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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)...
November 15, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Natasha T Forester, Geoffrey A Lane, Melle Steringa, Iain L Lamont, Linda J Johnson
The symbiosis between Epichloë festucae and its host perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is a model system for mutualistic interactions in which the fungal endophyte grows between plant shoot cells and acquires host nutrients to survive. E. festucae synthesises the siderophore epichloënin A (EA) via SidN, a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS). EA is involved in the acquisition of iron, an essential micronutrient, as part of the process of maintaining a stable symbiotic interaction. Here, we mutated a different NRPS gene sidC and showed that it is required for production of a second siderophore ferricrocin (FC)...
November 15, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Gero Steinberg, Nicholas J Harmer, Martin Schuster, Sreedhar Kilaru
In ascomycete fungi, hyphal cells are separated by perforate septa, which allow cell-to-cell communication. To protect against extensive wound-induced damage, septal pores are sealed by peroxisome-derived Woronin bodies (WBs). The mechanism underpinning WB movement is unknown, but cytoplasmic bulk flow may "flush" WBs into the pore. However, some studies suggest a controlled and active mechanism of WB movement. Indeed, in the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici cellular ATP prevents WBs from pore sealing in unwounded cells...
November 15, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Pengyi Zhang, Hongbin Li, Jie Cheng, April Y Sun, Liqing Wang, Gordana Mircevska, Richard Calderone, Dongmei Li
We have previously established that mitochondrial Complex I (CI) mutants of Candida albicans display reduced oxygen consumption, decreased ATP production, and increased reactive oxidant species (ROS) during cell growth. Using the Seahorse XF96 analyzer, the energetic phenotypes of Electron Transport Chain (ETC) complex mutants are further characterized in the current study. The underlying regulation of energetic changes in these mutants is determined in glucose and non-glucose conditions when compared to wild type (WT) cells...
November 13, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Elke-Martina Jung, Erika Kothe, Marjatta Raudaskoski
Basidiomycetes feature a prolonged dikaryotic life stage. A dispute over open versus closed mitosis could be solved using in vivo fluorescence videomicroscopy of histone 2B::EGFP and Lifeact labeled Schizophyllum commune. It revealed nuclei to condense to approximately one fifth in diameter during mitotic prophase. In addition, the specifics of clamp cell formation typical of many basidiomycetes included an actin network at the future site of nuclear division, which allowed for cessation of nuclear movement and re-localization of one nucleus towards the emerging clamp cell, while the other divided along the hyphal axis...
November 9, 2017: 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...
November 1, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Mingyu Ding, Qili Zhu, Yusi Liang, Jing Li, Xinyue Fan, Xiaoyang Yu, Fang He, Houjuan Xu, Yuancun Liang, Jinfeng Yu
Phospholipase D (PLD) is an important phospholipid hydrolase that plays critical roles in various biological processes in eukaryotic cells. However, little is known about its functions in plant pathogenic fungi. In this study, we identified three FgPLD genes in Fusarium graminearum that are homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spo14 gene. We constructed deletion mutants of all three FgPLD genes using homologous recombination. Deletion of FgPLD1 (Δpld1), but not FgPLD2 or FgPLD3, affected hyphal growth, conidiation, and perithecium formation...
October 25, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Elisha Thynne, Megan C McDonald, Peter S Solomon
White grain disorder (WGD) is a recently emerged wheat disease in Australia caused by three Botryosphaeriaceae fungi, from the genus Eutiarosporella. These species are E. tritici-australis, E. darliae, and E. pseudodarliae. Characterisation of the mating type genes for the WGD-species show that the genome sequence of a single E. darliae and E. pseudodarliae isolate both harbour MAT1-2-1 and MAT1-1-1, which suggests that these species are homothallic. However, unlike most other characterised mating-type loci from other homothallic Dothideomycetes, these species' MAT1-1-1 are located at a separate locus, inserted within the coding region of another gene...
October 23, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Gazala Ameen, Gayan Kariyawasam, Gongjun Shi, Timothy L Friesen, Justin D Faris, Shaukat Ali, Jack B Rasmussen, Zhaohui Liu
The ascomycete Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr) is an important fungal pathogen worldwide that causes tan spot of wheat. The fungus is self-fertile because each isolate contains both mating type (MAT) idiomorphs. In this work, we developed knockouts of the MAT genes in Ptr and tested fertility of the knockout strains and outcrossing between the knockout strains carrying the opposite mating type. The fungal strains with deletions of either MAT1-1-1 or MAT1-2-1 did not form mature pseudothecia making them functionally heterothallic...
October 16, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Naser Mohammadi, Rahim Mehrabi, Amir Mirzadi Gohari, Ebrahim Mohammadi Goltapeh, Naser Safaie, Gert H J Kema
The dimorphic fungal pathogen, Zymoseptoria tritici undergoes discrete developmental changes to complete its life cycle on wheat. Molecular mechanisms underlying morphogenesis during infection process of Z. tritici are poorly understood. In this study, we have investigated the role of ZtVf1 gene encoding a transcription factor belonging to C2-H2 subfamily. In planta assays revealed that ZtVf1 is required for virulence. Reduced necrotic lesions and low pycnidia density within the lesions resulted in significantly reduced virulence of ZtVf1 mutants...
October 12, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Takehito Nakazawa, Ayako Izuno, Masato Horii, Rina Kodera, Hiroshi Nishimura, Yuichiro Hirayama, Yuta Tsunematsu, Yasumasa Miyazaki, Tatsuya Awano, Hajime Muraguchi, Kenji Watanabe, Masahiro Sakamoto, Keiji Takabe, Takashi Watanabe, Yuji Isagi, Yoichi Honda
Peroxisomes are well-known organelles that are present in most eukaryotic organisms. Mutant phenotypes caused by the malfunction of peroxisomes have been shown in many fungi. However, these have never been investigated in Agaricomycetes, which include white-rot fungi that degrade wood lignin in nature almost exclusively and play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Based on the results of a forward genetics study to identify mutations causing defects in the ligninolytic activity of the white-rot Agaricomycete Pleurotus ostreatus, we report phenotypes of pex1 disruptants in P...
October 10, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Joost M Lambooij, Michel A Hoogenkamp, Bernd W Brandt, Marleen M Janus, Bastiaan P Krom
Fungi are commonly encountered as part of a healthy oral ecosystem. Candida albicans is the most often observed and investigated fungal species in the oral cavity. The role of fungi in the oral ecosystem has remained enigmatic for decades. Recently, it was shown that C. albicans, in vitro, influences the bacterial composition of young oral biofilms, indicating it possibly plays a role in increasing diversity in the oral ecosystem. C. albicans favored growth of strictly anaerobic species under aerobic culture conditions...
October 5, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Yongli Zhang, Hui Li, Yanyan Wang, Jiangchun Wei
Annexins are calcium-phospholipid binding proteins that play a significant role in the Ca(2+)signaling pathway. These proteins are essential for plants to effectively respond to abiotic stresses. However, their functions and mechanisms remain largely unknown in fungi. In this study, an annexin gene, Epann, was cloned from the lichenized fungus Endocarpon pusillum, a drought resistant organism. Our results showed that Epann was induced by several abiotic stresses in E. pusillum. Heterologous expression of the Epann gene enhanced the stress tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae...
September 18, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Chen Tang, Dianguang Xiong, Yulin Fang, Chengming Tian, Yonglin Wang
The fungus Verticillium dahliae causes vascular wilt disease on various plant species resulting in devastating yield losses worldwide. The capacity of V. dahliae to colonize in host plant xylem and disseminate by microsclerotia has led to studies to evaluate genes associated with pathogenesis and microsclerotia formation. Here, we identified and characterized a V. dahliae homolog to Skn7, a two-component stress response regulator of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Results showed that melanized microsclerotia formation and conidiation were significantly inhibited in the VdSkn7 deletion mutants...
September 14, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Yidong Yu, Jorge Amich, Cornelia Will, Carly E Eagle, Paul S Dyer, Sven Krappmann
Sexual propagation accompanied by recombination and the formation of spore-containing fruiting bodies is a cornerstone of fungal genetics and biology. In the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus sexual identity has previously been shown to be determined by MAT1-1-1 or MAT1-2-1 genes which act as transcriptional regulators and are present within idiomorphs found at the MAT locus. We here report the identification and first characterization of a further novel gene, termed MAT1-2-4, that is present in the MAT1-2 idiomorph of A...
September 6, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Renate Heinzelmann, Daniel Croll, Stefan Zoller, György Sipos, Martin Münsterkötter, Ulrich Güldener, Daniel Rigling
Filamentous fungi exhibit a broad spectrum of heritable growth patterns and morphological variations reflecting the adaptation of the different species to distinct ecological niches. But also within species, isolates show considerable variation in growth rates and other morphological characteristics. The genetic basis of this intraspecific variation in mycelial growth and morphology is currently poorly understood. By chance, a growth mutant in the root rot pathogen Armillaria ostoyae was discovered. The mutant phenotype was characterized by extremely compact and slow growth, as well as shorter aerial hyphae and hyphal compartments in comparison to the wildtype phenotype...
August 30, 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Rajendra Upadhya, Woei C Lam, Brian T Maybruck, Maureen J Donlin, Andrew L Chang, Sarah Kayode, Kate L Ormerod, James A Fraser, Tamara L Doering, Jennifer K Lodge
C. neoformans is an encapsulated fungal pathogen with defined asexual and sexual life cycles. Due to the availability of genetic and molecular tools for its manipulation, it has become a model organism for studies of fungal pathogens, even though it lacks a reliable system for maintaining DNA fragments as extrachromosomal plasmids. To compensate for this deficiency, we identified a genomic gene-free intergenic region where heterologous DNA could be inserted by homologous recombination without adverse effects on the phenotype of the recipient strain...
November 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Isaura Caceres, Rhoda El Khoury, Sylviane Bailly, Isabelle P Oswald, Olivier Puel, Jean-Denis Bailly
Aspergillus flavus, a soil-borne pathogen, represents a danger for humans and animals since it produces the carcinogenic mycotoxin Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). Approaches aiming the reduction of this fungal contaminant mainly involve chemicals that may also be toxic. Therefore, identification and characterization of natural anti-aflatoxigenic products represents a sustainable alternative strategy. Piperine, a major component of black and long peppers, has been previously demonstrated asan AFB1-inhibitor; nevertheless its mechanism of action was yet to be elucidated...
October 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jiajia Liu, Tianchao Hao, Pengjie Hu, Yuanyuan Pan, Xuejun Jiang, Gang Liu
Autophagy is a highly conserved degradation system in eukaryotes. Selective autophagy is used for the degradation of selective cargoes. Selective autophagic processes of yeast include pexophagy, mitophagy, and cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway in which particular vacuolar proteins, such asaminopeptidase I (Ape1), are selectively transported to vacuoles. However, the physiological role of selective autophagy remains elusive in filamentous fungi. ATG11 family proteins asa basic scaffold are essential for most selective autophagy pathways in yeast...
October 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Yuke Cen, Bea Timmermans, Ben Souffriau, Johan M Thevelein, Patrick Van Dijck
Candida glabrata is reported as the second most prevalent human opportunistic fungal pathogen in North America and is threatening patients all over the world. Its incidence is rising, while it has developed resistance to the most widely used antifungal drugs, necessitating new approaches based on better insight into the biology of the organism. Despite its close phylogenetic relationship with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, generating precise genomic alterations in this species is problematic. Previously we have shown that deletion of LIG4, which encodes an enzyme involved in Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ), strongly enhances the probability of obtaining correctly modified transformants...
October 2017: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
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