Filamentous Fungal Pathogens

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 38821

Special Issue Editor

School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Interests: fungal taxonomy and phylogeny; ecology and plant pathology; mycology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is on filamentous fungi and their role as pathogens. Fungi are extremely important components of disease and will be detailed in this SI. The Issue will include fungi causing disease to plants, insects, and humans. The first paper in the Issue will be a review paper dealing with the importance of using molecular data to identify pathogens, as well as whether Koch’s postulates are important. All other papers will match the first paper, with each paper dealing with specific topics or species so that they are well-cited. For example, paper 2 with deal with the infection of insects by fungi, paper 3 will deal with several new records of fungi from peritoneal dialysis patients, and paper 4 with deal with Colletotrichum species. The theme of using molecular data as being important to identify species will be prevalent in each paper. 

Dr. Kevin D. Hyde
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4435 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Capacity Differentiates Plenodomus lingam from P. biglobosus Subclade ‘brassicae’, the Causal Agents of Phoma Leaf Spotting and Stem Canker of Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus) in Agricultural Ecosystems
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010050 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
In contrast to the long-lasting taxonomic classification of Plenodomus lingam and P. biglobosus as one species, formerly termed Leptosphaeria maculans, both species form separate monophyletic groups, comprising sub-classes, differing considerably with epidemiology towards Brassicaceae plants. Considering the great differences between P. lingam [...] Read more.
In contrast to the long-lasting taxonomic classification of Plenodomus lingam and P. biglobosus as one species, formerly termed Leptosphaeria maculans, both species form separate monophyletic groups, comprising sub-classes, differing considerably with epidemiology towards Brassicaceae plants. Considering the great differences between P. lingam and P. biglobosus, we hypothesized their metabolic capacities vary to a great extent. The experiment was done using the FF microplates (Biolog Inc., Hayward, CA, USA) containing 95 carbon sources and tetrazolium dye. The fungi P. lingam and P. biglobosus subclade ‘brassicae’ (3 isolates per group) were cultured on PDA medium for 6 weeks at 20 °C and then fungal spores were used as inoculum of microplates. The test was carried out in triplicate. We have demonstrated that substrate richness, calculated as the number of utilized substrates (measured at λ490 nm), and the number of substrates allowing effective growth of the isolates (λ750 nm), showed significant differences among tested species. The most efficient isolate of P. lingam utilized 36 carbon sources, whereas P. biglobosus utilized 60 substrates. Among them, 25–29 carbon sources for P. lingam and 34–48 substrates for P. biglobosus were efficiently used, allowing their growth. Cluster analysis based on Senath criteria divided P. biglobosus into two groups and P. lingam isolates formed one group (33% similarity). We deduce the similarities between the tested species help them coexist on the same host plant and the differences greatly contribute to their different lifestyles, with P. biglobosus being less specialized and P. lingam coevolving more strictly with the host plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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16 pages, 3367 KiB  
Article
Campylocarpon fasciculare (Nectriaceae, Sordariomycetes); Novel Emergence of Black-Foot Causing Pathogen on Young Grapevines in China
Pathogens 2021, 10(12), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10121555 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
The black-foot disease of grapevine is one of the most destructive diseases in viticulture and it is caused by a complex of soil-borne fungi. This study aimed to identify the species associated with black-foot disease in young grapevines in vineyards of China. Fungal [...] Read more.
The black-foot disease of grapevine is one of the most destructive diseases in viticulture and it is caused by a complex of soil-borne fungi. This study aimed to identify the species associated with black-foot disease in young grapevines in vineyards of China. Fungal isolates were identified as Campylocarpon fasciculare, based on both morphological and multi-locus phylogenetic analysis of ITS, tef1–α and ß-tubulin sequence data. For the first time in China, we report Campylocarpon fasciculare associated with symptomatic young grapevines. Koch’s postulates were performed on Vitis vinifera cv. Summer Black (SB) in a greenhouse and to confirm the pathogenicity on grapevines. This work improves the knowledge of black-foot disease in Chinese vineyards and will be helpful to growers in their decisions regarding vinicultural practices, planting and disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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15 pages, 2623 KiB  
Article
“Shining a LAMP” (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) on the Molecular Detection of Phytopathogens Phytophthora spp. and Phytophthora cactorum in Strawberry Fields
Pathogens 2021, 10(11), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10111453 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
Phytopathogenic microorganisms belonging to the genus Phytophthora have been recognized many times as causal agents of diseases that lower the yield of many plants important for agriculture. Meanwhile, Phytophthora cactorum causes crown rot and leather rot of berry fruits, mainly strawberries. However, widely-applied [...] Read more.
Phytopathogenic microorganisms belonging to the genus Phytophthora have been recognized many times as causal agents of diseases that lower the yield of many plants important for agriculture. Meanwhile, Phytophthora cactorum causes crown rot and leather rot of berry fruits, mainly strawberries. However, widely-applied culture-based methods used for the detection of pathogens are time-consuming and often inaccurate. What is more, molecular techniques require costly equipment. Here we show a rapid and effective detection method for the aforementioned targets, deploying a simple molecular biology technique, Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP). We optimized assays to amplify the translation elongation factor 1-α (EF1a) gene for two targets: Phytophthora spp. And Phytophthora cactorum. We optimized the LAMP on pure strains of the pathogens, isolated from organic plantations of strawberry, and successfully validated the assay on biological material from the environment including soil samples, rhizosphere, shoots and roots of strawberry, and with SYBR Green. Our results demonstrate that a simple and reliable molecular detection method, that requires only a thermoblock and simple DNA isolation kit, can be successfully applied to detect pathogens that are difficult to separate from the field. We anticipate our findings to be a starting point for developing easier and faster modifications of the isothermal detection methods and which can be applied directly in the plantation, in particular with the use of freeze-dried reagents and chemistry, allowing observation of the results with the naked eye. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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11 pages, 1805 KiB  
Communication
Fusarium elaeidis Causes Stem and Root Rot on Alocasia longiloba in South China
Pathogens 2021, 10(11), 1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10111395 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3193
Abstract
Alocasia longiloba is a popular ornamental plant in China, however pests and diseases associated with A. longiloba reduce the ornamental value of this plant. From 2016 to 2021, stem and root rot has been observed on A. longiloba in Guangdong Province, China. Once [...] Read more.
Alocasia longiloba is a popular ornamental plant in China, however pests and diseases associated with A. longiloba reduce the ornamental value of this plant. From 2016 to 2021, stem and root rot has been observed on A. longiloba in Guangdong Province, China. Once the disease became severe, plants wilted and died. A fungus was isolated from the diseased stem and identified as Fusarium elaeidis using both morphological characteristics and molecular analysis of DNA-directed RNA polymerase II subunit (rpb2), translation elongation factor-1α (tef1) gene and β-tubulin (tub2) sequence data. The pathogenicity test showed the fungus was able to produce typical symptoms on A. longiloba similar to those observed in the field. The original pathogen was reisolated from inoculated plants fulfilling Koch’s postulates. This is the first report of Fusarium elaeidis causing stem rot on A. longiloba. These results will provide a baseline to identify and control diseases associated with A. longiloba. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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9 pages, 1259 KiB  
Article
Differentiation of Aspergillus flavus from Aspergillus oryzae Targeting the cyp51A Gene
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101279 - 04 Oct 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2548
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus is one of the most important agents of invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including Iran. Aspergillus oryzae is closely related to A. flavus, and it is known for its economic importance in [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus is one of the most important agents of invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including Iran. Aspergillus oryzae is closely related to A. flavus, and it is known for its economic importance in traditional fermentation industries. Reports of infection due to A. oryzae are scarce. Several studies reported that differentiating these two species in clinical laboratories is not possible using MALDI-TOF or by targeting fungal barcode genes, such as Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and β-tubulin (benA). The species-level identification of causative agents and the determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns can play significant roles in the outcome of aspergillosis. Here, we aimed to investigate the discriminatory potential of cyp51A PCR-sequencing versus that of the ITS, benA and calmodulin (CaM) genes for the differentiation of A. flavus from A. oryzae. In a prospective study investigating the molecular epidemiology of A. flavus in Iran between 2008 and 2018, out of 200 clinical isolates of A. flavus, 10 isolates showed >99% similarity to both A. flavus and A. oryzae. Overall, the ITS, β-tubulin and CaM genes did not fulfil the criteria for differentiating these 10 isolates. However, the cyp51A gene showed promising results, which warrants further studies using a larger set of isolates from more diverse epidemiological regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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13 pages, 3802 KiB  
Article
Stagonosporopsis pogostemonis: A Novel Ascomycete Fungus Causing Leaf Spot and Stem Blight on Pogostemon cablin (Lamiaceae) in South China
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091093 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3130
Abstract
Pogostemon cablin is one of the well-known Southern Chinese medicinal plants with detoxification, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and other pharmacological functions. Identification and characterization of phytopathogens on P. cablin are of great significance for the prevention and control of diseases. From spring to summer of [...] Read more.
Pogostemon cablin is one of the well-known Southern Chinese medicinal plants with detoxification, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and other pharmacological functions. Identification and characterization of phytopathogens on P. cablin are of great significance for the prevention and control of diseases. From spring to summer of 2019 and 2020, a leaf spot disease on Pogostemon cablin was observed in Guangdong Province, South China. The pathogen was isolated and identified based on both morphological and DNA molecular approaches. The molecular identification was conducted using multi-gene sequence analysis of large subunit (LSU), the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), beta-tubulin (β-tubulin), and RNA polymerase II (rpb2) genes. The causal organism was identified as Stagonosporopsis pogostemonis, a novel fungal species. Pathogenicity of Stagonosporopsis pogostemonis on P. cablin was fulfilled via confining the Koch’s postulates, causing leaf spots and stem blight disease. This is the first report of leaf spot diseases on P. cablin caused by Stagonosporopsis species worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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Review

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17 pages, 687 KiB  
Review
Comprehensive Review of Fungi on Coffee
Pathogens 2022, 11(4), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11040411 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4254
Abstract
Coffee is grown in more than 80 countries as a cash crop and consumed worldwide as a beverage and food additive. It is susceptible to fungal infection during growth, processing and storage. Fungal infections, in particular, can seriously affect the quality of coffee [...] Read more.
Coffee is grown in more than 80 countries as a cash crop and consumed worldwide as a beverage and food additive. It is susceptible to fungal infection during growth, processing and storage. Fungal infections, in particular, can seriously affect the quality of coffee and threaten human health. The data for this comprehensive review were collected from the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) website and published papers. This review lists the fungal species reported on coffee based on taxonomy, life mode, host, affected plant part and region. Five major fungal diseases and mycotoxin-producing species (post-harvest diseases of coffee) are also discussed. Furthermore, we address why coffee yield and quality are affected by fungi and propose methods to control fungal infections to increase coffee yield and improve quality. Endophytic fungi and their potential as biological control agents of coffee disease are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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22 pages, 906 KiB  
Review
Nanomaterial-Based Antifungal Therapies to Combat Fungal Diseases Aspergillosis, Coccidioidomycosis, Mucormycosis, and Candidiasis
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101303 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3757
Abstract
Over the last years, invasive infections caused by filamentous fungi have constituted a serious threat to public health worldwide. Aspergillus, Coccidioides, Mucorales (the most common filamentous fungi), and Candida auris (non-filamentous fungus) can cause infections in humans. They are able to [...] Read more.
Over the last years, invasive infections caused by filamentous fungi have constituted a serious threat to public health worldwide. Aspergillus, Coccidioides, Mucorales (the most common filamentous fungi), and Candida auris (non-filamentous fungus) can cause infections in humans. They are able to cause critical life-threatening illnesses in immunosuppressed individuals, patients with HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, hematological diseases, transplantation, and chemotherapy. In this review, we describe the available nanoformulations (both metallic and polymers-based nanoparticles) developed to increase efficacy and reduce the number of adverse effects after the administration of conventional antifungals. To treat aspergillosis and infections caused by Candida, multiple strategies have been used to develop new therapeutic alternatives, such as incorporating coating materials, complexes synthesized by green chemistry, or coupled with polymers. However, the therapeutic options for coccidioidomycosis and mucormycosis are limited; most of them are in the early stages of development. Therefore, more research needs to be performed to develop new therapeutic alternatives that contribute to the progress of this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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18 pages, 393 KiB  
Review
Importance of Molecular Data to Identify Fungal Plant Pathogens and Guidelines for Pathogenicity Testing Based on Koch’s Postulates
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091096 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 7272
Abstract
Fungi are an essential component of any ecosystem, but they can also cause mild and severe plant diseases. Plant diseases are caused by a wide array of fungal groups that affect a diverse range of hosts with different tissue specificities. Fungi were previously [...] Read more.
Fungi are an essential component of any ecosystem, but they can also cause mild and severe plant diseases. Plant diseases are caused by a wide array of fungal groups that affect a diverse range of hosts with different tissue specificities. Fungi were previously named based only on morphology and, in many cases, host association, which has led to superfluous species names and synonyms. Morphology-based identification represents an important method for genus level identification and molecular data are important to accurately identify species. Accurate identification of fungal pathogens is vital as the scientific name links the knowledge concerning a species including the biology, host range, distribution, and potential risk of the pathogen, which are vital for effective control measures. Thus, in the modern era, a polyphasic approach is recommended when identifying fungal pathogens. It is also important to determine if the organism is capable of causing host damage, which usually relies on the application of Koch’s postulates for fungal plant pathogens. The importance and the challenges of applying Koch’s postulates are discussed. Bradford Hill criteria, which are generally used in establishing the cause of human disease, are briefly introduced. We provide guidelines for pathogenicity testing based on the implementation of modified Koch’s postulates incorporating biological gradient, consistency, and plausibility criteria from Bradford Hill. We provide a set of protocols for fungal pathogenicity testing along with a severity score guide, which takes into consideration the depth of lesions. The application of a standard protocol for fungal pathogenicity testing and disease assessment in plants will enable inter-studies comparison, thus improving accuracy. When introducing novel plant pathogenic fungal species without proving the taxon is the causal agent using Koch’s postulates, we advise the use of the term associated with thedisease symptomsofthe host plant”. Where possible, details of disease symptoms should be clearly articulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
23 pages, 2501 KiB  
Review
Diversity and Function of Appressoria
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060746 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4231
Abstract
Endophytic, saprobic, and pathogenic fungi have evolved elaborate strategies to obtain nutrients from plants. Among the diverse plant-fungi interactions, the most crucial event is the attachment and penetration of the plant surface. Appressoria, specialized infection structures, have been evolved to facilitate this purpose. [...] Read more.
Endophytic, saprobic, and pathogenic fungi have evolved elaborate strategies to obtain nutrients from plants. Among the diverse plant-fungi interactions, the most crucial event is the attachment and penetration of the plant surface. Appressoria, specialized infection structures, have been evolved to facilitate this purpose. In this review, we describe the diversity of these appressoria and classify them into two main groups: single-celled appressoria (proto-appressoria, hyaline appressoria, melanized (dark) appressoria) and compound appressoria. The ultrastructure of appressoria, their initiation, their formation, and their function in fungi are discussed. We reviewed the molecular mechanisms regulating the formation and function of appressoria, their strategies to evade host defenses, and the related genomics and transcriptomics. The current review provides a foundation for comprehensive studies regarding their evolution and diversity in different fungal groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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Other

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15 pages, 5561 KiB  
Case Report
First Report of a Case of Ocular Infection Caused by Purpureocillium lilacinum in Poland
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10081046 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2311
Abstract
This report describes the first case of an ocular infection induced by Purpureocillium lilacinum in Poland. The patient was a 51-year-old immunocompetent contact lens user who suffered from subacute keratitis and progressive granulomatous uveitis. He underwent penetrating keratoplasty for corneal perforation, followed by [...] Read more.
This report describes the first case of an ocular infection induced by Purpureocillium lilacinum in Poland. The patient was a 51-year-old immunocompetent contact lens user who suffered from subacute keratitis and progressive granulomatous uveitis. He underwent penetrating keratoplasty for corneal perforation, followed by cataract surgery due to rapid uveitic cataract. A few weeks later, intraocular lens removal and pars plana vitrectomy were necessary due to endophthalmitis. The patient was treated with topical, systemic, and intravitreal voriconazole with improvement; however, the visual outcome was poor. The pathogen was identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filamentous Fungal Pathogens)
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