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J. Fungi, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 66 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The apothecial fungus Ramomarthamyces octomerus sp. nov. is described from specimens collected in Mediterranean climate regions in southern Portugal, Spain (Canary Islands), and the Dalmatian region of Croatia. Presumably saprobic, R. octomerus occurs on intact, decorticated wood of Laurus novocanariensis and Olea europaea. Ascospores are cylindrical-ellipsoid and seven-septate. Surprisingly, in our four-locus phylogenetic analysis (nuSSU, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2, LSU, and mtSSU), this fungus clusters among species of Cyclaneusma, Marthamyces, Naemacyclus, and Ramomarthamyces in a core Marthamycetaceae clade that circumscribes primarily leaf-inhabiting, filiform-spored species. In addition, the asci of R. octomerus possess an amyloid pore, but the reaction varies between specimens collected in the Canary Islands and those collected in Portugal and Croatia. View this paper
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74 pages, 5908 KiB  
Review
Once upon a Time, There Was a Piece of Wood: Present Knowledge and Future Perspectives in Fungal Deterioration of Wooden Cultural Heritage in Terrestrial Ecosystems and Diagnostic Tools
by Daniela Isola, Hyun-Ju Lee, Yong-Jae Chung, Laura Zucconi and Claudia Pelosi
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 366; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050366 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Wooden Cultural Heritage (WCH) represents a significant portion of the world’s historical and artistic heritage, consisting of immovable and movable artefacts. Despite the expertise developed since ancient times to enhance its durability, wooden artefacts are inevitably prone to degradation. Fungi play a pivotal [...] Read more.
Wooden Cultural Heritage (WCH) represents a significant portion of the world’s historical and artistic heritage, consisting of immovable and movable artefacts. Despite the expertise developed since ancient times to enhance its durability, wooden artefacts are inevitably prone to degradation. Fungi play a pivotal role in the deterioration of WCH in terrestrial ecosystems, accelerating its decay and leading to alterations in color and strength. Reviewing the literature of the last 25 years, we aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of fungal diversity affecting WCH, the biochemical processes involved in wood decay, and the diagnostic tools available for fungal identification and damage evaluation. Climatic conditions influence the occurrence of fungal species in threatened WCH, characterized by a prevalence of wood-rot fungi (e.g., Serpula lacrymans, Coniophora puteana) in architectural heritage in temperate and continental climates and Ascomycota in indoor and harsh environments. More efforts are needed to address the knowledge fragmentation concerning biodiversity, the biology of the fungi involved, and succession in the degradative process, which is frequently centered solely on the main actors. Multidisciplinary collaboration among engineers, restorers, and life sciences scientists is vital for tackling the challenges posed by climate change with increased awareness. Traditional microbiology and culture collections are fundamental in laying solid foundations for a more comprehensive interpretation of big data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodeterioration)
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11 pages, 2989 KiB  
Article
The Discovery of Acremochlorins O-R from an Acremonium sp. through Integrated Genomic and Molecular Networking
by Ge Cui, Luning Zhou, Hanwei Liu, Xuan Qian, Pengfei Yang, Leisha Cui, Pianpian Wang, Dehai Li, Jaclyn M. Winter and Guangwei Wu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 365; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050365 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
The fermentation of a soil-derived fungus Acremonium sp. led to the isolation of thirteen ascochlorin congeners through integrated genomic and Global Natural Product Social (GNPS) molecular networking. Among the isolated compounds, we identified two unusual bicyclic types, acremochlorins O (1) and [...] Read more.
The fermentation of a soil-derived fungus Acremonium sp. led to the isolation of thirteen ascochlorin congeners through integrated genomic and Global Natural Product Social (GNPS) molecular networking. Among the isolated compounds, we identified two unusual bicyclic types, acremochlorins O (1) and P (2), as well as two linear types, acremochlorin Q (3) and R (4). Compounds 1 and 2 contain an unusual benzopyran moiety and are diastereoisomers of each other, the first reported for the ascochlorins. Additionally, we elucidated the structure of 5, a 4-chloro-5-methylbenzene-1,3-diol with a linear farnesyl side chain, and confirmed the presence of eight known ascochlorin analogs (613). The structures were determined by the detailed interpretation of 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy, MS, and ECD calculations. Compounds 3 and 9 showed potent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus, with MIC values ranging from 2 to 16 μg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism in Filamentous Fungi: 2nd Edition)
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15 pages, 3350 KiB  
Article
Development of a Combat-Relevant Murine Model of Wound Mucormycosis: A Platform for the Pre-Clinical Investigation of Novel Therapeutics for Wound-Invasive Fungal Diseases
by Rex J. R. Samdavid Thanapaul, Yonas A. Alamneh, Daniel K. Finnegan, Vlado Antonic, Rania Abu-Taleb, Christine Czintos, Dylan Boone, Wanwen Su, Venkatasivasai S. Sajja, Derese Getnet, Ashleigh Roberds, Thomas J. Walsh and Alexander G. Bobrov
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 364; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050364 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Wound-invasive fungal diseases (WIFDs), especially mucormycosis, have emerged as life-threatening infections during recent military combat operations. Many combat-relevant fungal pathogens are refractory to current antifungal therapy. Therefore, animal models of WIFDs are urgently needed to investigate new therapeutic solutions. Our study establishes combat-relevant [...] Read more.
Wound-invasive fungal diseases (WIFDs), especially mucormycosis, have emerged as life-threatening infections during recent military combat operations. Many combat-relevant fungal pathogens are refractory to current antifungal therapy. Therefore, animal models of WIFDs are urgently needed to investigate new therapeutic solutions. Our study establishes combat-relevant murine models of wound mucormycosis using Rhizopus arrhizus and Lichtheimia corymbifera, two Mucorales species that cause wound mucormycosis worldwide. These models recapitulate the characteristics of combat-related wounds from explosions, including blast overpressure exposure, full-thickness skin injury, fascial damage, and muscle crush. The independent inoculation of both pathogens caused sustained infections and enlarged wounds. Histopathological analysis confirmed the presence of necrosis and fungal hyphae in the wound bed and adjacent muscle tissue. Semi-quantification of fungal burden by colony-forming units corroborated the infection. Treatment with liposomal amphotericin B, 30 mg/kg, effectively controlled R. arrhizus growth and significantly reduced residual fungal burden in infected wounds (p < 0.001). This study establishes the first combat-relevant murine model of wound mucormycosis, paving the way for developing and evaluating novel antifungal therapies against combat-associated WIFDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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12 pages, 2583 KiB  
Article
Coniocybe Ach. Revisited
by Stella G. Temu, Sanja Tibell, Donatha D. Tibuhwa and Leif Tibell
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 363; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050363 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Calicioids form a research field that has encompassed ascomycetous fungi with stalked ascomata similar to those of the lichen genus Calicium. Early generic circumscriptions of calicioid lichens and fungi were mainly based on morphological and secondary chemistry information. After the introduction of [...] Read more.
Calicioids form a research field that has encompassed ascomycetous fungi with stalked ascomata similar to those of the lichen genus Calicium. Early generic circumscriptions of calicioid lichens and fungi were mainly based on morphological and secondary chemistry information. After the introduction of molecular data, taxonomy in the group has been reconsidered. Here, based on a broad geographical sampling, Coniocybe Ach. was revised using molecular and morphological features. Three loci (ITS, LSU and rpb1) were compared to infer its phylogenetic position, and a total of 52 new sequences (14 ITS, 24 LSU and 14 rpb1) were produced. Apart from its type C. furfuracea, Coniocybe was revised and emended to also include C. brachypoda and C. confusa. In addition, a new species, Coniocybe eufuracea, was described, and a key to the species of Coniocybe was provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Taxonomy and Ecology of Ascomycota)
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11 pages, 537 KiB  
Review
A Mini-Review of In Vitro Data for Candida Species, Including C. auris, Isolated during Clinical Trials of Three New Antifungals: Fosmanogepix, Ibrexafungerp, and Rezafungin
by Ana Espinel-Ingroff and Nathan P. Wiederhold
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 362; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050362 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This mini-review summarizes the clinical outcomes and antifungal susceptibility results, where available, for three new antifungals, including fosmanogepix, ibrexafungerp, and rezafungin, against Candida isolates cultured from patients in clinical trials. When reported, most of the data were generated by the Clinical and Laboratory [...] Read more.
This mini-review summarizes the clinical outcomes and antifungal susceptibility results, where available, for three new antifungals, including fosmanogepix, ibrexafungerp, and rezafungin, against Candida isolates cultured from patients in clinical trials. When reported, most of the data were generated by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) broth microdilution method or by both the CLSI and European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) methodologies. For fosmanogepix, we summarize the in vitro data for C. auris isolates from 9 patients and for Candida spp. cultured from 20 patients in two clinical trials. Ibrexafungerp has also been evaluated in several clinical trials. From conference proceedings, a total of 176 Candida isolates were evaluated in the FURI and CARES studies, including 18 C. auris isolates (CARES study). However, MIC data are not available for all clinical isolates. Results from the ReSTORE rezafungin phase 3 clinical study also included in vitro results against Candida spp., but no patients with C. auris infections were included. In conclusion, this mini-review summarizes insights regarding clinical outcomes and the in vitro activity of three new antifungals against Candida spp. cultured from patients in clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Invasive Candidiasis)
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20 pages, 72710 KiB  
Article
Influence of Zinc on Histoplasma capsulatum Planktonic and Biofilm Cells
by Ana Carolina Moreira da Silva Pires, Angélica Romão Carvalho, Carolina Orlando Vaso, Maria José Soares Mendes-Giannini, Junya de Lacorte Singulani and Ana Marisa Fusco-Almeida
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 361; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050361 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Histoplasma capsulatum causes a fungal respiratory disease. Some studies suggest that the fungus requires zinc to consolidate the infection. This study aimed to investigate the influence of zinc and the metal chelator TPEN on the growth of Histoplasma in planktonic and biofilm forms. [...] Read more.
Histoplasma capsulatum causes a fungal respiratory disease. Some studies suggest that the fungus requires zinc to consolidate the infection. This study aimed to investigate the influence of zinc and the metal chelator TPEN on the growth of Histoplasma in planktonic and biofilm forms. The results showed that zinc increased the metabolic activity, cell density, and cell viability of planktonic growth. Similarly, there was an increase in biofilm metabolic activity but no increase in biomass or extracellular matrix production. N′-N,N,N,N–tetrakis–2-pyridylmethylethane–1,2 diamine (TPEN) dramatically reduced the same parameters in the planktonic form and resulted in a decrease in metabolic activity, biomass, and extracellular matrix production for the biofilm form. Therefore, the unprecedented observations in this study highlight the importance of zinc ions for the growth, development, and proliferation of H. capsulatum cells and provide new insights into the role of metal ions for biofilm formation in the dimorphic fungus Histoplasma, which could be a potential therapeutic strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biofilms, 2nd Edition)
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15 pages, 6366 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Potential Regulators of DMI Fungicide Resistance in the Citrus Postharvest Pathogen Penicillium digitatum
by Yue Xi, Jing Zhang, Botao Fan, Miaomiao Sun, Wenqian Cao, Xiaotian Liu, Yunpeng Gai, Chenjia Shen, Huizhong Wang and Mingshuang Wang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 360; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050360 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Green mold, caused by Penicillium digitatum, is the major cause of citrus postharvest decay. Currently, the application of sterol demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicide is one of the main control measures to prevent green mold. However, the fungicide-resistance problem in the pathogen P. [...] Read more.
Green mold, caused by Penicillium digitatum, is the major cause of citrus postharvest decay. Currently, the application of sterol demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicide is one of the main control measures to prevent green mold. However, the fungicide-resistance problem in the pathogen P. digitatum is growing. The regulatory mechanism of DMI fungicide resistance in P. digitatum is poorly understood. Here, we first performed transcriptomic analysis of the P. digitatum strain Pdw03 treated with imazalil (IMZ) for 2 and 12 h. A total of 1338 genes were up-regulated and 1635 were down-regulated under IMZ treatment for 2 h compared to control while 1700 were up-regulated and 1661 down-regulated under IMZ treatment for 12 h. The expression of about half of the genes in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway was affected during IMZ stress. Further analysis identified that 84 of 320 transcription factors (TFs) were differentially expressed at both conditions, making them potential regulators in DMI resistance. To confirm their roles, three differentially expressed TFs were selected to generate disruption mutants using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The results showed that two of them had no response to IMZ stress while ∆PdflbC was more sensitive compared with the wild type. However, disruption of PdflbC did not affect the ergosterol content. The defect in IMZ sensitivity of ∆PdflbC was restored by genetic complementation of the mutant with a functional copy of PdflbC. Taken together, our results offer a rich source of information to identify novel regulators in DMI resistance. Full article
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14 pages, 2819 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Several GRAS Salts against Fungal Rot of Fruit after Harvest and Assessment of the Phytotoxicity of Sodium Metabisufite in Treated Fruit
by Mohamed Bechir Allagui and Mouna Ben Amara
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 359; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050359 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
This study evaluates the efficacy of the salts sodium metabisulfite (SMB), ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate first in vitro against the main postharvest fruit rot fungi, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium italicum, and Penicillium digitatum. Results [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the efficacy of the salts sodium metabisulfite (SMB), ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate first in vitro against the main postharvest fruit rot fungi, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium italicum, and Penicillium digitatum. Results showed that 0.2% SMB completely inhibited the mycelium growth of the fungal species. Ammonium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate were less effective at 0.2% in inhibiting mycelial growth, ranging from 57.6% to 77.6%. The least effective was potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate. Experiments were also performed in vivo on wounded apples inoculated with the most pathogenic fungus, B. cinerea, and treated with SMB at concentrations of 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, and 3%, both preventively and curatively. Results based on the decay size showed that SMB, when used as a preventive treatment, had a reduced efficacy, even with the highest concentration. However, this salt proved to be very effective at 0.5% in curative treatment since the decay was completely blocked. Our results suggest that the appropriate concentration of SMB for post-harvest treatment is 0.5% as a curative treatment. On the other hand, the 1% dose induced the onset of phytotoxicity around the wound. To assess the extent of the phytotoxicity reaction, higher concentrations of 1–4% SMB were applied to wounded fruit. Apples and oranges were inoculated or not with B. cinerea and P. digitatum, respectively. Doses of 1–4% induced phytotoxicity in the form of a discolored ring surrounding the wound on the epidermis of the fruit; this phytotoxicity enlarged as the concentration of SMB increased. The phytotoxic features were similar on apples and oranges. The methodological procedure made it possible to carry out a quantitative assessment of SMB phytotoxicity. This method is proposed as an easy-to-use technique for quantitatively estimating the phytotoxicity of antifungal compounds on post-harvest fruit. Full article
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18 pages, 1900 KiB  
Article
Bio-Priming with Bacillus Isolates Suppresses Seed Infection and Improves the Germination of Garden Peas in the Presence of Fusarium Strains
by Dragana Miljaković, Jelena Marinković, Gordana Tamindžić, Dragana Milošević, Maja Ignjatov, Vasiljka Karačić and Snežana Jakšić
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 358; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050358 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Seed infection caused by Fusarium spp. is one of the major threats to the seed quality and yield of agricultural crops, including garden peas. The use of Bacillus spp. with multiple antagonistic and plant growth-promoting (PGP) abilities represents a potential disease control strategy. [...] Read more.
Seed infection caused by Fusarium spp. is one of the major threats to the seed quality and yield of agricultural crops, including garden peas. The use of Bacillus spp. with multiple antagonistic and plant growth-promoting (PGP) abilities represents a potential disease control strategy. This study was performed to evaluate the biocontrol potential of new Bacillus spp. rhizosphere isolates against two Fusarium strains affecting garden peas. Six Bacillus isolates identified by 16S rDNA sequencing as B. velezensis (B42), B. subtilis (B43), B. mojavensis (B44, B46), B. amyloliquefaciens (B50), and B. halotolerans (B66) showed the highest in vitro inhibition of F. proliferatum PS1 and F. equiseti PS18 growth (over 40%). The selected Bacillus isolates possessed biosynthetic genes for endoglucanase (B42, B43, B50), surfactin (B43, B44, B46), fengycin (B44, B46), bacillomycin D (B42, B50), and iturin (B42), and were able to produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores, and cellulase. Two isolates, B. subtilis B43 and B. amyloliquefaciens B50, had the highest effect on final germination, shoot length, root length, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, and seedling vigor index of garden peas as compared to the control. Their individual or combined application reduced seed infection and increased seed germination in the presence of F. proliferatum PS1 and F. equiseti PS18, both after seed inoculation and seed bio-priming. The most promising results were obtained in the cases of the bacterial consortium, seed bio-priming, and the more pathogenic strain PS18. The novel Bacillus isolates may be potential biocontrol agents intended for the management of Fusarium seed-borne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium, Alternaria and Rhizoctonia: A Spotlight on Fungal Pathogens)
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16 pages, 1358 KiB  
Review
Comprehensive Review of Tinea Capitis in Adults: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, Clinical Presentations, and Management
by Rachel C. Hill, Jeremy A. W. Gold and Shari R. Lipner
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 357; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050357 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp and hair caused by dermatophyte molds, that most often affects children and may also affect adults. Previous estimates suggest that between 3% and 11% of all tinea capitis cases worldwide occur in adults, although [...] Read more.
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp and hair caused by dermatophyte molds, that most often affects children and may also affect adults. Previous estimates suggest that between 3% and 11% of all tinea capitis cases worldwide occur in adults, although updated epidemiological studies are needed to reassess the prevalence of tinea capitis in adult populations specifically. Postmenopausal adult women are most often affected by tinea capitis, with African American or Black women particularly at risk. Adults who experience crowded living conditions, who live in close proximity to animals, who are immunosuppressed, and/or who live in households with affected children are at greatest risk of infection. Tinea capitis can be non-inflammatory or inflammatory in nature, and the subtype affects the extent and severity of clinical symptoms. Fungal culture and potassium hydroxide preparations are the most commonly used diagnostic tools. Trichoscopy, defined as dermoscopic imaging of the scalp and hair, is a useful adjunct to the physical examination. The mainstay of therapy is oral antifungal therapy, and topical therapy alone is not recommended. Since tinea capitis infection is uncommon in adults, there are no widely accepted treatment guidelines. Rather, the same medications used for tinea capitis infection among children are recommended for adults at varying doses, including griseofulvin, and terbinafine, and, less commonly, itraconazole and fluconazole. The prognosis for tinea capitis in adults is typically excellent when prompt and adequate treatment is administered; however, delayed diagnosis or inadequate treatment can result in scarring alopecia. Over the past decade, dermatophyte infections resistant to treatment with topical and oral antifungal agents have emerged. While tinea capitis infections resistant to antifungal therapy have been rarely reported to date, antifungal resistance is rising among superficial fungal infections in general, and antifungal stewardship is necessary to ensure that resistance to treatment does not develop among dermatophytes that cause tinea capitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot Topics in Superficial Fungal Infections, 2nd Edition)
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15 pages, 4972 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cordyceps sinensis Quality in 15 Production Areas Using Metabolomics and the Membership Function Method
by Tao Wang, Chuyu Tang, Hui He, Zhengfei Cao, Mengjun Xiao, Min He, Jianzhao Qi, Yuling Li and Xiuzhang Li
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 356; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050356 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 825
Abstract
Cordyceps sinensis is a precious medicinal and edible fungus, which is widely used in body health care and disease prevention. The current research focuses on the comparison of metabolite characteristics between a small number of samples and lacks a comprehensive evaluation of the [...] Read more.
Cordyceps sinensis is a precious medicinal and edible fungus, which is widely used in body health care and disease prevention. The current research focuses on the comparison of metabolite characteristics between a small number of samples and lacks a comprehensive evaluation of the quality of C. sinensis in a large-scale space. In this study, LC-MS/MS, principal component analysis (PCA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and the membership function method were used to comprehensively evaluate the characteristics and quality of metabolites in 15 main producing areas of C. sinensis in China. The results showed that a total of 130 categories, 14 supercategories, and 1718 metabolites were identified. Carboxylic acids and derivatives, fatty acyls, organo-oxygen compounds, benzene and substituted derivatives, prenol lipids, and glycerophospholipids were the main components of C. sinensis. The HCA analysis and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis of 559 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) showed that the accumulation models of fatty acids and conjugates and carbohydrates and carbohydrate conjugates in glycerophospholipid metabolism and arginine and proline metabolism may be one of the reasons for the quality differences in C. sinensis in different producing areas. In addition, a total of 18 biomarkers were identified and validated, which had a significant discrimination effect on the samples (p < 0.05). Overall, YS, BR, and ZD, with the highest membership function values, are rich and balanced in nutrients. They are excellent raw materials for the development of functional foods and provide scientific guidance for consumers to nourish health care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible and Medicinal Macrofungi, 3rd Edition)
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15 pages, 2652 KiB  
Article
Development of Highly Efficient Universal Pneumocystis Primers and Their Application in Investigating the Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Pneumocystis in Wild Hares and Rabbits
by Liang Ma, Isabella Lin, Summer T. Hunter, Barbara Blasi, Patrizia Danesi, Christiane Weissenbacher-Lang, Ousmane H. Cisse, Jamie L. Rothenburger and Joseph A. Kovacs
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 355; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050355 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Despite its ubiquitous infectivity to mammals with strong host specificity, our current knowledge about Pneumocystis has originated from studies of merely 4% of extant mammalian species. Further studies of Pneumocystis epidemiology across a broader range of animal species require the use of assays [...] Read more.
Despite its ubiquitous infectivity to mammals with strong host specificity, our current knowledge about Pneumocystis has originated from studies of merely 4% of extant mammalian species. Further studies of Pneumocystis epidemiology across a broader range of animal species require the use of assays with high sensitivity and specificity. To this end, we have developed multiple universal Pneumocystis primers targeting different genetic loci with high amplification efficiency. Application of these primers to PCR investigation of Pneumocystis in free-living hares (Lepus townsendii, n = 130) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus, n = 8) in Canada revealed a prevalence of 81% (105/130) and 25% (2/8), respectively. Genotyping analysis identified five and two variants of Pneumocystis from hares and rabbits, respectively, with significant sequence divergence between the variants from hares. Based on phylogenetic analysis using nearly full-length sequences of the mitochondrial genome, nuclear rRNA operon and dihydropteroate synthase gene for the two most common variants, Pneumocystis in hares and rabbits are more closely related to each other than either are to Pneumocystis in other mammals. Furthermore, Pneumocystis in both hares and rabbits are more closely related to Pneumocystis in primates and dogs than to Pneumocystis in rodents. The high prevalence of Pneumocystis in hares (P. sp. ‘townsendii’) suggests its widespread transmissibility in the natural environment, similar to P. oryctolagi in rabbits. The presence of multiple distinct Pneumocystis populations in hares contrasts with the lack of apparent intra-species heterogeneity in P. oryctolagi, implying a unique evolution history of P. sp. ‘townsendii’ in hares. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
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22 pages, 6656 KiB  
Article
Changes in Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum) Aroma during Storage under Different Conditions
by Ruben Epping, Jan Lisec and Matthias Koch
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 354; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050354 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 528
Abstract
The enticing aroma of truffles is a key factor for their culinary value. Although all truffle species tend to be pricy, the most intensely aromatic species are the most sought after. Research into the aroma of truffles encompasses various disciplines including chemistry, biology, [...] Read more.
The enticing aroma of truffles is a key factor for their culinary value. Although all truffle species tend to be pricy, the most intensely aromatic species are the most sought after. Research into the aroma of truffles encompasses various disciplines including chemistry, biology, and sensory science. This study focusses on the chemical composition of the aroma of black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) and the changes occurring under different storage conditions. For this, truffle samples were stored under different treatments, at different temperatures, and measured over a total storage time of 12 days. Measurements of the truffle aroma profiles were taken with SPME/GC–MS at regular intervals. To handle the ample data collected, a systematic approach utilizing multivariate data analysis techniques was taken. This approach led to a vast amount of data which we made publicly available for future exploration. Results reveal the complexity of aroma changes, with 695 compounds identified, highlighting the need for a comprehensive understanding. Principal component analyses offer initial insights into truffle composition, while individual compounds may serve as markers for age (formic acid, 1-methylpropyl ester), freshness (2-Methyl-1-propanal; 1-(methylthio)-propane), freezing (tetrahydrofuran), salt treatment (1-chloropentane), or heat exposure (4-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-butanone). This research suggests that heat treatment or salt contact significantly affects truffle aroma, while freezing and cutting have less pronounced effects in comparison. The enrichment of compounds showing significant changes during storage was investigated with a metabolomic pathway analysis. The involvement of some of the enriched compounds on the pyruvate/glycolysis and sulfur pathways was shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Tuber Fungi)
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15 pages, 1546 KiB  
Article
Mapping the Burden of Fungal Diseases in the United Arab Emirates
by Fatima Al Dhaheri, Jens Thomsen, Dean Everett and David W. Denning
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 353; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050353 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 1159
Abstract
The United Arab Emirates has very little data on the incidence or prevalence of fungal diseases. Using total and underlying disease risk populations and likely affected proportions, we have modelled the burden of fungal disease for the first time. The most prevalent serious [...] Read more.
The United Arab Emirates has very little data on the incidence or prevalence of fungal diseases. Using total and underlying disease risk populations and likely affected proportions, we have modelled the burden of fungal disease for the first time. The most prevalent serious fungal conditions are recurrent vulvovaginitis (~190,000 affected) and fungal asthma (~34,000 affected). Given the UAE’s low prevalence of HIV, we estimate an at-risk population of 204 with respect to serious fungal infections with cryptococcal meningitis estimated at 2 cases annually, 15 cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) annually, and 20 cases of esophageal candidiasis in the HIV population. PCP incidence in non-HIV patients is estimated at 150 cases annually. Likewise, with the same low prevalence of tuberculosis in the country, we estimate a total chronic pulmonary aspergillosis prevalence of 1002 cases. The estimated annual incidence of invasive aspergillosis is 505 patients, based on local data on rates of malignancy, solid organ transplantation, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5.9 per 100,000). Based on the 2022 annual report of the UAE’s national surveillance database, candidaemia annual incidence is 1090 (11.8/100,000), of which 49.2% occurs in intensive care. Fungal diseases affect ~228,695 (2.46%) of the population in the UAE. Full article
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18 pages, 6433 KiB  
Article
Genome Characteristics of the Endophytic Fungus Talaromyces sp. DC2 Isolated from Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don
by Nguyen Duc Quan, Ngoc-Lan Nguyen, Tran Thi Huong Giang, Nguyen Thi Thanh Ngan, Nguyen Thanh Hien, Nguyen Van Tung, Nguyen Hoang Thanh Trang, Nguyen Thi Kim Lien and Huy Hoang Nguyen
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050352 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Talaromyces sp. DC2 is an endophytic fungus that was isolated from the stem of Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don in Hanoi, Vietnam and is capable of producing vinca alkaloids. This study utilizes the PacBio Sequel technology to completely sequence the whole genome of [...] Read more.
Talaromyces sp. DC2 is an endophytic fungus that was isolated from the stem of Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don in Hanoi, Vietnam and is capable of producing vinca alkaloids. This study utilizes the PacBio Sequel technology to completely sequence the whole genome of Talaromyces sp. DC2The genome study revealed that DC2 contains a total of 34.58 Mb spanned by 156 contigs, with a GC content of 46.5%. The identification and prediction of functional protein-coding genes, tRNA, and rRNA were comprehensively predicted and highly annotated using various BLAST databases, including non-redundant (Nr) protein sequence, Gene Ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG), and Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZy) databases. The genome of DC2 has a total of 149, 227, 65, 153, 53, and 6 genes responsible for cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, chitin, starch, and inulin degradation, respectively. The Antibiotics and Secondary Metabolites Analysis Shell (AntiSMASH) analyses revealed that strain DC2 possesses 20 biosynthetic gene clusters responsible for producing secondary metabolites. The strain DC2 has also been found to harbor the DDC gene encoding aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase enzyme. Conclusively, this study has provided a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved in secondary metabolites and the ability of the Talaromyces sp. DC2 strain to degrade plant cell walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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17 pages, 7732 KiB  
Article
Allochthonous Trichoderma Isolates Boost Atractylodes lancea Herb Quality at the Cost of Rhizome Growth
by Kuo Li, Huaibin Lin, Xiuzhi Guo, Sheng Wang, Hongyang Wang, Tielin Wang, Zheng Peng, Yuefeng Wang and Lanping Guo
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 351; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050351 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Atractylodes lancea is a perennial herb whose rhizome (AR) is a valuable traditional Chinese medicine with immense market demand. The cultivation of Atractylodes lancea faces outbreaks of root rot and deterioration in herb quality due to complex causes. Here, we investigated the effects of Trichoderma [...] Read more.
Atractylodes lancea is a perennial herb whose rhizome (AR) is a valuable traditional Chinese medicine with immense market demand. The cultivation of Atractylodes lancea faces outbreaks of root rot and deterioration in herb quality due to complex causes. Here, we investigated the effects of Trichoderma spp., well-known biocontrol agents and plant-growth-promoters, on ARs. We isolated Trichoderma strains from healthy ARs collected in different habitats and selected three T. harzianum strains (Th2, Th3 and Th4) with the strongest antagonizing effects on root rot pathogens (Fusarium spp.). We inoculated geo-authentic A. lancea plantlets with Th2, Th3 and Th4 and measured the biomass and quality of 70-day-old ARs. Th2 and Th3 promoted root rot resistance of A. lancea. Th2, Th3 and Th4 all boosted AR quality: the concentration of the four major medicinal compounds in ARs (atractylon, atractylodin, hinesol and β-eudesmol) each increased 1.6- to 18.2-fold. Meanwhile, however, the yield of ARs decreased by 0.58- to 0.27-fold. Overall, Th3 dramatically increased the quality of ARs at a relatively low cost, namely lower yield, showing great potential for practical application. Our results showed selectivity between A. lancea and allochthonous Trichoderma isolates, indicating the importance of selecting specific microbial patches for herb cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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13 pages, 3528 KiB  
Article
Genome Mining of Fungal Unique Trichodiene Synthase-like Sesquiterpene Synthases
by Zhanren Cong, Qiang Yin, Kunhong Tian, Njeru Joe Mukoma, Liming Ouyang, Tom Hsiang, Lixin Zhang, Lan Jiang and Xueting Liu
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 350; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050350 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Sesquiterpenoids served as an important source for natural product drug discovery. Although genome mining approaches have revealed numerous novel sesquiterpenoids and biosynthetic enzymes, the comprehensive landscape of fungal sesquiterpene synthases (STSs) remains elusive. In this study, 123 previously reported fungal STSs were subjected [...] Read more.
Sesquiterpenoids served as an important source for natural product drug discovery. Although genome mining approaches have revealed numerous novel sesquiterpenoids and biosynthetic enzymes, the comprehensive landscape of fungal sesquiterpene synthases (STSs) remains elusive. In this study, 123 previously reported fungal STSs were subjected to phylogenetic analysis, resulting in the identification of a fungi-specific STS family known as trichodiene synthase-like sesquiterpene synthases (TDTSs). Subsequently, the application of hidden Markov models allowed the discovery of 517 TDTSs from our in-house fungi genome library of over 400 sequenced genomes, and these TDTSs were defined into 79 families based on a sequence similarity network. Based on the novelty of protein sequences and the completeness of their biosynthetic gene clusters, 23 TDTS genes were selected for heterologous expression in Aspergillus oryzae. In total, 10 TDTSs were active and collectively produced 12 mono- and sesquiterpenes, resulting in the identification of the first chamipinene synthase, as well as the first fungi-derived cedrene, sabinene, and camphene synthases. Additionally, with the guidance of functionally characterized TDTSs, we found that TDTSs in Family 1 could produce bridged-cyclic sesquiterpenes, while those in Family 2 could synthesize spiro- and bridged-cyclic sesquiterpenes. Our research presents a new avenue for the genome mining of fungal sesquiterpenoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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18 pages, 4535 KiB  
Article
The Autophagy-Related Protein ATG8 Orchestrates Asexual Development and AFB1 Biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus
by Qingru Geng, Jixiang Hu, Pingzhi Xu, Tongzheng Sun, Han Qiu, Shan Wang, Fengqin Song, Ling Shen, Yongxin Li, Man Liu, Xue Peng, Jun Tian and Kunlong Yang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 349; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050349 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Autophagy, a conserved cellular recycling process, plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis under stress conditions. It also regulates the development and virulence of numerous filamentous fungi. In this study, we investigated the specific function of ATG8, a reliable autophagic marker, in the [...] Read more.
Autophagy, a conserved cellular recycling process, plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis under stress conditions. It also regulates the development and virulence of numerous filamentous fungi. In this study, we investigated the specific function of ATG8, a reliable autophagic marker, in the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus flavus. To investigate the role of atg8 in A. flavus, the deletion and complemented mutants of atg8 were generated according to the homologous recombination principle. Deletion of atg8 showed a significant decrease in conidiation, spore germination, and sclerotia formation compared to the WT and atg8C strains. Additionally, aflatoxin production was found severely impaired in the ∆atg8 mutant. The stress assays demonstrated that ATG8 was important for A. flavus response to oxidative stress. The fluorescence microscopy showed increased levels of reactive oxygen species in the ∆atg8 mutant cells, and the transcriptional result also indicated that genes related to the antioxidant system were significantly reduced in the ∆atg8 mutant. We further found that ATG8 participated in regulating the pathogenicity of A. flavus on crop seeds. These results revealed the biological role of ATG8 in A. flavus, which might provide a potential target for the control of A. flavus and AFB1 biosynthesis. Full article
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19 pages, 3595 KiB  
Article
Four New Species and a New Combination of Boletaceae (Boletales) from Subtropical and Tropical China
by Rou Xue, Lin-Jie Su, Tai-Jie Yu, Chang Xu, Hong-Yan Huang, Nian-Kai Zeng, Guo-Li Zhang and Li-Ping Tang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 348; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050348 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 923
Abstract
Previous studies have shown that boletes are abundant and diverse in China, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. In the present study, morphological, ecological, host relationship, and a four-locus (28S, tef1, rpb1, and rpb2) molecular phylogenetic analyses were used to [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown that boletes are abundant and diverse in China, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. In the present study, morphological, ecological, host relationship, and a four-locus (28S, tef1, rpb1, and rpb2) molecular phylogenetic analyses were used to study the family Boletaceae in subtropical and tropical China. Four new bluing species are described from three genera, viz. Boletellus verruculosus (Chinese name疣柄条孢牛肝菌), Xerocomellus tenuis (Chinese name细柄红绒盖牛肝菌), Xer. brunneus (Chinese name褐盖红绒盖牛肝菌), and Xerocomus zhangii (Chinese name张氏绒盖牛肝菌). Moreover, the genus Nigroboletus is treated as a synonym of Xerocomellus, and a new combination, namely Xer. roseonigrescens (Chinese name玫瑰红绒盖牛肝菌), is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution of Forestry Fungi, 2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 1347 KiB  
Article
Sequential Induction of Drug Resistance and Characterization of an Initial Candida albicans Drug-Sensitive Isolate
by Setrida El Hachem, Nour Fattouh, Christy Chedraoui, Marc Finianos, Ibrahim Bitar and Roy A. Khalaf
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 347; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050347 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Background: The pathogenic fungus Candida albicans is a leading agent of death in immunocompromised individuals with a growing trend of antifungal resistance. Methods: The purpose is to induce resistance to drugs in a sensitive C. albicans strain followed by whole-genome sequencing to determine [...] Read more.
Background: The pathogenic fungus Candida albicans is a leading agent of death in immunocompromised individuals with a growing trend of antifungal resistance. Methods: The purpose is to induce resistance to drugs in a sensitive C. albicans strain followed by whole-genome sequencing to determine mechanisms of resistance. Strains will be assayed for pathogenicity attributes such as ergosterol and chitin content, growth rate, virulence, and biofilm formation. Results: We observed sequential increases in ergosterol and chitin content in fluconazole-resistant isolates by 78% and 44%. Surface thickening prevents the entry of the drug, resulting in resistance. Resistance imposed a fitness trade-off that led to reduced growth rates, biofilm formation, and virulence in our isolates. Sequencing revealed mutations in genes involved in resistance and pathogenicity such as ERG11, CHS3, GSC2, CDR2, CRZ2, and MSH2. We observed an increase in the number of mutations in key genes with a sequential increase in drug-selective pressures as the organism increased its odds of adapting to inhospitable environments. In ALS4, we observed two mutations in the susceptible strain and five mutations in the resistant strain. Conclusion: This is the first study to induce resistance followed by genotypic and phenotypic analysis of isolates to determine mechanisms of drug resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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17 pages, 16504 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Sequencing and Analysis of Trichoderma polysporum Infection in Avena fatua L. Leaves before and after Infection
by Haixia Zhu and Yushan He
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 346; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050346 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Biological control is a scientific management method used in modern agricultural production, and microbially derived biopesticides are one effective method with which to control weeds in agricultural fields. In order to determine the key genes for weed control by Trichoderma polysporum, transcriptome [...] Read more.
Biological control is a scientific management method used in modern agricultural production, and microbially derived biopesticides are one effective method with which to control weeds in agricultural fields. In order to determine the key genes for weed control by Trichoderma polysporum, transcriptome sequencing was carried out by high-throughput sequencing technology, and the strains of T. polysporum HZ-31 infesting Avena fatua L. at 24, 48, and 72 h were used as the experimental group, with 0 h as the control group. A total of 690,713,176 clean reads were obtained, and the sequencing results for each experimental group and the control group (0 h) were analyzed. In total, 3464 differentially expressed genes were found after 24 h of infection with the pathogen, including 1283 down-regulated genes and 2181 up-regulated genes. After 48 h of infection, the number of differentially expressed genes was 3885, of which 2242 were up-regulated and 1643 were down-regulated. The number of differentially expressed genes after 72 h of infection was the highest among all the groups, with 4594 differentially expressed genes, of which 2648 were up-regulated and 1946 were down-regulated. The up-regulated genes were analyzed by GO and KEGG, and the results showed that the up-regulated differentially expressed genes were mainly enriched in the biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan; the degradation of aromatic compounds; methane metabolism; and other pathways. Among them, the PHA2, GDH, ADH2, and AROF genes were significantly enriched in the above-mentioned pathways, so they were hypothesized to play an important role in the synthesis of the herbicidally active substances of T. polysporum HZ-31. The results of this study can provide a theoretical basis for further studies on the pathogenicity of T. polysporum to A. fatua L., and accelerate the development and utilization of new and efficient bioherbicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fungal Diseases and Crop Protection)
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15 pages, 563 KiB  
Review
The Role of Olorofim in the Treatment of Filamentous Fungal Infections: A Review of In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
by Aliosha Feuss, Marie-Elisabeth Bougnoux and Eric Dannaoui
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 345; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050345 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Invasive fungal infections have recently been recognized by the WHO as a major health, epidemiological, and economic issue. Their high mortality rates and the emergence of drug resistance have driven the development of new molecules, including olorofim, an antifungal belonging to a new [...] Read more.
Invasive fungal infections have recently been recognized by the WHO as a major health, epidemiological, and economic issue. Their high mortality rates and the emergence of drug resistance have driven the development of new molecules, including olorofim, an antifungal belonging to a new family of compounds, the orotomides. A review was conducted on the PubMed database and the ClinicalTrials.gov website to summarize the microbiological profile of olorofim and its role in the treatment of filamentous fungal infections. Twenty-four articles were included from the search and divided into two groups: an “in vitro” group focusing on minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) results for various fungi and an “in vivo” group evaluating the pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), efficacy, and tolerability of olorofim in animal models of fungal infection and in humans. Olorofim demonstrated in vitro and in vivo activity against numerous filamentous fungi, including azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, various dermatophytes, and endemic and dimorphic fungi. in vitro results showed higher MICs for certain Fusarium species and dematiaceous fungi Alternaria alternata and Exophiala dermatitidis; further in vivo studies are needed. Published PK-PD data in humans are limited. The results of the ongoing phase III clinical trial are eagerly awaited to evaluate olorofim’s clinical impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Azole Resistance in Aspergillus spp., 2nd Edition)
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17 pages, 6544 KiB  
Article
Unleashing Fungicidal Forces: Exploring the Synergistic Power of Amphotericin B-Loaded Nanoparticles and Monoclonal Antibodies
by Carla Soares de Souza, Victor Ropke da Cruz Lopes, Gabriel Barcellos, Francisco Alexandrino-Junior, Patrícia Cristina da Costa Neves, Beatriz Ferreira de Carvalho Patricio, Helvécio Vinícius Antunes Rocha, Ana Paula Dinis Ano Bom and Alexandre Bezerra Conde Figueiredo
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050344 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Fungal infections cause 1.7 million deaths annually, which can be attributed not only to fungus-specific factors, such as antifungal resistance and biofilm formation, but also to drug-related challenges. In this study, the potential of Amphotericin (AmB) loaded polymeric nanoparticles (AmB-NPs) combined with murine [...] Read more.
Fungal infections cause 1.7 million deaths annually, which can be attributed not only to fungus-specific factors, such as antifungal resistance and biofilm formation, but also to drug-related challenges. In this study, the potential of Amphotericin (AmB) loaded polymeric nanoparticles (AmB-NPs) combined with murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (i.e., CC5 and DD11) was investigated as a strategy to overcome these challenges. To achieve this goal, AmB-NPs were prepared by nanoprecipitation using different polymers (polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA)), followed by comprehensive characterization of their physicochemical properties and in vitro biological performance. The results revealed that AmB-loaded NPs exhibited no cytotoxicity toward mammalian cells (baby hamster kidney cells—BHK and human monocyte cells—THP-1). Conversely, both AmB-NPs demonstrated a cytotoxic effect against C. albicans, C. neoformans, and H. capsulatum throughout the entire evaluated range (from 10 µg/mL to 0.1 µg/mL), with a significant MIC of up to 0.031 µg/mL. Moreover, the combination of AmB-NPs with mAbs markedly intensified antifungal activity, resulting in a synergistic effect that was two to four times greater than that of AmB-NPs alone. These findings suggest that the combination of AmB-NPs with mAbs could be a promising new treatment for fungal infections that is potentially more effective and less toxic than current antifungal treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antifungal Drugs)
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15 pages, 2432 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Culturable Mycobiome of Newly Excavated Ancient Wooden Vessels from the Archeological Site of Viminacium, Serbia
by Ivana Djokić, Aleksandar Knežević, Željko Savković, Milica Ljaljević Grbić, Ivica Dimkić, Danka Bukvički, Dragana Gavrilović and Nikola Unković
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 343; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050343 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Two ancient wooden vessels, specifically a monoxyle (1st century BCE to 1st century CE) and shipwreck (15th to 17th century CE), were excavated in a well-preserved state east of the confluence of the old Mlava and the Danube rivers (Serbia). The vessels were [...] Read more.
Two ancient wooden vessels, specifically a monoxyle (1st century BCE to 1st century CE) and shipwreck (15th to 17th century CE), were excavated in a well-preserved state east of the confluence of the old Mlava and the Danube rivers (Serbia). The vessels were found in the ground that used to be river sediment and were temporarily stored within the semi-underground exhibition space of Mammoth Park. As part of the pre-conservation investigations, the primary aim of the research presented was to characterize the culturable mycobiomes of two excavated wooden artifacts so that appropriate conservation procedures for alleviating post-excavation fungal infestation could be formulated. Utilizing culture-based methods, a total of 32 fungi from 15 genera were identified, mainly Ascomycota and to a lesser extent Mucoromycota sensu stricto. Soft-rot Ascomycota of genus Penicillium, followed by Aspergillus and Cephalotrichum species, were the most diverse of the isolated fungi. Out of a total of 38 isolates, screened on 7 biodegradation plate assays, 32 (84.21%) demonstrated at least one degradative property. Penicillium solitum had the highest deterioration potential, with a positive reaction in 5 separate plate assays. The obtained results further broaden the limited knowledge on the peculiarities of post-excavation soft-rot decay of archaeological wood and indicate the biochemical mechanisms at the root of post-excavation fungal deterioration. Full article
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15 pages, 2862 KiB  
Article
Three New Species of Penicillium from East and Northeast China
by He Song, Yi-Jing Ding, Wen-Ying Zhuang, Guang-Zhou Ding and Xin-Cun Wang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 342; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050342 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Penicillium species are ubiquitous in the environment and are of substantial importance, especially in industrial and medical aspects. During our investigation of the biodiversity of Penicillium, three new species were discovered in soil samples collected from East and Northeast China. They were [...] Read more.
Penicillium species are ubiquitous in the environment and are of substantial importance, especially in industrial and medical aspects. During our investigation of the biodiversity of Penicillium, three new species were discovered in soil samples collected from East and Northeast China. They were determined as new to science based on morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analyses, and were found to belong to the subgenus Penicillium section Robsamsonia and subgenus Aspergilloides sections Aspergilloides and Citrina. Descriptions and illustrations of these species are provided, and their geographic distributions are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fungal Biodiversity and Ecology)
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17 pages, 3828 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Essential Oil Vapours in Reducing Postharvest Rots and Effect on the Fruit Mycobiome of Nectarines
by Giulia Remolif, Fabio Buonsenso, Giada Schiavon, Marco Garello and Davide Spadaro
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 341; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050341 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 717
Abstract
Nectarines can be affected by many diseases, resulting in significant production losses. Natural products, such as essential oils (EOs), are promising alternatives to pesticides to control storage rots. This work aimed to test the efficacy of biofumigation with EOs in the control of [...] Read more.
Nectarines can be affected by many diseases, resulting in significant production losses. Natural products, such as essential oils (EOs), are promising alternatives to pesticides to control storage rots. This work aimed to test the efficacy of biofumigation with EOs in the control of nectarine postharvest diseases while also evaluating the effect on the quality parameters (firmness, total soluble solids, and titratable acidity) and on the fruit fungal microbiome. Basil, fennel, lemon, oregano, and thyme EOs were first tested in vitro at 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0% concentrations to evaluate their inhibition activity against Monilinia fructicola. Subsequently, an in vivo screening trial was performed by treating nectarines inoculated with M. fructicola, with the five EOs at 2.0% concentration by biofumigation, performed using slow-release diffusers placed inside the storage cabinets. Fennel, lemon, and basil EOs were the most effective after storage and were selected to be tested in efficacy trials using naturally infected nectarines. After 28 days of storage, all treatments showed a significant rot reduction compared to the untreated control. Additionally, no evident phytotoxic effects were observed on the treated fruits. EO vapors did not affect the overall quality of the fruits but showed a positive effect in reducing firmness loss. Metabarcoding analysis showed a significant impact of tissue, treatment, and sampling time on the fruit microbiome composition. Treatments were able to reduce the abundance of Monilinia spp., but basil EO favored a significant increase in Penicillium spp. Moreover, the abundance of other fungal genera was found to be modified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Brown Rot Fungi)
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20 pages, 6561 KiB  
Article
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Diversity in Sophora japonica Rhizosphere at Different Altitudes and Lithologies
by Limin Yu, Zhongfeng Zhang, Peiyuan Liu, Longwu Zhou, Shuhui Tan and Shitou Kuang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 340; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050340 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play a key role in mediating soil–plant relationships within karst ecosystems. Sophora japonica, a medicinal plant with anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties, is widely cultivated in karst areas of Guangxi, China. We considered limestone, dolomite, and sandstone at altitudes ranging [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play a key role in mediating soil–plant relationships within karst ecosystems. Sophora japonica, a medicinal plant with anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties, is widely cultivated in karst areas of Guangxi, China. We considered limestone, dolomite, and sandstone at altitudes ranging from 100 to 800 m and employed Illumina sequencing to evaluate AMF diversity and identify the factors driving S. japonica rhizosphere AMF community changes. We showed that the increase in altitude increased S. japonica AMF colonization and the Shannon index. The colonization of limestone plots was higher than that of other lithology. In total, 3,096,236 sequences and 5767 OTUs were identified in S. japonica rhizosphere soil. Among these, 270 OTUs were defined at the genus level and divided into 7 genera and 35 species. Moreover, available nitrogen, soil organic matter, and available calcium content had a coupling effect and positive influence on AMF colonization and Shannon and Chao1 indices. Conversely, available phosphorus, available potassium, and available magnesium negatively affected AMF Shannon and Chao1 indices. Lithology, altitude, pH, and available phosphorus are important factors that affect the dynamics of AMF in the S. japonica rhizosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symbiosis of Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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20 pages, 6852 KiB  
Article
Inhibition of Microbicidal Activity of Canine Macrophages DH82 Cell Line by Capsular Polysaccharides from Cryptococcus neoformans
by Isabel F. LaRocque-de-Freitas, Elias Barbosa da Silva-Junior, Leticia Paixão Gemieski, Beatriz da Silva Dias Lima, Israel Diniz-Lima, Aislan de Carvalho Vivarini, Ulisses G. Lopes, Leonardo Freire-de-Lima, Alexandre Morrot, José Osvaldo Previato, Lucia Mendonça-Previato, Lucia Helena Pinto-da-Silva, Celio G. Freire-de-Lima and Debora Decote-Ricardo
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 339; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050339 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Cryptococcus neoformans is a lethal fungus that primarily affects the respiratory system and the central nervous system. One of the main virulence factors is the capsule, constituted by the polysaccharides glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) and glucuronoxylomanogalactan (GXMGal). Polysaccharides are immunomodulators. One of the target cell [...] Read more.
Cryptococcus neoformans is a lethal fungus that primarily affects the respiratory system and the central nervous system. One of the main virulence factors is the capsule, constituted by the polysaccharides glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) and glucuronoxylomanogalactan (GXMGal). Polysaccharides are immunomodulators. One of the target cell populations for modulation are macrophages, which are part of the first line of defense and important for innate and adaptive immunity. It has been reported that macrophages can be modulated to act as a “Trojan horse,” taking phagocytosed yeasts to strategic sites or having their machinery activation compromised. The scarcity of information on canine cryptococcosis led us to assess whether the purified capsular polysaccharides from C. neoformans would be able to modulate the microbicidal action of macrophages. In the present study, we observed that the capsular polysaccharides, GXM, GXMGal, or capsule total did not induce apoptosis in the DH82 macrophage cell line. However, it was possible to demonstrate that the phagocytic activity was decreased after treatment with polysaccharides. In addition, recovered yeasts from macrophages treated with polysaccharides after phagocytosis could be cultured, showing that their viability was not altered. The polysaccharides led to a reduction in ROS production and the mRNA expression of IL-12 and IL-6. We observed that GXMGal inhibits MHC class II expression and GXM reduces ERK phosphorylation. In contrast, GXMGal and GXM were able to increase the PPAR-γ expression. Furthermore, our data suggest that capsular polysaccharides can reduce the microbicidal activity of canine macrophages DH82. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryptococcus Infections and Pathogenesis)
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15 pages, 4724 KiB  
Article
Effects of MrwetA on Sexual Reproduction and Secondary Metabolism of Monascus ruber M7 Based on Transcriptome Analysis
by Yuyun Huang, Lili Jia and Fusheng Chen
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 338; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050338 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 627
Abstract
wetA, one of the conidiation center regulatory genes in many filamentous fungi, plays an important role in promoting asexual spores (conidia) maturation. Our recent research has found that knocking out or overexpressing MrwetA (a homolog of wetA) in Monascus ruber M7 [...] Read more.
wetA, one of the conidiation center regulatory genes in many filamentous fungi, plays an important role in promoting asexual spores (conidia) maturation. Our recent research has found that knocking out or overexpressing MrwetA (a homolog of wetA) in Monascus ruber M7 does not affect the development of its asexual spores like other fungi, but both repress the development of its sexual spores (ascospores). However, the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, the function of MrwetA on sexual reproduction and secondary metabolism in M. ruber M7 was confirmed by a complementary experiment. Moreover, the regulatory roles of MrwetA in modulating the expression of genes involved in sexual reproduction, meiosis, and biosynthesis of Monascus pigment and citrinin were analyzed based on the transcriptional data. These results not only contribute to clarifying the regulation of the reproduction and secondary metabolism of Monascus spp., but also to enriching the regulation molecular mechanism of reproduction in filamentous fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Cell Biology, Metabolism and Physiology)
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19 pages, 2276 KiB  
Article
Central Carbon Metabolism in Candida albicans Biofilms Is Altered by Dimethyl Sulfoxide
by Maria Fernanda Cordeiro Arruda, Romeu Cassiano Pucci da Silva Ramos, Nicoly Subtil de Oliveira, Rosimeire Takaki Rosa, Patrícia Maria Stuelp-Campelo, Luiz Fernando Bianchini, Silas Granato Villas-Bôas and Edvaldo Antonio Ribeiro Rosa
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 337; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof10050337 - 8 May 2024
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Abstract
The effect of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on fungal metabolism has not been well studied. This study aimed to evaluate, by metabolomics, the impact of DMSO on the central carbon metabolism of Candida albicans. Biofilms of C. albicans SC5314 were grown on paper [...] Read more.
The effect of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on fungal metabolism has not been well studied. This study aimed to evaluate, by metabolomics, the impact of DMSO on the central carbon metabolism of Candida albicans. Biofilms of C. albicans SC5314 were grown on paper discs, using minimum mineral (MM) medium, in a dynamic continuous flow system. The two experimental conditions were control and 0.03% DMSO (v/v). After 72 h of incubation (37 °C), the biofilms were collected and the metabolites were extracted. The extracted metabolites were subjected to gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The experiment was conducted using five replicates on three independent occasions. The GC/MS analysis identified 88 compounds. Among the 88 compounds, the levels of 27 compounds were markedly different between the two groups. The DMSO group exhibited enhanced levels of putrescine and glutathione and decreased levels of methionine and lysine. Additionally, the DMSO group exhibited alterations in 13 metabolic pathways involved in primary and secondary cellular metabolism. Among the 13 altered pathways, seven were downregulated and six were upregulated in the DMSO group. These results indicated a differential intracellular metabolic profile between the untreated and DMSO-treated biofilms. Hence, DMSO was demonstrated to affect the metabolic pathways of C. albicans. These results suggest that DMSO may influence the results of laboratory tests when it is used as a solvent. Hence, the use of DMSO as a solvent must be carefully considered in drug research, as the effect of the researched drugs may not be reliably translated into clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biofilms, 2nd Edition)
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