Molecular Processes of Fungi

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 12203

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Radboud University Medical Center, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Interests: pathogenesis of Aspergillus; Aspergillus resistance; molecular aspects of resistance; molecular aspects of adaptaton; germination
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Fungi are widespread and may cause a wide spectrum of diseases in humans, with infections occurring by, for example, opportunistic pathogens such as Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans. Fungi can quickly adapt to new and challenging environments in nature, equipping them with intrinsic defenses to overcome cellular stress induced by external stimuli. Adaptation, in this sense, is described as overcoming environmental challenges by gaining beneficial mutations or adjusting cellular physiology. How quickly these adaptations arise and spread after natural selection, depends on forces that drive evolution itself, such as (a)sexual reproduction, ploidy changes, and genetic stability.

A lot of research has been published concerning the clinical aspects of fungal pathogensis, epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical outcome, clinical breakpoints against antifungals, etc. However, the molecular mechanisms of fungal development and growth, stress adaptation and resistance, fungal–host interactions and gene-functions, non-coding RNA functionality, and so on, is still an underexposed field. This Special Issue “Molecular Processes of Fungi” invites colleagues to contribute with original research or reviews to the Journal of Fungi.

Prof. Dr. Willem Melchers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • molecular basis of fungal development and growth
  • stress adaptation and resistance
  • fungal–host interactions and gene-functions
  • non-coding RNA functionality

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 3069 KiB  
Article
Proteomics of Two Thermotolerant Isolates of Trichoderma under High-Temperature Stress
by Sowmya Poosapati, Prasad Durga Ravulapalli, Dinesh Kumar Viswanathaswamy and Monica Kannan
J. Fungi 2021, 7(12), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7121002 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1991
Abstract
Several species of the soil borne fungus of the genus Trichoderma are known to be versatile, opportunistic plant symbionts and are the most successful biocontrol agents used in today’s agriculture. To be successful in field conditions, the fungus must endure varying climatic conditions. [...] Read more.
Several species of the soil borne fungus of the genus Trichoderma are known to be versatile, opportunistic plant symbionts and are the most successful biocontrol agents used in today’s agriculture. To be successful in field conditions, the fungus must endure varying climatic conditions. Studies have indicated that a high atmospheric temperature coupled with low humidity is a major factor in the inconsistent performance of Trichoderma under field conditions. Understanding the molecular modulations associated with Trichoderma that persist and deliver under abiotic stress conditions will aid in exploiting the value of these organisms for such uses. In this study, a comparative proteomic analysis, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF-TOF) mass spectrometry, was used to identify proteins associated with thermotolerance in two thermotolerant isolates of Trichoderma: T. longibrachiatum 673, TaDOR673 and T. asperellum 7316, TaDOR7316; with 32 differentially expressed proteins being identified. Sequence homology and conserved domains were used to identify these proteins and to assign a probable function to them. The thermotolerant isolate, TaDOR673, seemed to employ the stress signaling MAPK pathways and heat shock response pathways to combat the stress condition, whereas the moderately tolerant isolate, TaDOR7316, seemed to adapt to high-temperature conditions by reducing the accumulation of misfolded proteins through an unfolded protein response pathway and autophagy. In addition, there were unique, as well as common, proteins that were differentially expressed in the two isolates studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes of Fungi)
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16 pages, 2395 KiB  
Article
The Siderophore Transporters Sit1 and Sit2 Are Essential for Utilization of Ferrichrome-, Ferrioxamine- and Coprogen-Type Siderophores in Aspergillus fumigatus
by Mario Aguiar, Thomas Orasch, Matthias Misslinger, Anna-Maria Dietl, Fabio Gsaller and Hubertus Haas
J. Fungi 2021, 7(9), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090768 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3320
Abstract
Siderophore-mediated acquisition of iron has been shown to be indispensable for the virulence of several fungal pathogens, the siderophore transporter Sit1 was found to mediate uptake of the novel antifungal drug VL-2397, and siderophores were shown to be useful as biomarkers as well [...] Read more.
Siderophore-mediated acquisition of iron has been shown to be indispensable for the virulence of several fungal pathogens, the siderophore transporter Sit1 was found to mediate uptake of the novel antifungal drug VL-2397, and siderophores were shown to be useful as biomarkers as well as for imaging of fungal infections. However, siderophore uptake in filamentous fungi is poorly characterized. The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus possesses five putative siderophore transporters. Here, we demonstrate that the siderophore transporters Sit1 and Sit2 have overlapping, as well as unique, substrate specificities. With respect to ferrichrome-type siderophores, the utilization of ferrirhodin and ferrirubin depended exclusively on Sit2, use of ferrichrome A depended mainly on Sit1, and utilization of ferrichrome, ferricrocin, and ferrichrysin was mediated by both transporters. Moreover, both Sit1 and Sit2 mediated use of the coprogen-type siderophores coprogen and coprogen B, while only Sit1 transported the bacterial ferrioxamine-type xenosiderophores ferrioxamines B, G, and E. Neither Sit1 nor Sit2 were important for the utilization of the endogenous siderophores fusarinine C and triacetylfusarinine C. Furthermore, A. fumigatus was found to lack utilization of the xenosiderophores schizokinen, basidiochrome, rhizoferrin, ornibactin, rhodotorulic acid, and enterobactin. Taken together, this study characterized siderophore use by A. fumigatus and substrate characteristics of Sit1 and Sit2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes of Fungi)
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16 pages, 2618 KiB  
Article
Genomic Analyses of Penicillium Species Have Revealed Patulin and Citrinin Gene Clusters and Novel Loci Involved in Oxylipin Production
by Guohua Yin, Hui Zhao, Kayla K. Pennerman, Wayne M. Jurick II, Maojie Fu, Lijing Bu, Anping Guo and Joan W. Bennett
J. Fungi 2021, 7(9), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090743 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3220
Abstract
Blue mold of apple is caused by several different Penicillium species, among which P. expansum and P. solitum are the most frequently isolated. P. expansum is the most aggressive species, and P. solitum is very weak when infecting apple fruit during storage. In [...] Read more.
Blue mold of apple is caused by several different Penicillium species, among which P. expansum and P. solitum are the most frequently isolated. P. expansum is the most aggressive species, and P. solitum is very weak when infecting apple fruit during storage. In this study, we report complete genomic analyses of three different Penicillium species: P. expansum R21 and P. crustosum NJ1, isolated from stored apple fruit; and P. maximae 113, isolated in 2013 from a flooded home in New Jersey, USA, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Patulin and citrinin gene cluster analyses explained the lack of patulin production in NJ1 compared to R21 and lack of citrinin production in all three strains. A Drosophila bioassay demonstrated that volatiles emitted by P. solitum SA and P. polonicum RS1 were more toxic than those from P. expansum and P. crustosum strains (R27, R11, R21, G10, and R19). The toxicity was hypothesized to be related to production of eight-carbon oxylipins. Putative lipoxygenase genes were identified in P. expansum and P. maximae strains, but not in P. crustosum. Our data will provide a better understanding of Penicillium spp. complex secondary metabolic capabilities, especially concerning the genetic bases of mycotoxins and toxic VOCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes of Fungi)
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21 pages, 6063 KiB  
Article
Identifying Conserved Generic Aspergillus spp. Co-Expressed Gene Modules Associated with Germination Using Cross-Platform and Cross-Species Transcriptomics
by Tim J. H. Baltussen, Jordy P. M. Coolen, Paul E. Verweij, Jan Dijksterhuis and Willem J. G. Melchers
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040270 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
Aspergillus spp. is an opportunistic human pathogen that may cause a spectrum of pulmonary diseases. In order to establish infection, inhaled conidia must germinate, whereby they break dormancy, start to swell, and initiate a highly polarized growth process. To identify critical biological processes [...] Read more.
Aspergillus spp. is an opportunistic human pathogen that may cause a spectrum of pulmonary diseases. In order to establish infection, inhaled conidia must germinate, whereby they break dormancy, start to swell, and initiate a highly polarized growth process. To identify critical biological processes during germination, we performed a cross-platform, cross-species comparative analysis of germinating A. fumigatus and A. niger conidia using transcriptional data from published RNA-Seq and Affymetrix studies. A consensus co-expression network analysis identified four gene modules associated with stages of germination. These modules showed numerous shared biological processes between A. niger and A. fumigatus during conidial germination. Specifically, the turquoise module was enriched with secondary metabolism, the black module was highly enriched with protein synthesis, the darkgreen module was enriched with protein fate, and the blue module was highly enriched with polarized growth. More specifically, enriched functional categories identified in the blue module were vesicle formation, vesicular transport, tubulin dependent transport, actin-dependent transport, exocytosis, and endocytosis. Genes important for these biological processes showed similar expression patterns in A. fumigatus and A. niger, therefore, they could be potential antifungal targets. Through cross-platform, cross-species comparative analysis, we were able to identify biologically meaningful modules shared by A. fumigatus and A. niger, which underscores the potential of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes of Fungi)
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