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This number of Mycological Research News features: In this issue; Ballistospore release captured; and Erratum: Protolichenes vs Proteolichenes.
Eleven papers are included in this part. These include molecular studies on Glomus, Geosmithia, Pythium on Phragmites, Botryosphaeria synanamorphs on Eucalyptus, Beauveria bassiana, Phytophthora megakarya, and aquatic hyphomycetes. Other contributions address heavy metal damage to Boletus edulis, the antimicrobial effects of different Trichoderma species, macrofungi associated with Salix repens, and the occurrence of zygomycetes on dung.
The following new scientific names are introduced: Geosmithia fassatiae, G. langdonii, G. obscura, and Pythium phragmites spp. nov.
Partial sequences of the mtLSU rDNA were obtained from the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Glomus proliferum (isolate DAOM 226389) and G. intraradices (isolates JJ291 and BEG75). The exon sequences of the two species showed regions of strong divergence. There was no evidence of intra-isolate sequence heterogeneity as it is found in variable regions of nuclear ribosomal genes of Glomeromycota. In G. intraradices JJ291, two introns were found in the partial LSU sequence. One of the introns contained an ORF for a putative site-specific homing endonuclease of the LAGLIDADG family. In G. intraradices BEG75, one of the introns was missing and the other had a DNA sequence distinct from JJ291. G. proliferum had no introns in the region sequenced. A PCR primer was designed to amplify the fragment of the mtLSU of a different, distinguishable G. intraradices genotype from colonized roots of a field sample. These mitochondrial gene sequences are the first reported from the phylum Glomeromycota. Our findings indicate that the intra-individual sequence heterogeneity of the Glomeromycota may be a peculiar feature of the nuclear genes. Therefore, mtLSU and its introns have the potential to be highly sensitive genetic markers for these fungi in the future.
All hypocrealean species of the genus Geosmithia are anamorphic fungi with connections to bark beetles. G. fassatiae, G. langdonii and G. obscura are described as new sympatric species associated with Scolytus carpini, S. intricatus and S. rugulosus in Central Europe. The species represent a complex of three sister taxa with affinities to G. flava that may be distinguished by differences in morphology, unique RAPD patterns and by sequences of ITS region rDNA. Intraspecific variability and habitat specificity of new species is described and discussed. The high morphological, genetic and ecological uniformity suggest that these Geosmithia spp. are recently derived. A key to all accepted hypocrealean species of the genus is provided.
During a study on the occurrence and pathogenicity of oomycetes in the reed-belt (Phragmites australis) of Lake Constance (Germany), a new Pythium resembling the important cereal pathogen species complex P. arrhenomanes/P. graminicola was consistently isolated from necrotic mature reed leaves and reed rhizosphere samples. The new species proved to be significantly more aggressive towards reed leaves and seedlings in vitro than related species. It is characterised by filamentous, inflated sporangia and plerotic oospores with usually more than one antheridium. ITS and cox II sequence data indicate this new species shares a common ancestor with P. arrhenomanes, but the sequence differences are clearly consistent with a divergence of the two taxa and with P. phragmitis being a distinct species. ITS 1 and 2 of 15 isolates of the taxon consistently differed from P. arrhenomanes by 13 positions. Sequence analyses of the cox II gene confirmed the new species' phylogenetic position. This paper gives a formal description of the taxon as P. phragmitis sp. nov., providing information on morphology, ecology and pathogenicity in comparison to related species. As indicated by the close association to Phragmites australis, the high aggressiveness towards reed leaves and seedlings, and the abundance in the investigated stands, Pythium phragmitis might act as a reed pathogen of considerable importance, in particular under flooding situations.
Species within the genus Botryosphaeria include some of the most widespread and important pathogens of woody plants, and have been the focus of numerous taxonomic studies in recent years. It is currently accepted that anamorphs of Botryosphaeria belong to two distinct genera, Fusicoccum and Diplodia. Species within the genus Fusicoccum commonly produce aseptate, hyaline conidia. In the present study, fungi were isolated from foliage and wood of Eucalyptus in native forests and plantations in Australia. Although these fungi produced Dichomera anamorphs in culture, they clustered within the Fusicoccum clade of Botryosphaeria based on their ITS sequence data. Four species, Botryosphaeria dothidea, B. parva, B. ribis and B. australis produced Dichomera conidia in culture. The Dichomera synanamorphs are described for these four species of Botryosphaeria. In addition, falling within the Fusicoccum clade of Botryosphaeria, two species were found to be distinct from previously described Botryosphaeria spp. based on their ITS sequences, but synonymous with D. versiformis and D. eucalypti. These observations are currently unique to isolates from host trees within the genus Eucalyptus in Australia, and the pleoanamorphic nature of these species is discussed.
Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to investigate genetic diversity among 39 isolates of Beauveria spp. (36 B. bassiana, one B. brongniartii, one B. amorpha, and one B. velata) isolated from different insect hosts and geographical origins. Eighteen among 33 primers that contained different simple sequence repeats (SSR) were chosen for their reproducibility and high polymorphism. Considerable intraspecific and interspecific variability among the isolates of Beauveria spp. was revealed. One hundred sixty-eight highly reproducible fragments were amplified in all 39 isolates with an average of 9.3 markers per primer; among these, 161 (95.8%) were polymorphic. For 36 B. bassiana isolates, 8.9 (1–13) markers per primer were scored, and a total of 123 fragments were amplified, in which 102 (82.9%) were polymorphic. Among the 168 polymorphic bands, 7 bands were considered to be specific for B. brongniartii isolate Bbr06, 14 bands for B. amorpha isolate Ba08, and 18 bands for B. velata isolate Bv01. Within 36 B. bassiana isolates, genetic similarity ranged from 0.651 to 0.972. However, the genetic similarity values among different Beauveria species ranged from 0.411 to 0.720, suggesting that ISSR technique was successful in differentiating the three closely related species from B. bassiana. The results also indicated that there was a certain association between B. bassiana isolates and their geographical origins, but no clear correlation between those isolates and their insect hosts. The present study suggested that ISSR markers can be used as robust molecular markers for the population genetics, epidemiological and ecological studies of entomopathogenic fungi.
Phytophthora megakarya is a devastating oomycete pathogen that causes black pod disease in cacao. Phytophthora species produce a protein that has a similar sequence to the necrosis and ethylene inducing protein (Nep1) of Fusarium oxysporum. Multiple copies of NEP1 orthologs (PmegNEP) have been identified in P. megakarya and four other Phytophthora species (P. citrophthora, P. capsici, P. palmivora, and P. sojae). Genome database searches confirmed the existence of multiple copies of NEP1 orthologs in P. sojae and P. ramorum. In this study, nine different PmegNEP orthologs from P. megakarya strain Mk-1 were identified and analyzed. Of these nine orthologs, six were expressed in mycelium and in P. megakarya zoospore-infected cacao leaf tissue. The remaining two clones are either regulated differently, or are nonfunctional genes. Sequence analysis revealed that six PmegNEP orthologs were organized in two clusters of three orthologs each in the P. megakarya genome. Evidence is presented for the instability in the P. megakarya genome resulting from duplications, inversions, and fused genes resulting in multiple NEP1 orthologs. Traits characteristic of the Phytophthora genome, such as the clustering of NEP1 orthologs, the lack of CATT and TATA boxes, the lack of introns, and the short distance between ORFs were also observed.
This study investigates the potential of emissions from a zinc smelter to induce oxidative damage to DNA and lipids in Boletus edulis, the king bolete. Concentrations of cadmium, zinc, copper, and mercury were determined in 16 fruit bodies collected near the smelter (exposed group), as well as in 15 reference samples. Frequency of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites in DNA (a pre-mutagenic DNA base modification) and concentration of lipid hydroperoxides were chosen as damage parameters. Concentrations of the four metals, as well as oxidative damage to DNA and lipids were significantly elevated in the exposed group (Mann–Whitney, P<0.001). Both damage parameters correlated positively with concentrations of cadmium, zinc or copper in fruiting bodies (Spearman's P<0.01). Frequency of AP sites correlated significantly with mercury in the fruit bodies (P<0.05), whereas the association between lipid hydroperoxides and mercury was insignificant. Frequency of AP sites correlated positively with concentration of lipid hydroperoxides (P<0.001). Negative trends for the associations between concentrations of metals and AP sites or lipid hydroperoxides in the reference group (significant only for mercury and lipid hydroperoxides; P<0.05) suggest that in B. edulis low concentrations of mercury, possibly also of other of the metals determined in the present study, may induce dose-response relationships of a hormetic (‘J-shaped’) nature.
Methanol extracts from 24 Trichoderma isolates, selected as biocontrol agents and representating different species and genotypes from three of the four taxonomic sections of this genus (T. sect. Trichoderma, T. sect. Pachybasium and T. sect. Longibrachiatum) were screened for antibacterial, anti-yeast and antifungal activities against a panel of seven bacteria, seven yeasts and six filamentous fungi previously used in similar studies. Two different growth media were tested (potato dextrose broth and CYS80), and all isolates included in the antimicrobial tests showed at least one inhibitory activity against one of the target microorganisms in one of the two culture media. No statistically significant differences were detected in the number of active strains between the two culture media, but the highest number of inhibitory strains against bacteria and fungi were found in strains from Trichoderma sect. Pachybasium, whereas strains from T. sect. Longibrachiatum showed the highest anti-yeast values. In all cases, a correlation was found between the strains that were active against yeasts and fungi. However, some degree of variability was detected for strains within the same taxonomic section. In general terms, strains from T. asperellum (mainly in CYS80 medium), and T. longibrachiatum gave the best non-enzymatic antimicrobial profiles.
Traditional taxonomy of aquatic hyphomycetes has been based on conidial morphology and development. Since the predominantly tetraradiate and sigmoid forms are due to convergent evolution, they are often phylogenetically non-informative. The comparison of nuclear small-subunit ribosomal DNA sequences of 30 species (22 new, eight previously published) assigned 22 to Leotiomycetes, four to Dothideomycetes, three to Sordariomycetes, and one to Orbiliomycetes. Eight species of Anguillospora were distributed among the Leotiomycetes, Dothideomycetes, and Orbiliomycetes. All three anamorphs connected with Massarina were assigned to the Pleosporales, however, Clavariopsis aquatica and Tumularia aquatica separated from Anguillospora longissima. The nSSU rDNA sequences of several species were identical (e.g. Anguillospora crassa and A. furtiva), suggesting the need to include less conservative genes for resolving such differences.
Macromycetes recorded from beds of creeping willow, Salix repens, in the northern archipelagos of Shetland and Orkney are listed and discussed. Two components are demonstrated, an arctic-alpine group and one which is more typical of lowland frondose woodland communities in mainland Britain. The importance of maintaining, even encouraging the development of creeping willow beds with their attendant ectomycorrhizal fungi in conservation terms are explored.
Records of the Piptocephalidaceae and Chaetocladiaceae from over 800 samples of dung collected worldwide are analysed. Piptocephalis species were frequent, occurring especially on dung of rabbit (31% of all samples) in temperate regions. Chaetocladium and Syncephalis species were much less frequent. The status of these fungi as coprophils and reasons for the differences in distribution and substrate preference are discussed.