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J. Fungi, Volume 7, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 80 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Globally, over 300 million people are affected by serious fungal infections, and more than 1.6 million die every year. There are real concerns that climate change and worsening pollution will result in a significant increase in these numbers. We explore how climate change and anthropomorphic factors have driven an expansion of the geographic footprint of endemic mycoses, how they have the potential to increase the number of people susceptible to fungal infection and how they may cause selective pressures that will drive the evolution of pathogenic traits and the emergence of drug resistance. View this paper
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Review
Rethinking of the Roles of Endophyte Symbiosis and Mycotoxin in Oxytropis Plants
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050400 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
Plants in the Oxytropis genus can live with the endophytic fungi Alternaria sect. Undifilum. Swainsonine, the mycotoxin produced by the endophyte render the host plant toxic and this has been detrimental to grazing livestock in both China and U.S.A. Despite previous efforts, [...] Read more.
Plants in the Oxytropis genus can live with the endophytic fungi Alternaria sect. Undifilum. Swainsonine, the mycotoxin produced by the endophyte render the host plant toxic and this has been detrimental to grazing livestock in both China and U.S.A. Despite previous efforts, many questions remain to be solved, such as the transmission mode and life cycle of host–endophyte symbiont, the biosynthesis pathway of swainsonine, and in particular the ecological role and evolution of such symbiosis. In this review, we compile the literature to synthesize ideas on the diversity of the symbiosis and propagation of the endophyte. We further compare the previous work from both Alternaria sect. Undifilum and other swainsonine producing fungi to orchestrate a more comprehensive biosynthesis pathway of swainsonine. We also connect swainsonine biosynthesis pathway with that of its precursor, lysine, and link this to a potential role in modulating plant stress response. Based on this we hypothesize that this host–endophyte co-evolution originated from the needs for host plant to adapt for stress. Validation of this hypothesis will depend on future research on endophytic symbiosis in Oxytropis and help in better understanding the roles of plant–endophyte symbiosis in non-Poaceae species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Article
What Role Might Non-Mating Receptors Play in Schizophyllum commune?
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050399 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 547
Abstract
The B mating-type locus of the tetrapolar basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune encodes pheromones and pheromone receptors in multiple allelic specificities. This work adds substantial new evidence into the organization of the B mating-type loci of distantly related S. commune strains showing a high level [...] Read more.
The B mating-type locus of the tetrapolar basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune encodes pheromones and pheromone receptors in multiple allelic specificities. This work adds substantial new evidence into the organization of the B mating-type loci of distantly related S. commune strains showing a high level of synteny in gene order and neighboring genes. Four pheromone receptor-like genes were found in the genome of S. commune with brl1, brl2 and brl3 located at the B mating-type locus, whereas brl4 is located separately. Expression analysis of brl genes in different developmental stages indicates a function in filamentous growth and mating. Based on the extensive sequence analysis and functional characterization of brl-overexpression mutants, a function of Brl1 in mating is proposed, while Brl3, Brl4 and Brl2 (to a lower extent) have a role in vegetative growth, possible determination of growth direction. The brl3 and brl4 overexpression mutants had a dikaryon-like, irregular and feathery phenotype, and they avoided the formation of same-clone colonies on solid medium, which points towards enhanced detection of self-signals. These data are supported by localization of Brl fusion proteins in tips, at septa and in not-yet-fused clamps of a dikaryon, confirming their importance for growth and development in S. commune. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Article
Transcriptome Analysis Identifies a Gene Cluster for the Biosynthesis of Biruloquinone, a Rare Phenanthraquinone, in a Lichen-Forming Fungus Cladonia macilenta
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050398 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Lichens are prolific producers of natural products of polyketide origin. We previously described a culture of lichen-forming fungus (LFF) Cladonia macilenta that produces biruloquinone, a purple pigment that is a phenanthraquinone rarely found in nature. However, there was no genetic information on the [...] Read more.
Lichens are prolific producers of natural products of polyketide origin. We previously described a culture of lichen-forming fungus (LFF) Cladonia macilenta that produces biruloquinone, a purple pigment that is a phenanthraquinone rarely found in nature. However, there was no genetic information on the biosynthesis of biruloquinone. To identify a biosynthetic gene cluster for biruloquinone, we mined polyketide synthase (PKS) genes from the genome sequence of a LFF isolated from thalli of C. macilenta. The 38 PKS in C. macilenta are highly diverse, many of which form phylogenetic clades with PKS previously characterized in non-lichenized fungi. We compared transcriptional profiles of the 38 PKS genes in two chemotypic variants, one producing biruloquinone and the other producing no appreciable metabolite in vitro. We identified a PKS gene (hereafter PKS21) that was highly upregulated in the LFF that produces biruloquinone. The boundaries of a putative biruloquinone gene cluster were demarcated by co-expression patterns of six clustered genes, including the PKS21. Biruloquinone gene clusters exhibited a high degree of synteny between related species. In this study we identified a novel PKS family responsible for the biosynthesis of biruloquinone through whole-transcriptome analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Lichen-Forming Fungi for Industrial Use)
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Review
Macrofungi as a Nutraceutical Source: Promising Bioactive Compounds and Market Value
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050397 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
Macrofungi production and economic value have been increasing globally. The demand for macrofungi has expanded rapidly owing to their popularity among consumers, pleasant taste, and unique flavors. The presence of high quality proteins, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, triterpene sterols, and secondary metabolites [...] Read more.
Macrofungi production and economic value have been increasing globally. The demand for macrofungi has expanded rapidly owing to their popularity among consumers, pleasant taste, and unique flavors. The presence of high quality proteins, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, triterpene sterols, and secondary metabolites makes macrofungi an important commodity. Macrofungi are well known for their ability to protect from or cure various health problems, such as immunodeficiency, cancer, inflammation, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity. Many studies have demonstrated their medicinal properties, supported by both in vivo and in vitro experimental studies, as well as clinical trials. Numerous bioactive compounds isolated from mushrooms, such as polysaccharides, proteins, fats, phenolic compounds, and vitamins, possess strong bioactivities. Consequently, they can be considered as an important source of nutraceuticals. Numerous edible mushrooms have been studied for their bioactivities, but only a few species have made it to the market. Many species remain to be explored. The converging trends and popularity of eastern herbal medicines, natural/organic food product preference, gut-healthy products, and positive outlook towards sports nutrition are supporting the growth in the medicinal mushroom market. The consumption of medicinal mushrooms as functional food or dietary supplement is expected to markedly increase in the future. The global medicinal mushroom market size is projected to increase by USD 13.88 billion from 2018 to 2022. The global market values of promising bioactive compounds, such as lentinan and lovastatin, are also expected to rise. With such a market growth, mushroom nutraceuticals hold to be very promising in the years to come. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mushrooms—Mycotherapy and Mycochemistry)
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Article
Occurrence and Anastomosis Grouping of Rhizoctonia spp. Inducing Black Scurf and Greyish-White Felt-Like Mycelium on Carrot in Sweden
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 396; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050396 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Carrots with different Rhizoctonia-like symptoms were found in the main Swedish carrot production areas from 2001–2020. The most commonly observed symptoms were a greyish-white felt-like mycelium and black scurf, the latter often associated with Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG) 3-PT on potato. [...] Read more.
Carrots with different Rhizoctonia-like symptoms were found in the main Swedish carrot production areas from 2001–2020. The most commonly observed symptoms were a greyish-white felt-like mycelium and black scurf, the latter often associated with Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG) 3-PT on potato. An overall increase in disease incidence in all studied fields over time was observed for both symptoms. The majority of Rhizoctonia isolates sampled from carrot in the period 2015–2020 were identified as AG 3 (45%) and AG 5 (24%), followed by AG 1-IB (13%), AG 11 (5%), AG-E (5%), AG BI (3%), AG-K (3%) and AG 4-HGII (2%). To our knowledge, this is the first report describing AG 5 in Sweden as well as AG 3, AG 11 and AG-E inducing Rhizoctonia-like symptoms on carrot. Secondly, we report for the first time that R. solani AG 3, and the less observed AGs: AG 1-IB and AG 5 can induce black scurf symptoms on the taproot of carrots. Due to a widely used carrot-potato crop rotation in Swedish areas, a possible cross-over from potato to carrot is suggested. This information is of high importance to reduce Rhizoctonia inoculum in soils, since avoiding carrot-potato crop rotations needs to be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungi in Agriculture and Biotechnology)
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Review
Application of Novel Non-Thermal Physical Technologies to Degrade Mycotoxins
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050395 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Mycotoxins cause adverse effects on human health. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to confront them, particularly in agriculture and food systems. Non-thermal plasma, electron beam radiation, and pulsed light are possible novel non-thermal technologies offering promising results in degrading mycotoxins with [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins cause adverse effects on human health. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to confront them, particularly in agriculture and food systems. Non-thermal plasma, electron beam radiation, and pulsed light are possible novel non-thermal technologies offering promising results in degrading mycotoxins with potential for practical applications. In this paper, the available publications are reviewed—some of them report efficiency of more than 90%, sometimes almost 100%. The mechanisms of action, advantages, efficacy, limitations, and undesirable effects are reviewed and discussed. The first foretastes of plasma and electron beam application in the industry are in the developing stages, while pulsed light has not been employed in large-scale application yet. Full article
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Article
The Pacific Tree-Parasitic Fungus Cyclocybe parasitica Exhibits Monokaryotic Fruiting, Showing Phenotypes Known from Bracket Fungi and from Cyclocybe aegerita
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050394 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Cyclocybe parasitica is a wood-destroying parasitic edible mushroom growing on diverse broad-leafed trees in New Zealand and other Pacific areas. Recent molecular systematics of European Cyclocybe aegerita, a newly delimited Asian phylum and of related species, corroborated the distinction of the chiefly [...] Read more.
Cyclocybe parasitica is a wood-destroying parasitic edible mushroom growing on diverse broad-leafed trees in New Zealand and other Pacific areas. Recent molecular systematics of European Cyclocybe aegerita, a newly delimited Asian phylum and of related species, corroborated the distinction of the chiefly saprobic cultivated edible mushroom C. aegerita from C. parasitica. Here, we show that C. parasitica exhibits a morpho-physiological trait characteristic to its European cousin, i.e., monokaryotic fruiting sensu stricto (basidiome formation without mating). Monokaryotic fruiting structures formed by C. parasitica ICMP 11668-derived monokaryons were categorized into four phenotypes. One of them displays ulcer-like structures previously reported from bracket fungi. Histology of dikaryotic and monokaryotic C. parasitica fruiting structures revealed anatomical commonalities and differences between them, and towards monokaryotic fruiting structures of C. aegerita. Mating experiments with C. parasitica strains representative of each fruiting phenotype identified compatible sibling monokaryons. Given reports on hypothetically monokaryotic basidiome field populations of ‘C. aegerita sensu lato’, it seems worthwhile to prospectively investigate whether monokaryotic fruiting s.str. occurs in nature. Sampling from such populations including karyotyping, comparative -omics, and competition assays may help to answer this question and provide evidence whether this trait may confer competitive advantages to a species capable of it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Fungal Interactions)
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Communication
The Molecular Mechanism of Fludioxonil Action Is Different to Osmotic Stress Sensing
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 393; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050393 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
The group III two-component hybrid histidine kinase MoHik1p in the filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is known to be a sensor for external osmotic stress and essential for the fungicidal activity of the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil. The mode of action of fludioxonil has not yet [...] Read more.
The group III two-component hybrid histidine kinase MoHik1p in the filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is known to be a sensor for external osmotic stress and essential for the fungicidal activity of the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil. The mode of action of fludioxonil has not yet been completely clarified but rather assumed to hyperactivate the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signaling pathway. To date, not much is known about the detailed molecular mechanism of how osmotic stress is detected or fungicidal activity is initiated within the HOG pathway. The molecular mechanism of signaling was studied using a mutant strain in which the HisKA signaling domain was modified by an amino acid change of histidine H736 to alanine A736. We found that MoHik1pH736A is as resistant to fludioxonil but not as sensitive to osmotic stress as the null mutant ∆Mohik1. H736 is required for fludioxonil action but is not essential for sensing sorbitol stress. Consequently, this report provides evidence of the difference in the molecular mechanism of fludioxonil action and the perception of osmotic stress. This is an excellent basis to understand the successful phenylpyrrole-fungicides’ mode of action better and will give new ideas to decipher cellular signaling mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Article
Candida albicans/Macrophage Biointerface on Human and Porcine Decellularized Adipose Matrices
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 392; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050392 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
Macrophages, cells effective in sensing, internalizing and killing Candida albicans, are intertwined with the extracellular matrix (ECM) through different signals, which include the release of specific cytokines. Due to the importance of these interactions, the employment of in vitro models mimicking a [...] Read more.
Macrophages, cells effective in sensing, internalizing and killing Candida albicans, are intertwined with the extracellular matrix (ECM) through different signals, which include the release of specific cytokines. Due to the importance of these interactions, the employment of in vitro models mimicking a fungal infection scenario is essential to evaluate the ECM effects on the macrophage response. In this work, we have analyzed the effects of human and porcine decellularized adipose matrices (DAMs), obtained by either enzymatic or organic solvent treatment, on the macrophage/Candida albicans interface. The present study has allowed us to detect differences on the activation of macrophages cultured on either human- or porcine-derived DAMs, evidencing changes in the macrophage actin cytoskeleton, such as distinct F-actin-rich membrane structures to surround the pathogen. The macrophage morphological changes observed on these four DAMs are key to understand the defense capability of these cells against this fungal pathogen. This work has contributed to the knowledge of the influence that the extracellular matrix and its components can exert on macrophage metabolism, immunocompetence and capacity to respond to the microenvironment in a possible infection scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Defense against Fungi)
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Review
Diversity, Ecological Role and Biotechnological Potential of Antarctic Marine Fungi
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050391 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
The Antarctic Ocean is one of the most remote and inaccessible environments on our planet and hosts potentially high biodiversity, being largely unexplored and undescribed. Fungi have key functions and unique physiological and morphological adaptations even in extreme conditions, from shallow habitats to [...] Read more.
The Antarctic Ocean is one of the most remote and inaccessible environments on our planet and hosts potentially high biodiversity, being largely unexplored and undescribed. Fungi have key functions and unique physiological and morphological adaptations even in extreme conditions, from shallow habitats to deep-sea sediments. Here, we summarized information on diversity, the ecological role, and biotechnological potential of marine fungi in the coldest biome on Earth. This review also discloses the importance of boosting research on Antarctic fungi as hidden treasures of biodiversity and bioactive molecules to better understand their role in marine ecosystem functioning and their applications in different biotechnological fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fungus)
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Article
Epichloë gansuensis Increases the Tolerance of Achnatherum inebrians to Low-P Stress by Modulating Amino Acids Metabolism and Phosphorus Utilization Efficiency
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050390 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 519
Abstract
In the long-term evolutionary process, Achnatherum inebrians and seed-borne endophytic fungi, Epichloë gansuensis, formed a mutually beneficial symbiosis relationship, and Epichloë gansuensis has an important biological role in improving the tolerance of host grasses to abiotic stress. In this work, we first [...] Read more.
In the long-term evolutionary process, Achnatherum inebrians and seed-borne endophytic fungi, Epichloë gansuensis, formed a mutually beneficial symbiosis relationship, and Epichloë gansuensis has an important biological role in improving the tolerance of host grasses to abiotic stress. In this work, we first assessed the effects of Epichloë gansuensis on dry weight, the content of C, N, P and metal ions, and metabolic pathway of amino acids, and phosphorus utilization efficiency (PUE) of Achnatherum inebrians at low P stress. Our results showed that the dry weights, the content of alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, glutamine, glutamic acid, L-asparagine, lysine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, and tryptophan were higher in leaves of Epichloë gansuensis-infected (E+) Achnatherum inebrians than Epichloë gansuensis-uninfected (E−) Achnatherum inebrians at low P stress. Further, Epichloë gansuensis increased C content of roots compared to the root of E− plant at 0.01 mM P and 0.5 mM P; Epichloëgansuensis increased K content of leaves compared to the leaf of E− plant at 0.01 mM P and 0.5 mM P. Epichloëgansuensis reduced Ca content of roots compared to the root of E− plant at 0.01 mM P and 0.5 mM P; Epichloë gansuensis reduced the content of Mg and Fe in leaves compared to the leaf of E− plant at 0.01 mM P and 0.5 mM P. In addition, at low P stress, Epichloë gansuensis most probably influenced aspartate and glutamate metabolism; valine, leucine, and isoleucine biosynthesis in leaves; and arginine and proline metabolism; alanine, aspartate, and glutamate metabolism in roots. Epichloë gansuensis also affected the content of organic acid and stress-related metabolites at low P stress. In conclusion, Epichloë gansuensis improves Achnatherum inebrians growth at low P stress by regulating the metabolic pathway of amino acids, amino acids content, organic acid content, and increasing PUE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Climate Change on Plant–Fungal Interactions)
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Communication
Evidence of a New MoYpd1p Phosphotransferase Isoform in the Multistep Phosphorelay System of Magnaporthe oryzae
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 389; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050389 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Different external stimuli are perceived by multiple sensor histidine kinases and transmitted by phosphorylation via the phosphotransfer protein Ypd1p in the multistep phosphorelay system of the high osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway of filamentous fungi. How the signal propagation takes place is still not [...] Read more.
Different external stimuli are perceived by multiple sensor histidine kinases and transmitted by phosphorylation via the phosphotransfer protein Ypd1p in the multistep phosphorelay system of the high osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway of filamentous fungi. How the signal propagation takes place is still not known in detail since multiple sensor histidine kinase genes in most filamentous fungi are coded in the genome, whereas only one gene for Ypd1p exists. That raises the hypothesis that various Ypd1p isoforms are produced from a single gene sequence, perhaps by alternative splicing, facilitating a higher variability in signal transduction. We found that the mRNA of MoYPD1 in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is subjected to an increased structural variation and amplified putative isoforms on a cDNA level. We then generated mutant strains overexpressing these isoforms, purified the products, and present here one previously unknown MoYpd1p isoform on a proteome level. Alternative splicing was found to be a valid molecular mechanism to increase the signal diversity in eukaryotic multistep phosphorelay systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Article
Influenza- and COVID-19-Associated Pulmonary Aspergillosis: Are the Pictures Different?
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050388 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in intensive care unit patients is a major concern. Influenza-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and severe COVID-19 patients are both at risk of developing invasive fungal diseases. We used the new international definitions of influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) [...] Read more.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in intensive care unit patients is a major concern. Influenza-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and severe COVID-19 patients are both at risk of developing invasive fungal diseases. We used the new international definitions of influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) to compare the demographic, clinical, biological, and radiological aspects of IAPA and CAPA in a monocentric retrospective study. A total of 120 patients were included, 71 with influenza and 49 with COVID-19-associated ARDS. Among them, 27 fulfilled the newly published criteria of IPA: 17/71 IAPA (23.9%) and 10/49 CAPA (20.4%). Kaplan–Meier curves showed significantly higher 90-day mortality for IPA patients overall (p = 0.032), whereas mortality did not differ between CAPA and IAPA patients. Radiological findings showed differences between IAPA and CAPA, with a higher proportion of features suggestive of IPA during IAPA. Lastly, a wide proportion of IPA patients had low plasma voriconazole concentrations with a higher delay to reach concentrations > 2 mg/L in CAPA vs. IAPA patients (p = 0.045). Severe COVID-19 and influenza patients appeared very similar in terms of prevalence of IPA and outcome. The dramatic consequences on the patients’ prognosis emphasize the need for a better awareness in these particular populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue When Viruses and Fungi Act Together)
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Article
Aspergillus Metabolome Database for Mass Spectrometry Metabolomics
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 387; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050387 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 704
Abstract
The Aspergillus Metabolome Database is a free online resource to perform metabolite annotation in mass spectrometry studies devoted to the genus Aspergillus. The database was created by retrieving and curating information on 2811 compounds present in 601 different species and subspecies of [...] Read more.
The Aspergillus Metabolome Database is a free online resource to perform metabolite annotation in mass spectrometry studies devoted to the genus Aspergillus. The database was created by retrieving and curating information on 2811 compounds present in 601 different species and subspecies of the genus Aspergillus. A total of 1514 scientific journals where these metabolites are mentioned were added as meta-information linked to their respective compounds in the database. A web service to query the database based on m/z (mass/charge ratio) searches was added to CEU Mass Mediator; these queries can be performed over the Aspergillus database only, or they can also include a user-selectable set of other general metabolomic databases. This functionality is offered via web applications and via RESTful services. Furthermore, the complete content of the database has been made available in .csv files and as a MySQL database to facilitate its integration into third-party tools. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first database and the first service specifically devoted to Aspergillus metabolite annotation based on m/z searches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Regulation of the Host-Fungus Interaction)
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Article
Heavy Metal-Resistant Filamentous Fungi as Potential Mercury Bioremediators
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 386; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050386 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
Filamentous fungi native to heavy metals (HMs) contaminated sites have great potential for bioremediation, yet are still often underexploited. This research aimed to assess the HMs resistance and Hg remediation capacity of fungi isolated from the rhizosphere of plants resident on highly Hg-contaminated [...] Read more.
Filamentous fungi native to heavy metals (HMs) contaminated sites have great potential for bioremediation, yet are still often underexploited. This research aimed to assess the HMs resistance and Hg remediation capacity of fungi isolated from the rhizosphere of plants resident on highly Hg-contaminated substrate. Analysis of Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd concentrations by X-ray spectrometry generated the ecological risk of the rhizosphere soil. A total of 32 HM-resistant fungal isolates were molecularly identified. Their resistance spectrum for the investigated elements was characterized by tolerance indices (TIs) and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). Clustering analysis of TIs was coupled with isolates’ phylogeny to evaluate HMs resistance patterns. The bioremediation potential of five isolates’ live biomasses, in 100 mg/L Hg2+ aqueous solution over 48 h at 120 r/min, was quantified by atomic absorption spectrometry. New species or genera that were previously unrelated to Hg-contaminated substrates were identified. Ascomycota representatives were common, diverse, and exhibited varied HMs resistance spectra, especially towards the elements with ecological risk, in contrast to Mucoromycota-recovered isolates. HMs resistance patterns were similar within phylogenetically related clades, although isolate specific resistance occurred. Cladosporium sp., Didymella glomerata, Fusarium oxysporum, Phoma costaricensis, and Sarocladium kiliense isolates displayed very high MIC (mg/L) for Hg (140–200), in addition to Pb (1568), Cu (381), Zn (2092–2353), or Cd (337). The Hg biosorption capacity of these highly Hg-resistant species ranged from 33.8 to 54.9 mg/g dry weight, with a removal capacity from 47% to 97%. Thus, the fungi identified herein showed great potential as bioremediators for highly Hg-contaminated aqueous substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi for Biotechnological Application and Environmental Cleanup)
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Article
Empirical Support for the Pattern of Competitive Exclusion between Insect Parasitic Fungi
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 385; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050385 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Fungal entomopathogens are largely facultative parasites and play an important role in controlling the density of insect populations in nature. A few species of these fungi have been used for biocontrol of insect pests. The pattern of the entomopathogen competition for insect individuals [...] Read more.
Fungal entomopathogens are largely facultative parasites and play an important role in controlling the density of insect populations in nature. A few species of these fungi have been used for biocontrol of insect pests. The pattern of the entomopathogen competition for insect individuals is still elusive. Here, we report the empirical competition for hosts or niches between the inter- and intra-species of the entomopathogens Metarhizium robertsii and Beauveria bassiana. It was found that the synergistic effect of coinfection on virulence increase was not evident, and the insects were largely killed and mycosed by M. robertsii independent of its initial co-inoculation dosage and infection order. For example, >90% dead insects were mycosed by M. robertsii even after immersion in a spore suspension with a mixture ratio of 9:1 for B. bassiana versus M. robertsii. The results thus support the pattern of competitive exclusion between insect pathogenic fungi that occurred from outside to inside the insect hosts. Even being inferior to compete for insects, B. bassiana could outcompete M. robertsii during co-culturing in liquid medium. It was also found that the one-sided mycosis of insects occurred during coinfection with different genotypic strains of either fungi. However, parasexual recombination was evident to take place between the compatible strains after coinfection. The data of this study can help explain the phenomena of the exclusive mycosis of insect individuals, but co-occurrence of entomopathogens in the fields, and suggest that the synergistic effect is questionable regarding the mixed use of fungal parasites for insect pest control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
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Article
Differential Expression of Amanitin Biosynthetic Genes and Novel Cyclic Peptides in Amanita molliuscula
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050384 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
Amanita molliuscula is a basal species of lethal Amanita and intrigues the field because it does not produce discernable α-amanitin when inspected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), which sets it apart from all known amanitin-producing (lethal) Amanita species. In order to study [...] Read more.
Amanita molliuscula is a basal species of lethal Amanita and intrigues the field because it does not produce discernable α-amanitin when inspected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), which sets it apart from all known amanitin-producing (lethal) Amanita species. In order to study the underlining genetic basis of the phenotype, we sequenced this species through PacBio and Illumina RNA-Seq platforms. In total, 17 genes of the “MSDIN” family (named after the first five amino acid residues of the precursor peptides) were found in the genome and 11 of them were expressed at the transcription level. The expression pattern was not even but in a differential fashion: two of the MSDINs were highly expressed (FPKM value > 100), while the majority were expressed at low levels (FPKM value < 1). Prolyl oligopeptidease B (POPB) is the key enzyme in the amanitin biosynthetic pathway, and high expression of this enzyme was also discovered (FPKM value > 100). The two MSDINs with highest transcription further translated into two novel cyclic peptides, the structure of which is distinctive from all known cyclic peptides. The result illustrates the correlation between the expression and the final peptide products. In contrast to previous HPLC result, the genome of A. molliuscula harbors α-amanitin genes (three copies), but the product was in trace amount indicated by MS. Overall, transcription of MSDINs encoding major toxins (α-amanitin, β-amanitin, phallacidin and phalloidin) were low, showing that these toxins were not actively synthesized at the stage. Collectively, our results indicate that the amanitin biosynthetic pathway is highly active at the mature fruiting body stage in A. molliuscula, and due to the differential expression of MSDIN genes, the pathway produces only a few cyclic peptides at the time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Colombian Essential Oil of Ruta graveolens against Nosocomial Antifungal Resistant Candida Strains
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 383; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050383 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Drug resistance in antifungal therapy, a problem unknown until a few years ago, is increasingly assuming importance especially in immunosuppressed patients and patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the past years, the use of essential oils as an approach to improve the effectiveness [...] Read more.
Drug resistance in antifungal therapy, a problem unknown until a few years ago, is increasingly assuming importance especially in immunosuppressed patients and patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the past years, the use of essential oils as an approach to improve the effectiveness of antifungal agents and to reduce antifungal resistance levels has been proposed. Our research aimed to evaluate the antifungal activity of Colombian rue, Ruta graveolens, essential oil (REO) against clinical strains of Candida albicans, Candida parapsilopsis, Candida glabrata, and Candida tropicalis. Data obtained showed that C. tropicalis and C. albicans were the most sensitive strains showing minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 4.1 and 8.2 µg/mL of REO. Time–kill kinetics assay demonstrated that REO showed a fungicidal effect against C. tropicalis and a fungistatic effect against C. albicans. In addition, an amount of 40% of the biofilm formed by C. albicans was eradicated using 8.2 µg/mL of REO after 1 h of exposure. The synergistic effect of REO together with some antifungal compounds was also investigated. Fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) showed synergic effects of REO combined with amphotericin B. REO Lead a disruption in the cellular membrane integrity, consequently resulting in increased intracellular leakage of the macromolecules, thus confirming that the plasma membrane is a target of the mode of action of REO against C. albicans and C. tropicalis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Therapeutic Approaches of Candida Infections)
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Article
CD137 Signaling Is Critical in Fungal Clearance during Systemic Candida albicans Infection
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 382; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050382 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Invasive fungal infections by Candida albicans frequently cause mortality in immunocompromised patients. Neutrophils are particularly important for fungal clearance during systemic C. albican infection, yet little has been known regarding which surface receptor controls neutrophils’ antifungal activities. CD137, which is encoded by Tnfrsf9 [...] Read more.
Invasive fungal infections by Candida albicans frequently cause mortality in immunocompromised patients. Neutrophils are particularly important for fungal clearance during systemic C. albican infection, yet little has been known regarding which surface receptor controls neutrophils’ antifungal activities. CD137, which is encoded by Tnfrsf9, belongs to the tumor necrosis receptor superfamily and has been shown to regulate neutrophils in Gram-positive bacterial infection. Here, we used genetic and immunological tools to probe the involvement of neutrophil CD137 signaling in innate defense mechanisms against systemic C. albicans infection. We first found that Tnfrsf9−/− mice were susceptible to C. albicans infection, whereas injection of anti-CD137 agonistic antibody protected the host from infection, suggesting that CD137 signaling is indispensable for innate immunity against C. albicans infection. Priming of isolated neutrophils with anti-CD137 antibody promoted their phagocytic and fungicidal activities through phospholipase C. In addition, injection of anti-CD137 antibody significantly augmented restriction of fungal growth in Tnfrsf9−/− mice that received wild-type (WT) neutrophils. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that CD137 signaling contributes to defense mechanisms against systemic C. albicans infection by promoting rapid fungal clearance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Candidiasis 2021)
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Review
Biocontrol of Aflatoxins Using Non-Aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus: A Literature Review
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 381; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050381 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 839
Abstract
Aflatoxins (AFs) are mycotoxins, predominantly produced by Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, A. nomius, and A. pseudotamarii. AFs are carcinogenic compounds causing liver cancer in humans and animals. Physical and biological factors significantly affect AF production during the pre-and post-harvest [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins (AFs) are mycotoxins, predominantly produced by Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, A. nomius, and A. pseudotamarii. AFs are carcinogenic compounds causing liver cancer in humans and animals. Physical and biological factors significantly affect AF production during the pre-and post-harvest time. Several methodologies have been developed to control AF contamination, yet; they are usually expensive and unfriendly to the environment. Consequently, interest in using biocontrol agents has increased, as they are convenient, advanced, and friendly to the environment. Using non-aflatoxigenic strains of A. flavus (AF) as biocontrol agents is the most promising method to control AFs’ contamination in cereal crops. AF strains cannot produce AFs due to the absence of polyketide synthase genes or genetic mutation. AF strains competitively exclude the AF+ strains in the field, giving an extra advantage to the stored grains. Several microbiological, molecular, and field-based approaches have been used to select a suitable biocontrol agent. The effectiveness of biocontrol agents in controlling AF contamination could reach up to 99.3%. Optimal inoculum rate and a perfect time of application are critical factors influencing the efficacy of biocontrol agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control)
Case Report
Two Candida auris Cases in Germany with No Recent Contact to Foreign Healthcare—Epidemiological and Microbiological Investigations
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 380; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050380 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Candida auris has become a global fungal public health threat. This multidrug-resistant yeast is associated with nosocomial intra- and interhospital transmissions causing healthcare-associated infections. Here, we report on two C. auris cases from Germany. The two patients stayed in Germany for a long [...] Read more.
Candida auris has become a global fungal public health threat. This multidrug-resistant yeast is associated with nosocomial intra- and interhospital transmissions causing healthcare-associated infections. Here, we report on two C. auris cases from Germany. The two patients stayed in Germany for a long time before C. auris was detected during their hospitalization. The patients were isolated in single rooms with contact precautions. No nosocomial transmissions were detected within the hospital. Both C. auris isolates exhibited high minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of fluconazole and one isolate additionally high MICs against the echinocandins. Microsatellite genotyping showed that both strains belong to the South Asian clade. These two cases are examples for appropriate in-hospital care and infection control without further nosocomial spread. Awareness for this emerging, multidrug-resistant pathogen is justified and systematic surveillance in European health care facilities should be performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Candida auris 2.0)
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Article
Probiotic Properties and Potentiality of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Strains for the Biological Control of Chalkbrood Disease
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 379; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050379 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Ascosphaera apis is an entomopathogenic fungus that affects honeybees. In stressful conditions, this fungus (due not only to its presence, but also to the combination of other biotic and abiotic stressors) can cause chalkbrood disease. In recent years, there has been increasing attention [...] Read more.
Ascosphaera apis is an entomopathogenic fungus that affects honeybees. In stressful conditions, this fungus (due not only to its presence, but also to the combination of other biotic and abiotic stressors) can cause chalkbrood disease. In recent years, there has been increasing attention paid towards the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the honeybees’ diets to improve their health, productivity and ability to resist infections by pathogenic microorganisms. The screening of 22 strains of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of honeybees and beebread, led to the selection of five strains possessing high antagonistic activity against A. apis. This study focused on the antifungal activity of these five strains against A. apis DSM 3116 and DSM 3117 using different matrices: cell lysate, broth culture, cell-free supernatant and cell pellet. In addition, some functional properties and the antioxidant activity of the five L. plantarum strains were evaluated. All five strains exhibited high antagonistic activity against A. apis, good surface cellular properties (extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production and biofilm formation) and antioxidant activity. Although preliminary, these results are encouraging, and in future investigations, the effectiveness of these bacteria as probiotics in honeybee nutrition will be tested in vivo in the context of an eco-friendly strategy for the biological control of chalkbrood disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Biology in Fungal Research)
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Article
In Vitro Activity of Novel Antifungal Olorofim against Filamentous Fungi and Comparison to Eight Other Antifungal Agents
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 378; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050378 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Olorofim is a novel antifungal drug that belongs to the orotomide drug class which inhibits fungal dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), thus halting pyrimidine biosynthesis and ultimately DNA synthesis, cell growth and division. It is being developed at a time when many invasive fungal infections [...] Read more.
Olorofim is a novel antifungal drug that belongs to the orotomide drug class which inhibits fungal dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), thus halting pyrimidine biosynthesis and ultimately DNA synthesis, cell growth and division. It is being developed at a time when many invasive fungal infections exhibit antifungal resistance or have limited treatment options. The goal of this study was to evaluate the in vitro effectiveness of olorofim against a large collection of recently isolated, clinically relevant American mold isolates. In vitro antifungal activity was determined for 246 azole-susceptible Aspergillus fumigatus isolates, five A. fumigatus with TR34/L98H-mediated resistance, 19 Rhizopus species isolates, 21 Fusarium species isolates, and one isolate each of six other species of molds. Olorofim minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were compared to antifungal susceptibility testing profiles for amphotericin B, anidulafungin, caspofungin, isavuconazole, itraconazole, micafungin, posaconazole, and voriconazole. Olorofim MICs were significantly lower than those of the echinocandin and azole drug classes and amphotericin B. A. fumigatus wild type and resistant isolates shared the same MIC50 = 0.008 μg/mL. In non-Aspergillus susceptible isolates (MIC ≤ 2 μg/mL), the geometric mean (GM) MIC to olorofim was 0.54 μg/mL with a range of 0.015–2 μg/mL. Olorofim had no antifungal activity (MIC ≥ 2 μg/mL) against 10% of the collection (31 in 297), including some isolates from Rhizopus spp. and Fusarium spp. Olorofim showed promising activity against A. fumigatus and other molds regardless of acquired azole resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Structural Biology in Antifungal Drug Discovery)
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Review
The Known Unknowns of the Immune Response to Coccidioides
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050377 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Coccidioidomycosis, otherwise known as Valley Fever, is caused by the dimorphic fungi Coccidioides immitis and C. posadasii. While most clinical cases present with self-limiting pulmonary infection, dissemination of Coccidioides spp. results in prolonged treatment and portends higher mortality rates. While the structure, [...] Read more.
Coccidioidomycosis, otherwise known as Valley Fever, is caused by the dimorphic fungi Coccidioides immitis and C. posadasii. While most clinical cases present with self-limiting pulmonary infection, dissemination of Coccidioides spp. results in prolonged treatment and portends higher mortality rates. While the structure, genome, and niches for Coccidioides have provided some insight into the pathogenesis of disease, the underlying immunological mechanisms of clearance or inability to contain the infection in the lung are poorly understood. This review focuses on the known innate and adaptive immune responses to Coccidioides and highlights three important areas of uncertainty and potential approaches to address them. Closing these gaps in knowledge may enable new preventative and therapeutic strategies to be pursued. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coccidioides and Coccidioidomycosis 2020)
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Brief Report
Penetration of Isavuconazole in Ascites Fluid of Critically Ill Patients
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050376 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Fungal peritonitis is a life-threatening condition which is not only difficult to diagnose, but also to treat. Following recent guidelines, echinocandins and azoles are the recommended antimycotics for the management of intra-abdominal Candida spp. infections, with a favor for echinocandins in critically ill [...] Read more.
Fungal peritonitis is a life-threatening condition which is not only difficult to diagnose, but also to treat. Following recent guidelines, echinocandins and azoles are the recommended antimycotics for the management of intra-abdominal Candida spp. infections, with a favor for echinocandins in critically ill patients. However, the new extended spectrum triazole isavuconazole also has a broad spectrum against Candida spp. Data on its target-site penetration are sparse. Therefore, we assessed isavuconazole concentrations and penetration ratios in ascites fluid of critically ill patients. Obtaining of Isavuconazole plasma and ascites fluid levels as well penetration ratios using paracentesis in critically ill patients. Isavuconazole concentrations were quantified in human plasma and ascites by a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Isavuconazole concentrations in plasma and ascites fluid were measured in sixteen critically ill patients. Isavuconazol levels in ascites fluid (1.06 µg/mL) were lower than plasma levels (3.08 µg/mL). Penetration ratio was 36%. In two out of sixteen patients, Candida spp., in detail C. glabrata and C. tropicalis, could be isolated. Cmax/MIC Ratio in plasma of 560 for C. glabrata and 2166 for C. tropicalis could be observed. Following our results, isavuconazole penetrates into ascites. Successful treatment in Candida spp. peritonitis depends on pathogen susceptibility. Full article
Article
Development of CAPS Markers for Evaluation of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure in the Germplasm of Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 375; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050375 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Agaricus bisporus is a globally cultivated mushroom with high economic value. Despite its widespread cultivation, commercial button mushroom strains have little genetic diversity and discrimination of strains for identification and breeding purposes is challenging. Molecular markers suitable for diversity analyses of germplasms with [...] Read more.
Agaricus bisporus is a globally cultivated mushroom with high economic value. Despite its widespread cultivation, commercial button mushroom strains have little genetic diversity and discrimination of strains for identification and breeding purposes is challenging. Molecular markers suitable for diversity analyses of germplasms with similar genotypes and discrimination between accessions are needed to support the development of new varieties. To develop cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences (CAPs) markers, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mining was performed based on the A. bisporus genome and resequencing data. A total of 70 sets of CAPs markers were developed and applied to 41 A. bisporus accessions for diversity, multivariate, and population structure analyses. Of the 70 SNPs, 62.85% (44/70) were transitions (G/A or C/T) and 37.15% (26/70) were transversions (A/C, A/T, C/G, or G/T). The number of alleles per locus was 1 or 2 (average = 1.9), and expected heterozygosity and gene diversity were 0.0–0.499 (mean = 0.265) and 0.0–0.9367 (mean = 0.3599), respectively. Multivariate and cluster analyses of accessions produced similar groups, with F-statistic values of 0.134 and 0.153 for distance-based and model-based groups, respectively. A minimum set of 10 markers optimized for accession identification were selected based on high index of genetic diversity (GD, range 0.299–0.499) and major allele frequency (MAF, range 0.524–0.817). The CAPS markers can be used to evaluate genetic diversity and population structure and will facilitate the management of emerging genetic resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Identification of a Novel Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Aspergillus niger Using Comparative Genomics
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 374; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050374 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Previously, DNA microarrays analysis showed that, in co-culture with Bacillus subtilis, a biosynthetic gene cluster anchored with a nonribosomal peptides synthetase of Aspergillus niger is downregulated. Based on phylogenetic and synteny analyses, we show here that this gene cluster, NRRL3_00036-NRRL3_00042, comprises [...] Read more.
Previously, DNA microarrays analysis showed that, in co-culture with Bacillus subtilis, a biosynthetic gene cluster anchored with a nonribosomal peptides synthetase of Aspergillus niger is downregulated. Based on phylogenetic and synteny analyses, we show here that this gene cluster, NRRL3_00036-NRRL3_00042, comprises genes predicted to encode a nonribosomal peptides synthetase, a FAD-binding domain-containing protein, an uncharacterized protein, a transporter, a cytochrome P450 protein, a NAD(P)-binding domain-containing protein and a transcription factor. We overexpressed the in-cluster transcription factor gene NRRL3_00042. The overexpression strain, NRRL3_00042OE, displays reduced growth rate and production of a yellow pigment, which by mass spectrometric analysis corresponds to two compounds with masses of 409.1384 and 425.1331. We deleted the gene encoding the NRRL3_00036 nonribosomal peptides synthetase in the NRRL3_00042OE strain. The resulting strain reverted to the wild-type phenotype. These results suggest that the biosynthetic gene cluster anchored by the NRRL3_00036 nonribosomal peptides synthetase gene is regulated by the in-cluster transcriptional regulator gene NRRL3_00042, and that it is involved in the production of two previously uncharacterized compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Biology in Fungal Research)
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Article
Transcriptome Analysis of the Japanese Pine Sawyer Beetle, Monochamus alternatus, Infected with the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae JEF-197
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 373; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050373 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 589
Abstract
The Japanese pine sawyer (JPS) beetle, Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), damages pine trees and transmits the pine wilt nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Nickle. Chemical agents have been used to control JPS beetle, but due to various issues, efforts are being made to replace [...] Read more.
The Japanese pine sawyer (JPS) beetle, Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), damages pine trees and transmits the pine wilt nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Nickle. Chemical agents have been used to control JPS beetle, but due to various issues, efforts are being made to replace these chemical agents with entomopathogenic fungi. We investigated the expression of immune-related genes in JPS beetle in response to infection with JEF-197, a Metarhizium anisopliae isolate, using RNA-seq. RNA samples were obtained from JEF-197, JPS adults treated with JEF-197, and non-treated JPS adults on the 8th day after fungal treatment, and RNA-seq was performed using Illumina sequencing. JPS beetle transcriptome was assembled de novo and differentially expressed gene (DEG) analysis was performed. There were 719 and 1953 up- and downregulated unigenes upon JEF-197 infection, respectively. Upregulated contigs included genes involved in RNA transport, ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes, spliceosome-related genes, and genes involved in immune-related signaling pathways such as the Toll and Imd pathways. Forty-two fungal DEGs related to energy and protein metabolism were upregulated, and genes involved in the stress response were also upregulated in the infected JPS beetles. Together, our results indicate that infection of JPS beetles by JEF-197 induces the expression of immune-related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogen as Potent Toxin for Pest and Disease Control)
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Article
Rhizopus oryzae-Mediated Green Synthesis of Magnesium Oxide Nanoparticles (MgO-NPs): A Promising Tool for Antimicrobial, Mosquitocidal Action, and Tanning Effluent Treatment
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 372; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050372 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 620
Abstract
The metabolites of the fungal strain Rhizopus oryaze were used as a biocatalyst for the green-synthesis of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO-NPs). The production methodology was optimized to attain the maximum productivity as follows: 4 mM of precursor, at pH 8, incubation temperature of [...] Read more.
The metabolites of the fungal strain Rhizopus oryaze were used as a biocatalyst for the green-synthesis of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO-NPs). The production methodology was optimized to attain the maximum productivity as follows: 4 mM of precursor, at pH 8, incubation temperature of 35 °C, and reaction time of 36 h between metabolites and precursor. The as-formed MgO-NPs were characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, TEM, SEM-EDX, XRD, DLS, FT-IR, and XPS analyses. These analytical techniques proved to gain crystalline, homogenous, and well-dispersed spherical MgO-NPs with an average size of 20.38 ± 9.9 nm. The potentiality of MgO-NPs was dose- and time-dependent. The biogenic MgO-NPs was found to be a promising antimicrobial agent against the pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans with inhibition zones of 10.6 ± 0.4, 11.5 ± 0.5, 13.7 ± 0.5, 14.3 ± 0.7, and 14.7 ± 0.6 mm, respectively, at 200 μg mL–1. Moreover, MgO-NPs manifested larvicidal and adult repellence activity against Culex pipiens at very low concentrations. The highest decolorization percentages of tanning effluents were 95.6 ± 1.6% at 100 µg/ 100 mL after 180 min. At this condition, the physicochemical parameters of tannery effluents, including TSS, TDS, BOD, COD, and conductivity were reduced with percentages of 97.9%, 98.2%, 87.8%, 95.9%, and 97.3%, respectively. Moreover, the chromium ion was adsorbed with percentages of 98.2% at optimum experimental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Nanotechnology)
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Article
Oral Administration of Armillaria mellea Mycelia Promotes Non-Rapid Eye Movement and Rapid Eye Movement Sleep in Rats
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 371; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7050371 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 663
Abstract
The present study aimed to explore whether water and ethanol extracts of Armillaria mellea mycelia produce sedative and hypnotic effects in rats. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were surgically implanted with two electroencephalogram electrodes on the skull and an electromyogram electrode on neck muscle to [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to explore whether water and ethanol extracts of Armillaria mellea mycelia produce sedative and hypnotic effects in rats. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were surgically implanted with two electroencephalogram electrodes on the skull and an electromyogram electrode on neck muscle to evaluate the alterations in rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep after oral administration of the water and ethanol extracts. Following post-surgical recovery, thirty-six rats were randomly divided into four treatment groups and two control groups. They were treated orally with vehicle, 75 and 150 mg/kg doses of water and ethanolic extracts 15 min prior to the onset of dark (active) period. Electroencephalography results showed that the low dose of A. mellea mycelia water extract increased REM sleep time while the high dose enhanced both REM and NREM sleep times during the subsequent light (rest) period. On the other hand, although the low dose of A. mellea mycelia ethanolic extract did not alter both NREM sleep and REM sleep during the dark and light periods, the high dose increased both REM and NREM sleep during the light periods in naive rats. The HPLC-DAD analyses of both extracts allowed the identification of GABA and seven sesquiterpenoids. Based on these findings, the present study showed for the first time that water and ethanolic extracts of A. mellea mycelia, containing a source of biologically active compounds, could increase both NREM sleep and REM sleep during the rest period and may be useful for the treatment of insomnia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Medicinal Fungi)
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