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Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B

Mikhail A Moldovan, Svetlana A Petrova, Mikhail S Gelfand
Riboswitches are conserved RNA structures located in non-coding regions of mRNA and able to bind small molecules (e.g. metabolites) changing conformation upon binding. This feature enables them to function as regulators of gene expression. The thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) riboswitch is the only type of riboswitches found not only in bacteria, but also in eukaryotes - in plants, green algae, protists, and fungi. Two main mechanisms of fungal TPP riboswitch action, involving alternative splicing, have been established so far...
March 13, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jan H Nagel, Michael J Wingfield, Bernard Slippers
Little is known regarding mating strategies in the Botryosphaeriaceae. To understand sexual reproduction in this fungal family, the mating type genes of Botryosphaeria dothidea and Macrophomina phaseolina, as well as several species of Diplodia, Lasiodiplodia and Neofusicoccum were characterized from whole genome assemblies. Comparisons between the mating type loci of these fungi showed that the mating type genes are highly variable, but in most cases the organization of these genes is conserved. Of the species considered, nine were homothallic and seven were heterothallic...
March 9, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Shengli Wang, Liang Shi, Yanru Hu, Rui Liu, Ang Ren, Jing Zhu, Mingwen Zhao
The transcription factor Skn7 is a highly conserved fungal protein that participates in a variety of processes, including oxidative stress adaptation, fungicide sensitivity, cell wall biosynthesis, cell cycle, and sporulation. In this study, a homologous gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Skn7 was cloned from Ganoderma lucidum. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to study the functions of Skn7, and the two knockdown strains Skn7i-5 and Skn7i-7 were obtained in G. lucidum. The knockdown of GlSkn7 resulted in hypersensitivity to oxidative and cell wall stresses...
March 7, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Chang Jia, Kai Zhang, Dan Zhang, Qilin Yu, Qiang Zhao, Chenpeng Xiao, Yijie Dong, Maoping Chu, Mingchun Li
The vacuolar-type H+ -ATPase (V-ATPase) is known to be associated with various cellular processes. Several V-ATPase subunits have been identified in C. albicans. However, there are still a few V-ATPase subunits and assembly factors that remain uncharacterized. In this study, we identified one of putative V-ATPase assembly factors, Vph2, and V0 subunit, Vma6, and explored their potential functions in C. albicans. Our results revealed that Vph2 and Vma6 were required for the correct distribution of V0 subunit Vph1 and V1 subunit Tfp1...
March 6, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Ioannis F Kalampokis, George C Kapetanakis, Konstantinos A Aliferis, George Diallinas
The development of fungicide-resistant fungal populations represents a major challenge for the agrochemical and agri-food sectors, which threatens food supply and security. The issue becomes complex for fungi that cause quantitative and qualitative losses due to mycotoxin biosynthesis. Nonetheless, currently, the molecular details underlying fungicide action and fungal resistance mechanisms are partially known. Here, we have investigated whether plasma membrane transporters contribute to specific fungicide uptake in the model fungus Aspergillus nidulans...
February 28, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Eloise Ballard, Willem J G Melchers, Jan Zoll, Alistair J P Brown, Paul E Verweij, Adilia Warris
In order to survive, Aspergillus fumigatus must adapt to specific niche environments. Adaptation to the human host includes modifications facilitating persistent colonisation and the development of azole resistance. The aim of this study is to advance understanding of the genetic and physiological adaptation of A. fumigatus in patients during infection and treatment. Thirteen A. fumigatus strains were isolated from a single chronic granulomatous disease patient suffering from persistent and recurrent invasive aspergillosis over a period of 2 years...
February 22, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Peng Qiao, Wei Tian, Peigui Liu, Fuqiang Yu, Juan Chen, Xiaojuan Deng, Shanping Wan, Ran Wang, Yun Wang, Hongen Guo
Tuber indicum is an ectomycorrhizal ascomycete that produces edible ascocarps. Based on a number of specimens with known exact origin, we investigate the speciation of the Tuber indicum complex in southwest China. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used in the study. Phylogeography and population genetics analyses were combined to detect 31 wild populations of the T. indicum complex. Two distinct lineages, Tuber cf. indicum and Tuber cf. himalayense, were identified in the T...
February 12, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jing Liu, Huan-Huan Sun, Sheng-Hua Ying, Ming-Guang Feng
Pbs2, Mkk1 and Ste7 orthologs are three mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinases (MAPKKs) acting as checkpoints of the Hog1, Slt2 and Fus3 MAPK cascades that constitute major parts of fungal signaling network. Here, we show that three other MAPKK-like proteins (Mkk4/5/6) exist in Beauveria bassiana and other entomopathogenic or non-entomopathogenic fungi but lack in yeasts and aspergilli, and elucidate how they function in the fungal insect pathogen. Based on phenotypic defects of single-, double- and triple-deletion mutants, Mkk4, Mkk5 and Mkk6 played collaborative or independent roles in sustaining radial growth on various media, conidiation capacity, conidial germination, conidial UV-B resistance, and/or virulence...
February 2, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
P Markus Wilken, Emma T Steenkamp, Magriet A van der Nest, Michael J Wingfield, Z Wilhelm de Beer, Brenda D Wingfield
Sexual reproduction in the Ascomycota is controlled by genes encoded at the mating-type or MAT1 locus. The two allelic versions of this locus in heterothallic species, referred to as idiomorphs, are defined by the MAT1-1-1 (for the MAT1-1 idiomorph) and MAT1-2-1 (for the MAT1-2 idiomorph) genes. Both idiomorphs can contain additional genes, although the contents of each is typically specific to and conserved within particular Pezizomycotina lineages. Using full genome sequences, complemented with conventional PCR and Sanger sequencing, we compared the mating-type idiomorphs in heterothallic species of Thielaviopsis (Ceratocystidaceae)...
January 30, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Guojian Liao, Yina Wang, Tong-Bao Liu, Gurkirat Kohli, Weidong Qian, Erika Shor, Selvakumar Subbian, Chaoyang Xue
Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common cause of deadly fungal meningitis. This fungus has a complex inositol acquisition and utilization system, and our previous studies have shown the importance of inositol utilization in cryptococcal development and virulence. However, how inositol utilization is regulated in this fungus remains unknown. In this study, we found that inositol, irrespective of the presence of glucose in the media, represses the expression of C. neoformans genes involved in inositol pyrophosphate biosynthesis, including the gene encoding inositol hexakisphosphate kinase Kcs1...
January 18, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Thomas T Baldwin, Evelina Basenko, Omar Harb, Neil A Brown, Martin Urban, Kim E Hammond-Kosack, Phil P Bregitzer
There is no comprehensive storage for generated mutants of Fusarium graminearum or data associated with these mutants. Instead researchers relied on several independent and non-integrated databases. FgMutantDb was designed as a simple spreadsheet that is accessible globally on the web that will function as a centralized source of information on F. graminearum mutants. FgMutantDb aids in the maintenance and sharing of mutants within a research community. It will serve also as a platform for disseminating prepublication results as well as negative results that often go unreported...
January 18, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Dylan Kessler, Hyunkyu Sang, Amanda Bousquet, Jonathan P Hulvey, Dawlyn Garcia, Siyeon Rhee, Yoichiro Hoshino, Toshihiko Yamada, Geunhwa Jung
Sclerotinia homoeocarpa is the causal organism of dollar spot in turfgrasses and is a multinucleate fungus with a history of resistance to multiple fungicide classes. Heterokaryosis gives rise to the coexistence of genetically distinct nuclei within a cell, which contributes to genotypic and phenotypic plasticity in multinucleate fungi. We demonstrate that field isolates, resistant to either a demethylation inhibitor or methyl benzimidazole carbamate fungicide, can form heterokaryons with resistance to each fungicide and adaptability to serial combinations of different fungicide concentrations...
January 10, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Christina S Nødvig, Jakob B Hoof, Martin E Kogle, Zofia D Jarczynska, Jan Lehmbeck, Dorte K Klitgaard, Uffe H Mortensen
CRISPR-Cas9 technologies are revolutionizing fungal gene editing. Here we show that survival of specific Cas9/sgRNA mediated DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) depends on the non-homologous end-joining, NHEJ, DNA repair pathway and we use this observation to develop a tool to assess protospacer efficiency in Aspergillus nidulans. Moreover, we show that in NHEJ deficient strains, highly efficient marker-free gene targeting can be performed. Indeed, we show that even single-stranded oligo nucleotides efficiently works as repair templates of specific Cas9/sgRNA induced DNA DSBs in A...
January 8, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
James W Dohn, Alexander W Grubbs, C Elizabeth Oakley, Berl R Oakley
Technical advances in Aspergillus nidulans enable relatively easy deletion of genomic sequences, insertion of sequences into the genome and alteration of genomic sequences. To extend the power of this system we wished to create strains with several selectable markers in a common genetic background to facilitate multiple, sequential transformations. We have developed an approach, using the recycling of the pyrG selectable marker, that has allowed us to create new deletions of the biA, pabaA, choA, and lysB genes...
January 5, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Huifang Wang, Zhangjiang He, Linli Luo, Xin Zhao, Zhuoyue Lu, Tingying Luo, Min Li, Yongjun Zhang
The aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) belong to the NADP-dependent oxidoreductase superfamily, which play important roles in various physiological functions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. However, many AKR superfamily members remain uncharacterized. Here, a downstream target gene of the HOG1 MAPK pathways coding for an aldo-keto reductase, named Bbakr1, was characterized in the insect fungal pathogen, Beauveria bassiana. Bbakr1 expression increased in response to osmotic and salt stressors, and oxidative and heavy metal (chromium) stress...
January 3, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
María Victoria Aguilar Pontes, Aleksandrina Patyshakuliyeva, Harm Post, Edita Jurak, Kristiina Hildén, Maarten Altelaar, Albert Heck, Mirjam A Kabel, Ronald P de Vries, Miia R Mäkelä
The white button mushroom Agaricus bisporus is one of the most widely produced edible fungus with a great economical value. Its commercial cultivation process is often performed on wheat straw and animal manure based compost that mainly contains lignocellulosic material as a source of carbon and nutrients for the mushroom production. As a large portion of compost carbohydrates are left unused in the current mushroom cultivation process, the aim of this work was to study wild-type A. bisporus strains for their potential to convert the components that are poorly utilized by the commercial strain A15...
December 22, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Lucía Mojardín, Montserrat Vega, Fernando Moreno, Hans-Peter Schmitz, Jürgen J Heinisch, Rosaura Rodicio
The NAD+ -dependent glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (KlGpd1) is an important enzyme for maintenance of the cytosolic redox balance in the milk yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. The enzyme is localized in peroxisomes and in the cytosol, indicating its requirement for the oxidation of NADH in both compartments. Klgpd1 mutants grow more slowly on glucose than wild-type cells and do not grow on ethanol as a sole carbon source. We studied the molecular basis of the latter phenotype and found that Gpd1 is required for high expression of KlICL1 and KlMLS1 which encode the key enzymes of the glyoxylate pathway isocitrate lyase and malate synthase, respectively...
February 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Hye-Seon Kim, Jung-Eun Kim, Hokyoung Son, Daniel Frailey, Robert Cirino, Yin-Won Lee, Randall Duncan, Kirk J Czymmek, Seogchan Kang
Similar to animals and plants, external stimuli cause dynamic spatial and temporal changes of cytoplasmic Ca2+ in fungi. Such changes are referred as the Ca2+ signature and control cellular responses by modulating the activity or location of diverse Ca2+ -binding proteins (CBPs) and also indirectly affecting proteins that interact with CBPs. To understand the mechanism underpinning Ca2+ signaling, therefore, characterization of how Ca2+ moves to and from the cytoplasm to create Ca2+ signatures under different conditions is fundamental...
February 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Kihyuck Choi, Stephen M Marek
Phoma medicaginis (syn. Ascochyta medicaginicola Qchen & L. Cai) causes spring black stem and leaf spot, an important disease of alfalfa and annual medics. P. medicaginis forms uninucleate conidia in melanized pycnidia and is genetically tractable using Agrobacterium mediated transformation (ATMT), resulting in random integration of T-DNA that occasionally generates pycnidial mutants. The T-DNA tagged mutant, P265 displayed smaller pycnidia and more aerial hyphae than the wild type. A single T-DNA disrupted a putative noncanonical poly(A) RNA polymerase gene, Pmncpap1, which in yeast interacts with ribonucleotide reductase (RNR)...
February 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Hazal Boral, Banu Metin, Aylin Döğen, Seyedmojtaba Seyedmousavi, Macit Ilkit
The incidence of fungal diseases has been increasing since 1980, and is associated with excessive morbidity and mortality, particularly among immunosuppressed patients. Of the known 625 pathogenic fungal species, infections caused by the genera Aspergillus, Candida, Cryptococcus, and Trichophyton are responsible for more than 300 million estimated episodes of acute or chronic infections worldwide. In addition, a rather neglected group of opportunistic fungi known as black yeasts and their filamentous relatives cause a wide variety of recalcitrant infections in both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed hosts...
February 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
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