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Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B

Jana Braesel, Janis Fricke, Daniel Schwenk, Dirk Hoffmeister
The prenylphenols are a class of natural products that have been frequently isolated from basidiomycetes, e.g., from the genus Stereum (false turkey tail fungi) and other Russulales as well as from ascomycetes. Biosynthetically, these compounds are considered hybrids, as the orsellinic acid moiety is a polyketide and the prenyl side chain originates from the terpene metabolism, although no literature on the genetic and biochemical background of the biosynthesis is available. In a stereaceous basidiomycete, referred to as BY1, a new prenylphenol, now termed cloquetin, was identified and its structure elucidated by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy...
November 26, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Ines Teichert
The ascomycete Sordaria macrospora has a long history as a model organism for studying fungal sexual development. Starting from an ascospore, sexual fruiting bodies (perithecia) develop within seven days and discharge new ascospores. Sexual development has been studied in detail, revealing genes required for perithecium formation and ascospore germination. However, the germination process per se has not yet been examined. Here I analyze nuclear dynamics during ascospore germination using a fluorescently labeled histone...
November 23, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Cory B Jenkinson, Kiersun Jones, Jie Zhu, Sara Dorhmi, Chang Hyun Khang
To investigate the mitotic dynamics of an appressorium, we used live-cell confocal imaging of a fluorescence-based mitotic reporter strain of Magnaporthe oryzae. We present evidence that the M. oryzae appressorium remains viable and mitotically active well after host penetration. These results suggest the potential roles of the appressorium during post-penetration proliferation of invasive hyphae. Our studies also revealed that a mitotic appressorial nucleus undergoes extreme constriction and elongation as it migrates through the penetration peg in a manner analogous to mitosis during cell-to-cell movement of invasive hyphae...
November 23, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Bruno Giuliano Garisto Donzelli, B Gillian Turgeon, Donna M Gibson, Stuart B Krasnoff
Based on genomic analysis, polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) pathways account for biosynthesis of the majority of the secondary metabolites produced by the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii. To evaluate the contribution of these pathways to M. robertsii fitness and/or virulence, mutants deleted for mrpptA, the Sfp-type 4' phosphopantetheinyl transferase gene required for their activation were generated. ΔmrpptA strains were deficient in PKS and NRPS activity resulting in colonies lacking the typical green pigment that failed to produce the nonribosomal peptides destruxins, serinocylins, and the siderophores ferricrocin and metachelins, as well as the hybrid polyketide-peptides NG-39x that are all produced by the wild type (WT) M...
November 19, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Rong Fan, Steven J Klosterman, Conghao Wang, Krishna V Subbarao, Xiangming Xu, Wenjing Shang, Xiaoping Hu
The fungus Verticillium dahliae causes vascular wilt disease on many plant species, including economically important crop and ornamental plants worldwide. It produces darkly pigmented resting structures known as microsclerotia, which are able to survive for up to 14years in soil, and represent one of the defining characteristics of this species. The pigment produced in V. dahliae is dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin, a form of melanin common among fungi and named so for the intermediary of this melanin biosynthetic pathway...
November 17, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Lucia Rochi, María José Diéguez, Germán Burguener, Martín Alejandro Darino, María Fernanda Pergolesi, Lorena Romina Ingala, Alba Romina Cuyeu, Adrián Turjanski, Enrique Domingo Kreff, Francisco Sacco
Rust fungi are one of the most devastating pathogens of crop plants. The biotrophic fungus Puccinia sorghi Schwein (Ps) is responsible for maize common rust, an endemic disease of maize (Zea mays L) in Argentina that causes significant yield losses in corn production. In spite of this, the Ps genomic sequence was not available. We used Illumina sequencing to rapidly produce the 99.6 Mb draft genome sequence of Ps race RO10H11247, derived from a single-uredinial isolate from infected maize leaves collected in the Argentine Corn Belt Region during 2010...
October 13, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Antoine Porquier, Guillaume Morgant, Javier Moraga, Bérengère Dalmais, Isabelle Luyten, Adeline Simon, Jean-Marc Pradier, Joëlle Amselem, Isidro González Collado, Muriel Viaud
Botrydial (BOT) is a non-host specific phytotoxin produced by the polyphagous phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea. The genomic region of the BOT biosynthetic gene cluster was investigated and revealed two additional genes named Bcbot6 and Bcbot7. Analysis revealed that the G+C/A+T-equilibrated regions that contain the Bcbot genes alternate with A+T-rich regions made of relics of transposable elements that have undergone repeat-induced point mutations (RIP). Furthermore, BcBot6, a Zn(II)2Cys6 putative transcription factor was identified as a nuclear protein and the major positive regulator of BOT biosynthesis...
October 6, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Janneke Aylward, Emma T Steenkamp, Léanne L Dreyer, Francois Roets, Michael J Wingfield, Brenda D Wingfield
Sexual reproduction is necessary to generate genetic diversity and, in ascomycete fungi, this process is controlled by a mating type (MAT) locus with two complementary idiomorphs. Knoxdaviesia capensis and K. proteae (Sordariomycetes; Microascales; Gondwanamycetaceae) are host-specific saprophytic fungi that show high population diversity within their Protea plant hosts in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. We hypothesise that this diversity is the result of outcrossing driven by a heterothallic mating system and sought to describe the MAT1 loci of both species...
October 5, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Ray F David, Michael Reinisch, Frances Trail, Linsey C Marr, David G Schmale
The plant pathogenic ascomycete Fusarium graminearum produces perithecia on corn and small grain residues. These perithecia forcibly discharge ascospores into the atmosphere. Little is known about the relationship among the strength of the perithecial wall, the age of the perithecium, and the quantity of ascospores produced. We used a mechanical compression testing instrument to examine the structural failure rate of perithecial walls from three different strains of F. graminearum (two wild type strains, and a mutant strain unable to produce asci)...
September 28, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Xin Xu, Yonglin Wang, Chengming Tian, Yingmei Liang
Rho GTPases regulate morphology and multiple cellular functions such as asexual development, polarity establishment, and differentiation in fungi. To determine the roles of CgRhoB, a Rho GTPase protein, here we characterized CgRhoB in the poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. First of all, we determined that conidial germination was inhibited and intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) level was increased in the CgRhoB deletion mutants. Loss of CgRhoB resulted in shorter germ tubes and enhanced appressoria formation after germination on the hydrophobic surface...
September 23, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Shohei Kotani, Sho Izawa, Noriyuki Komai, Ayumi Takayanagi, Manabu Arioka
In mammals, cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) play important physiological roles by releasing arachidonic acid, a precursor for bioactive lipid mediators, from the biological membranes. In contrast, fungal cPLA2-like proteins are much less characterized and their roles have remained elusive. AoPlaA is a cPLA2-like protein in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae which, unlike mammalian cPLA2, localizes to mitochondria. In this study, we investigated the biochemical and physiological functions of AoPlaA...
September 12, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Margaret E Katz, Katharyn S Braunberger, Joan M Kelly
Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death (PCD) that occurs during animal development and is also triggered by a variety of signals including nutrient or oxidative stress, hypoxia, DNA damage, viral infection and oncogenic transformation. Though apoptotic-like PCD also occurs in plants and fungi, genes encoding several of the key players in mammalian apoptosis (p53 and BH-domain proteins) have not been identified in these kingdoms. In this report we investigated whether HxkC, a mitochondrial hexokinase-like protein, and XprG, a putative p53-like transcription factor similar to Ndt80, play a role in programmed cell death in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Gero Steinberg
Peroxisomes (POs) are an essential part of the fungal cell's inventory. They are involved in cellular lipid homeostasis, reactive oxygen metabolism and in the synthesis of secondary metabolites. These functions are thought to require frequent organelle-organelle interactions and the even-distribution of POs in fungal hypha. Recent work in the basidiomycete Ustilago maydis and the ascomycete Aspergillus nidulans reveals a crucial role of early endosomes (EEs) in the dynamic behavior of POs required for their cellular distribution and interaction...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Pranav Chettri, Rosie E Bradshaw
In filamentous fungi both pathway-specific and global regulators regulate genes involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. LaeA is a global regulator that was named for its mutant phenotype, loss of aflR expression, due to its effect on the aflatoxin-pathway regulator AflR in Aspergillus spp. The pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum produces a polyketide virulence factor, dothistromin, that is chemically related to aflatoxin and whose pathway genes are also regulated by an ortholog of AflR...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jeong-Hoon Jeong, Seok-Eui Lee, Jinmi Kim
Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, displays apoptotic cell death in response to various stresses and a wide range of antifungal treatments. CaMca1, which is the only metacaspase in C. albicans, has been described as a key player in apoptotic cell death. Edc3 is an mRNA decapping activator and a scaffold protein of processing bodies. Edc3 was previously shown to regulate CaMCA1 expression and oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed the contribution of the catalytic residues of the CaMca1 to the oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and pathogenicity of C...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Holjes Salgado-Lugo, Alejandro Sánchez-Arreguín, José Ruiz-Herrera
Chitin synthases are highly important enzymes in nature, where they synthesize structural components in species belonging to different eukaryotic kingdoms, including kingdom Fungi. Unfortunately, their structure and the molecular mechanism of synthesis of their microfibrilar product remain largely unknown, probably because no fungal active chitin synthases have been isolated, possibly due to their extreme hydrophobicity. In this study we have turned to the heterologous expression of the transcript from a small chitin synthase of Rhizopus oryzae (RO3G_00942, Chs1) in Escherichia coli...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Qili Zhu, Ling Sun, Jiajie Lian, Xuli Gao, Lei Zhao, Mingyu Ding, Jing Li, Yuancun Liang
Phospholipase C (PLC) is an important phospholipid hydrolase that plays critical roles in various biological processes in eukaryotic cells. To elucidate the functions of PLC in morphogenesis and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum, deletion mutants were constructed of all six FgPLC genes identified in this study. Deletion of FgPLC1, but not the other five FgPLC genes, affected hyphal growth and conidiation. The FgPLC1 deletion mutant (Δplc1) also was defective in conidium germination and germ tube growth...
December 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Yingjiao Sun, Yonglin Wang, Chengming Tian
Yeast AP1 transcription factor is a regulator of oxidative stress response. Here, we report the identification and characterization of CgAP1, an ortholog of YAP1 in poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. The expression of CgAP1 was highly induced by reactive oxygen species. CgAP1 deletion mutants displayed enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress compared with the wild-type strain, and their poplar leaf virulence was obviously reduced. However, the mutants exhibited no obvious defects in aerial hyphal growth, conidia production, and appressoria formation...
October 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Shermineh Shahi, Like Fokkens, Petra M Houterman, Martijn Rep
Heterokaryon formation is an essential step in asexual recombination in Fusarium oxysporum. Filamentous fungi have an elaborate nonself recognition machinery to prevent formation and proliferation of heterokaryotic cells, called heterokaryon incompatibility (HI). In F. oxysporum the regulation of this machinery is not well understood. In Neurospora crassa, Vib-1, a putative transcription factor of the p53-like Ndt80 family of transcription factors, has been identified as global regulator of HI. In this study we investigated the role of the F...
October 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jie Gong, Weiwei Wu, MengLong Ran, Xiaowen Wang, Wei Liu, Zhe Wan, Limin Yao, Ruoyu Li
Little is known regarding the population information of Trichophyton rubrum due to a lack of strains with clear sampling information and molecular markers with high discriminatory power. In the present study, we developed a set of microsatellite markers that have a cumulative discriminatory power was 0.993. Using these microsatellites loci, 243 strains T. rubrum that had clear sampling information were analysed. Three genetic diversity indices (Shannon's Information Index, Nei's unbiased gene diversity and allelic richness) were shown to be related to the human population size of the sampling city rather than mean annual temperature or humidity...
October 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
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