus on the value of yeast models to serve as a discovery tool that can provide mechanistic insights and inform subsequent translational studies in humans. Full article
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18 pages, 1844 KiB  
Article
Comparative Diversity and Functional Traits of Fungal Endophytes in Response to Elevated Mineral Content in a Mangrove Ecosystem
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121186 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
This study investigates the impact of water quality, specifically elevated phosphate and zinc content, on the diversity and functional properties of mangrove fungal endophytes in two distinct mangrove forests. Mangrove plant performance is directly related to the presence of fungal leaf endophytes as [...] Read more.
This study investigates the impact of water quality, specifically elevated phosphate and zinc content, on the diversity and functional properties of mangrove fungal endophytes in two distinct mangrove forests. Mangrove plant performance is directly related to the presence of fungal leaf endophytes as these fungi could enhance plant health, resilience, and adaptability under stressed environmental conditions. Two distinct mangrove forest sites, one non-disturbed (ND) and one disturbed by aquaculture practices (D), were assessed for differences in water quality parameters. We further analyzed the fungal endophyte diversity associated with the leaves of a target host mangrove, Rhizophora mucronata Lamk., with the aim to elucidate whether fungal diversity and functional traits are linked to disturbances brought about by aquaculture practices and to characterize functional traits of selected fungal isolates with respect to phosphate (PO4) and zinc (Zn) solubilization. Contrary to expectations, the disturbed site exhibited a higher fungal diversity, challenging assumptions about the relationship between contamination and fungal community dynamics. Water quality, as determined by nutrient and mineral levels, emerged as a crucial factor in shaping both microbial community compositions in the phyllosphere of mangroves. From both sites, we isolated 188 fungal endophytes, with the ND site hosting a higher number of isolates and a greater colonization rate. While taxonomic diversity marginally differed (ND: 28 species, D: 29 species), the Shannon (H’ = 3.19) and FAI (FA = 20.86) indices revealed a statistically significant increase in species diversity for fungal endophytes in the disturbed mangrove site as compared to the non-disturbed area (H’ = 3.10, FAI = 13.08). Our chosen mangrove fungal endophytes exhibited remarkable phosphate solubilization capabilities even at elevated concentrations, particularly those derived from the disturbed site. Despite their proficiency in solubilizing zinc across a wide range of concentrations, a significant impact on their mycelial growth was noted, underscoring a crucial aspect of their functional dynamics. Our findings revealed a nuanced trade-off between mycelial growth and enzymatic production in fungal endophytes from ostensibly less contaminated sites, highlighting the relationship between nutrient availability and microbial activities. These insights provide a foundation for understanding the impact of anthropogenic pressures, specifically nutrient pollution, on mangrove-associated fungal endophytes. Full article
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12 pages, 3521 KiB  
Article
Gene Family Expansion during the Adaptation of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides to Woody Plants
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121185 - 11 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
Gene gains/losses during evolution are critical for the adaptation of organisms to new environments or hosts. However, it remains unknown whether gene family expansions facilitated the adaptation of phytopathogenic fungi to woody plants. In this study, we compared the newly sequenced genome of [...] Read more.
Gene gains/losses during evolution are critical for the adaptation of organisms to new environments or hosts. However, it remains unknown whether gene family expansions facilitated the adaptation of phytopathogenic fungi to woody plants. In this study, we compared the newly sequenced genome of the Colletotrichum gloeosporioides strain CFCC80308 with the genomes of two other C. gloeosporioides strains, Cg-14 and Lc-1, isolated from Persea americana and Liriodendron leaves, respectively. The genes in the expanded families, which were associated with plant surface signal recognition, encoded various proteins, including glycosyde hydrolases (GHs) and cytochrome P450. Interestingly, there was a substantial increase in the number of GH family genes in CFCC80308. Specifically, there were 368 enriched genes in the GH families (e.g., GH1, GH3, GH10, GH12, GH15, GH16, GH17, GH18, GH25, GH32, GH53, GH61, GH76, and GH81); the expression levels of these genes were highly up-regulated during the infection of poplar trees. Additionally, the GH17 family was larger in CFCC80308 than in C. gloeosporioides strains Cg-14 and Lc-1. Furthermore, the expansion of the MP65-encoding gene family during the adaptation of Colletotrichum species to woody plants was consistent with the importance of gene gains/losses for the adaptation of organisms to their environments. This study has clarified how C. gloeosporioides adapted to woody plants during evolution. Full article
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11 pages, 723 KiB  
Review
Manipulation of Auxin Signaling by Smut Fungi during Plant Colonization
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121184 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 879
Abstract
A common feature of many plant-colonizing organisms is the exploitation of plant signaling and developmental pathways to successfully establish and proliferate in their hosts. Auxins are central plant growth hormones, and their signaling is heavily interlinked with plant development and immunity responses. Smuts, [...] Read more.
A common feature of many plant-colonizing organisms is the exploitation of plant signaling and developmental pathways to successfully establish and proliferate in their hosts. Auxins are central plant growth hormones, and their signaling is heavily interlinked with plant development and immunity responses. Smuts, as one of the largest groups in basidiomycetes, are biotrophic specialists that successfully manipulate their host plants and cause fascinating phenotypes in so far largely enigmatic ways. This review gives an overview of the growing understanding of how and why smut fungi target the central and conserved auxin growth signaling pathways in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Understanding of Smut Biology)
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18 pages, 10385 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Nuclear Dynamics in Nematode-Trapping Fungi Based on Fluorescent Protein Labeling
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121183 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Nematophagous fungi constitute a category of fungi that exhibit parasitic behavior by capturing, colonizing, and poisoning nematodes, which are critical factors in controlling nematode populations in nature, and provide important research materials for biological control. Arthrobotrys oligospora serves as a model strain among [...] Read more.
Nematophagous fungi constitute a category of fungi that exhibit parasitic behavior by capturing, colonizing, and poisoning nematodes, which are critical factors in controlling nematode populations in nature, and provide important research materials for biological control. Arthrobotrys oligospora serves as a model strain among nematophagous fungi, which begins its life as conidia, and then its hyphae produce traps to capture nematodes, completing its lifestyle switch from saprophytic to parasitic. There have been many descriptions of the morphological characteristics of A. oligospora lifestyle changes, but there have been no reports on the nuclear dynamics in this species. In this work, we constructed A. oligospora strains labeled with histone H2B–EGFP and observed the nuclear dynamics from conidia germination and hyphal extension to trap formation. We conducted real-time imaging observations on live cells of germinating and extending hyphae and found that the nucleus was located near the tip. It is interesting that the migration rate of this type of cell nucleus is very fast, and we speculate that this may be related to the morphological changes involved in the transformation to a predatory lifestyle. We suggest that alterations in nuclear shape and fixation imply the immediate disruption of the interaction with cytoskeletal mechanisms during nuclear migration. In conclusion, these findings suggest that the signal initiating nuclear migration into fungal traps is generated at the onset of nucleus entry into a trap cell. Our work provides a reference for analysis of the dynamics of nucleus distribution and a means to visualize protein localization and interactions in A. oligospora. Full article
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14 pages, 2053 KiB  
Article
Three New Species of Gongronella (Cunninghamellaceae, Mucorales) from Soil in Hainan, China Based on Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121182 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 821
Abstract
The genus Gongronella is important in agriculture and industry by secreting various natural bioactive metabolites such as chitosanases and organic acids. During the most recent 8 years, a total of 14 new species have been described, remarkably enriching the diversity of this genus. [...] Read more.
The genus Gongronella is important in agriculture and industry by secreting various natural bioactive metabolites such as chitosanases and organic acids. During the most recent 8 years, a total of 14 new species have been described, remarkably enriching the diversity of this genus. In this study, we added three more new species to this valuable genus, based on a combination of morphological traits and phylogenetic information. Six strains of the genus Gongronella were isolated from soil collected in Hainan Province, China. Phylogenetic analyses of ITS and LSU rDNA sequences grouped these strains into three independent clades. According to their unique morphological characteristics, they were classified as G. multiramosa sp. nov., G. qichaensis sp. nov. and G. oleae sp. nov. The G. multiramosa was characterized by multiple branched sporangiophores and was closely related to G. pedratalhadensis. The G. qichaensis was characterized by obscure collars and closely related to G. butleri, G. hydei and G. banzhaoae. The G. oleae was characterized by the presence of oil droplets in the sporangiospores and was closely related to G. chlamydospora and G. multispora. Their descriptions and illustrations were provided, and their differences from morphological allies and phylogenetic-related species are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Molecular Systematics)
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20 pages, 10767 KiB  
Article
Mec1-Rad53 Signaling Regulates DNA Damage-Induced Autophagy and Pathogenicity in Candida albicans
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121181 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
DNA damage activates the DNA damage response and autophagy in C. albicans; however, the relationship between the DNA damage response and DNA damage-induced autophagy in C. albicans remains unclear. Mec1-Rad53 signaling is a critical pathway in the DNA damage response, but its [...] Read more.
DNA damage activates the DNA damage response and autophagy in C. albicans; however, the relationship between the DNA damage response and DNA damage-induced autophagy in C. albicans remains unclear. Mec1-Rad53 signaling is a critical pathway in the DNA damage response, but its role in DNA damage-induced autophagy and pathogenicity in C. albicans remains to be further explored. In this study, we compared the function of autophagy-related (Atg) proteins in DNA damage-induced autophagy and traditional macroautophagy and explored the role of Mec1-Rad53 signaling in regulating DNA damage-induced autophagy and pathogenicity. We found that core Atg proteins are required for these two types of autophagy, while the function of Atg17 is slightly different. Our results showed that Mec1-Rad53 signaling specifically regulates DNA damage-induced autophagy but has no effect on macroautophagy. The recruitment of Atg1 and Atg13 to phagophore assembly sites (PAS) was significantly inhibited in the mec1Δ/Δ and rad53Δ/Δ strains. The formation of autophagic bodies was obviously affected in the mec1Δ/Δ and rad53Δ/Δ strains. We found that DNA damage does not induce mitophagy and ER autophagy. We also identified two regulators of DNA damage-induced autophagy, Psp2 and Dcp2, which regulate DNA damage-induced autophagy by affecting the protein levels of Atg1, Atg13, Mec1, and Rad53. The deletion of Mec1 or Rad53 significantly reduces the ability of C. albicans to systematically infect mice and colonize the kidneys, and it makes C. albicans more susceptible to being killed by macrophages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Yeast Metabolic Engineering)
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12 pages, 1984 KiB  
Article
Reference-Based Restriction-Site-Associated DNA Sequencing Data Are Useful for Species Delineation in a Recently Diverged Asexually Reproducing Species Complex (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota)
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121180 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 831
Abstract
Cryptic species are common in lichen-forming fungi and have been reported from different genera in the most speciose family, Parmeliaceae. Herein, we address species delimitation in a group of mainly asexually reproducing Parmelina species. The morphologically distinct P. pastillifera was previously found nested [...] Read more.
Cryptic species are common in lichen-forming fungi and have been reported from different genera in the most speciose family, Parmeliaceae. Herein, we address species delimitation in a group of mainly asexually reproducing Parmelina species. The morphologically distinct P. pastillifera was previously found nested within a morphologically circumscribed P. tiliacea based on several loci. However, these studies demonstrated a relatively high genetic diversity within P. tiliacea sensu lato. Here, we revisit the species delimitation in the group by analyzing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) through genome-wide assessment using Restriction-Site-Associated sequencing and population genomic methods. Our data support previous studies and provide further insight into the phylogenetic relationships of the four clades found within the complex. Based on the evidence suggesting a lack of gene flow among the clades, we recognize the four clades as distinct species, P. pastillifera and P. tiliacea sensu stricto, and two new species, P. clandestina sp. nov. and P. mediterranea sp. nov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichen Forming Fungi—in Honour of Prof. Ana Rosa Burgaz)
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24 pages, 3887 KiB  
Article
Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny Reveal Five New Species of Laccaria (Hydnangiaceae, Agaricales) from Southern China
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121179 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 960
Abstract
The genus Laccaria is a type of cosmopolitan and ecologically important fungal group. Members can form ectomycorrhizal associations with numerous trees, and some species are common edible fungi in local markets. Although some new species from China are recently published, the species diversity [...] Read more.
The genus Laccaria is a type of cosmopolitan and ecologically important fungal group. Members can form ectomycorrhizal associations with numerous trees, and some species are common edible fungi in local markets. Although some new species from China are recently published, the species diversity of Laccaria is still unclear in China. In this study, some samples of Laccaria were collected from southern China, and morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analyses based on the multilocus dataset of ITS-LSU-tef1-rpb2 confirmed five new species. Laccaria miniata, L. nanlingensis and L. neovinaceoavellanea were collected from subtropical broad-leaved forests, and L. rufobrunnea and L. umbilicata were collected from subtropical mixed forests of southwest China. Full descriptions, illustrations, comparisons with similar species and phylogenetic analysis are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity and Systematics in the Digital Era)
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11 pages, 13830 KiB  
Article
Characterization and In Vitro Fungicide Sensitivity of Two Fusarium spp. Associated with Stem Rot of Dragon Fruit in Guizhou, China
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121178 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 846
Abstract
Dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) constitutes an important economic industry in Guizhou Province, China, and the occurrence of stem rot has become increasingly severe. In this study, we aimed to determine the causative pathogens of stem rot in this region and analyze [...] Read more.
Dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) constitutes an important economic industry in Guizhou Province, China, and the occurrence of stem rot has become increasingly severe. In this study, we aimed to determine the causative pathogens of stem rot in this region and analyze their sensitivity to fungicides. Twenty-four fungal isolates were obtained from diseased tissues, from which H-4 and H-5 were confirmed as pathogens based on Koch’s postulates. Based on the morphological characteristics of macroconidia, microconidia, and colony morphology, the polygenic phylogenetic tree constructed using internal transcribed spacer, elongation factor 1-alpha, and retinol-binding protein-2 gene fragments, and carbon source metabolism analysis using FF microplates, the two pathogens were identified as F. oxysporum and a newly discovered pathogen, F. concentricum. In addition, the in vitro toxicity of eight fungicides against both pathogens was measured based on the mycelial growth rate. The results showed that trifloxystrobin 25%·tebuconazole 50% (75 WG) exhibited the strongest inhibitory effect against both isolates, with EC50 values of 0.13 µg/mL and 0.14 µg/mL, respectively. These findings hold significant potential for guiding the effective treatment of stem rot in dragon fruit in Guizhou, China. Full article
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16 pages, 733 KiB  
Review
Fungal Infections in the Caribbean: A Review of the Literature to Date
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121177 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
The most common fungal infections reported from the Caribbean include dermatophytosis, candidiasis, pneumocystis, aspergillosis, histoplasmosis, and cryptococcosis. The Caribbean is hyperendemic for histoplasmosis, with high population exposures. Fungal infections are a significant public health problem in the Caribbean, with rates varying depending on [...] Read more.
The most common fungal infections reported from the Caribbean include dermatophytosis, candidiasis, pneumocystis, aspergillosis, histoplasmosis, and cryptococcosis. The Caribbean is hyperendemic for histoplasmosis, with high population exposures. Fungal infections are a significant public health problem in the Caribbean, with rates varying depending on the specific country or region. In Trinidad and Tobago, the fungal burden accounts for 3.3% of the 1.4 million population, while in Jamaica, with a population of 2.9 million, over 57,600 people suffer from fungal infections each year. A study in the Dominican Republic estimated that approximately 221,027 (2%) of over 10 million people have a serious fungal infection. Fungal infections accounts for 21.9% of all skin infections in Haiti. The diagnosis of fungal infections in the Caribbean can be challenging, as access to laboratory testing and specialized medical services is limited in many areas. Access to antifungal medications can also be a challenge in some areas, and antifungal resistance has been reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections: New Challenges and Opportunities, 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 5228 KiB  
Article
Three New Species of Microdochium (Microdochiaceae, Xylariales) on Bambusaceae sp. and Saprophytic Leaves from Hainan and Yunnan, China
J. Fungi 2023, 9(12), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9121176 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Species of the genus Microdochium (Microdochiaceae, Xylariales) have been reported from the whole world and separated from multiple plant hosts. The primary aim of the present study is to describe and illustrate three new species isolated from the leaf spot [...] Read more.
Species of the genus Microdochium (Microdochiaceae, Xylariales) have been reported from the whole world and separated from multiple plant hosts. The primary aim of the present study is to describe and illustrate three new species isolated from the leaf spot of Bambusaceae sp. and saprophytic leaves in Hainan and Yunnan provinces, China. The proposed three species, viz., Microdochium bambusae, M. nannuoshanense and M. phyllosaprophyticum, are based on multi-locus phylogenies from a combined dataset of ITS rDNA, LSU, RPB2 and TUB2 in conjunction with morphological characteristics. Descriptions and illustrations of three new species in the genus are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Morphology)
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