ResearchPad - fungal-structure https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Unravelling the mystery of “Madagascar copal”: Age, origin and preservation of a Recent resin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15728 The loss of biodiversity during the Anthropocene is a constant topic of discussion, especially in the top biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar. In this regard, the study of preserved organisms through time, like those included in "Madagascar copal", is of relevance. “Madagascar copal" originated from the leguminous tree Hymenaea verrucosa, which produced and produces resin abundantly. In the last 20 years, interest has focused on the scientific study of its biological inclusions, mainly arthropods, described in dozens of publications. The age and origin of the deposits of "Madagascar copal" have not yet been resolved. Our objectives are to determine its age and geographical origin, and thus increase its scientific value as a source of biological/palaeobiological information. Although Hymenaea was established in Madagascar during the Miocene, we did not find geological deposits of copal or amber in the island. It is plausible that the evolution of those deposits was negatively conditioned by the type of soil, by the climate, and by the development of soil/litter microorganisms, which inhibit preservation of the resin pieces in the litter and subsoil over 300 years. Our results indicate that "Madagascar copal" is a Recent resin, up to a few hundred years old, that originated from Hymenaea trees growing in the lowland coastal forests, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The included and preserved biota is representative of that ecosystem today and during historical times. Inclusions in this Recent resin do not have the palaeontological significance that has been mistakenly attributed to them, but they do have relevant implications for studies regarding Anthropocene biodiversity loss in this hottest hotspot.

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<![CDATA[Mycelial biomass estimation and metabolic quotient of <i>Lentinula edodes</i> using species-specific qPCR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15715 Lentinula edodes, commonly known as shiitake, is an edible mushroom that is cultivated and consumed around the globe, especially in Asia. Monitoring mycelial growth inside a woody substrate is difficult, but it is essential for effective management of mushroom cultivation. Mycelial biomass also affects the rate of wood decomposition under natural conditions and must be known to determine the metabolic quotient, an important ecophysiological parameter of fungal growth. Therefore, developing a method to measure it inside a substrate would be very useful. In this study, as the first step in understanding species-specific rates of fungal decomposition of wood, we developed species-specific primers and qPCR procedures for L. edodes. We tested primer specificity using strains of L. edodes from Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as related species of fungi and plant species for cultivation of L. edodes, and generated a calibration curve for quantification of mycelial biomass in wood dust inoculated with L. edodes. The qPCR procedure we developed can specifically detect L. edodes and allowed us to quantify the increase in L. edodes biomass in wood dust substrate and calculate the metabolic quotient based on the mycelial biomass and respiration rate. Development of a species-specific method for biomass quantification will be useful for both estimation of mycelial biomass and determining the kinetics of fungal growth in decomposition processes.

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<![CDATA[Cobalt ion interaction with TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel: Inhibition and potentiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nba3bff3f-41a4-460d-bc9b-3a7adada8996

TMEM16A, a Ca2+-sensitive Cl- channel, plays key roles in many physiological functions related to Cl- transport across lipid membranes. Activation of this channel is mediated via binding intracellular Ca2+ to the channel with a relatively high apparent affinity, roughly in the sub-μM to low μM concentration range. Recently available high-resolution structures of TMEM16 molecules reveal that the high-affinity Ca2+ activation sites are formed by several acidic amino acids, using their negatively charged sidechain carboxylates to coordinate the bound Ca2+. In this study, we examine the interaction of TMEM16A with a divalent cation, Co2+, which by itself cannot activate current in TMEM16A. This divalent cation, however, has two effects when applied intracellularly. It inhibits the Ca2+-induced TMEM16A current by competing with Ca2+ for the aforementioned high-affinity activation sites. In addition, Co2+ also potentiates the Ca2+-induced current with a low affinity. This potentiation effect requires high concentration (mM) of Co2+, similar to our previous findings that high concentrations (mM) of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) can induce more TMEM16A current after the Ca2+-activation sites are saturated by tens of μM [Ca2+]i. The degrees of potentiation by Co2+ and Ca2+ also roughly correlate with each other. Interestingly, mutating a pore residue of TMEM16A, Y589, alters the degree of potentiation in that the smaller the sidechain of the replaced residue, the larger the potentiation induced by divalent cations. We suggest that the Co2+ potentiation and the Ca2+ potentiation share a similar mechanism by increasing Cl- flux through the channel pore, perhaps due to an increase of positive pore potential after the binding of divalent cations to phospholipids in the pore. A smaller sidechain of a pore residue may allow the pore to accommodate more phospholipids, thus enhancing the current potentiation caused by high concentrations of divalent cations.

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<![CDATA[The seven transmembrane domain protein MoRgs7 functions in surface perception and undergoes coronin MoCrn1-dependent endocytosis in complex with Gα subunit MoMagA to promote cAMP signaling and appressorium formation in Magnaporthe oryzae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95f6d5eed0c484735053

Regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins primarily function as GTPase-accelerating proteins (GAPs) to promote GTP hydrolysis of Gα subunits, thereby regulating G-protein mediated signal transduction. RGS proteins could also contain additional domains such as GoLoco to inhibit GDP dissociation. The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae encodes eight RGS and RGS-like proteins (MoRgs1 to MoRgs8) that have shared and distinct functions in growth, appressorium formation and pathogenicity. Interestingly, MoRgs7 and MoRgs8 contain a C-terminal seven-transmembrane domain (7-TM) motif typical of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) proteins, in addition to the conserved RGS domain. We found that MoRgs7, but not MoRgs8, couples with Gα MoMagA to undergo endocytic transport from the plasma membrane to the endosome upon sensing of surface hydrophobicity. We also found that MoRgs7 can interact with hydrophobic surfaces via a hydrophobic interaction, leading to the perception of environmental hydrophobiccues. Moreover, we found that MoRgs7-MoMagA endocytosis is regulated by actin patch-associated protein MoCrn1, linking it to cAMP signaling. Our studies provided evidence suggesting that MoRgs7 could also function in a GPCR-like manner to sense environmental signals and it, together with additional proteins of diverse functions, promotes cAMP signaling required for developmental processes underlying appressorium function and pathogenicity.

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<![CDATA[Thermotolerant isolates of Beauveria bassiana as potential control agent of insect pest in subtropical climates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df31dd5eed0c484580d3c

The use of Beauveria bassiana in biological control of agricultural pests is mainly hampered by environmental factors, such as elevated temperatures and low humidity. These limitations, further amplified in a global warming scenario, could nullify biological control strategies based on this fungus. The identification of thermotolerant B. bassiana isolates represents a possible strategy to overcome this problem. In this study, in order to maximize the probability in the isolation of thermotolerant B. bassiana, soil samples and infected insects were collected in warm areas of Syria. The obtained fungal isolates were tested for different biological parameters (i.e., growth rate, sporulation and spore germination) at growing temperatures ranging from 20°C to 35°C. Among these isolates (eight from insects and 11 from soil samples), the five with the highest growth rate, spore production and germination at 30°C were tested for their entomopathogenicity through in vivo assays on Ephestia kuehniella larvae. Insect mortality induced by the five isolates ranged from 31% to 100%. Two isolates, one from Phyllognathus excavatus and one from soil, caused 50% of the larval mortality in less than four days, reaching values exceeding 92% in ten days. These two isolates were molecularly identified as B. bassiana sensu stricto by using three markers (i.e., ITS, Bloc and EF1-α). Considering these promising results, further studies are ongoing, testing their efficiency in field conditions as control agents for agricultural insect pests in Mediterranean and Subtropical regions.

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<![CDATA[The wood decay fungus Cerrena unicolor adjusts its metabolism to grow on various types of wood and light conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633975d5eed0c484ae67e0

Cerrena unicolor is a wood-degrading basidiomycete with ecological and biotechnological importance. Comprehensive Biolog-based analysis was performed to assess the metabolic capabilities and sensitivity to chemicals of C. unicolor FCL139 growing in various sawdust substrates and light conditions. The metabolic preferences of the fungus towards utilization of specific substrates were shown to be correlated with the sawdust medium applied for fungus growth and the light conditions. The highest catabolic activity of C. unicolor was observed after fungus precultivation on birch and ash sawdust media. The fungus growing in the dark showed the highest metabolic activity which was indicated by capacity to utilize a broad spectrum of compounds and the decomposition of 74/95 of the carbon sources. In all the culture light conditions, p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid was the most readily metabolized compound. The greatest tolerance to chemicals was also observed during C. unicolor growth in darkness. The fungus was the most sensitive to nitrogen compounds and antibiotics, but more resistant to chelators. Comparative analysis of C. unicolor and selected wood-decay fungi from different taxonomic and ecological groups revealed average catabolic activity of the fungus. However, C. unicolor showed outstanding capabilities to catabolize salicin and arbutin. The obtained picture of C. unicolor metabolism showed that the fungus abilities to decompose woody plant material are influenced by various environmental factors.

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<![CDATA[Nuclear arms races: Experimental evolution for mating success in the mushroom-forming fungus Schizophyllum commune]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7f9ed5eed0c48451a26f

When many gametes compete to fertilize a limited number of compatible gametes, sexual selection will favour traits that increase competitive success during mating. In animals and plants, sperm and pollen competition have yielded many interesting adaptations for improved mating success. In fungi, similar processes have not been shown directly yet. We test the hypothesis that sexual selection can increase competitive fitness during mating, using experimental evolution in the mushroom-forming fungus Schizophyllum commune (Basidiomycota). Mating in mushroom fungi occurs by donation of nuclei to a mycelium. These fertilizing ‘male’ nuclei migrate through the receiving ‘female’ mycelium. In our setup, an evolving population of nuclei was serially mated with a non-evolving female mycelium for 20 sexual generations. From the twelve tested evolved lines, four had increased and one had decreased fitness relative to an unevolved competitor. Even though only two of those five remained significant after correcting for multiple comparisons, for all five lines we found a correlation between the efficiency with which the female mycelium is accessed and fitness, providing additional circumstantial evidence for fitness change in those five lines. In two lines, fitness change was also accompanied by increased spore production. The one line with net reduced competitive fitness had increased spore production, but reduced fertilisation efficiency. We did not find trade-offs between male reproductive success and other fitness components. We compare these findings with examples of sperm and pollen competition and show that many similarities between these systems and nuclear competition in mushrooms exist.

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<![CDATA[Danger signals activate a putative innate immune system during regeneration in a filamentous fungus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae430d5eed0c4845891aa

The ability to respond to injury is a biological process shared by organisms of different kingdoms that can even result in complete regeneration of a part or structure that was lost. Due to their immobility, multicellular fungi are prey to various predators and are therefore constantly exposed to mechanical damage. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of how fungi respond to injury is scarce. Here we show that activation of injury responses and hyphal regeneration in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma atroviride relies on the detection of two danger or alarm signals. As an early response to injury, we detected a transient increase in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) that was promoted by extracellular ATP, and which is likely regulated by a mechanism of calcium-induced calcium-release. In addition, we demonstrate that the mitogen activated protein kinase Tmk1 plays a key role in hyphal regeneration. Calcium- and Tmk1-mediated signaling cascades activated major transcriptional changes early following injury, including induction of a set of regeneration associated genes related to cell signaling, stress responses, transcription regulation, ribosome biogenesis/translation, replication and DNA repair. Interestingly, we uncovered the activation of a putative fungal innate immune response, including the involvement of HET domain genes, known to participate in programmed cell death. Our work shows that fungi and animals share danger-signals, signaling cascades, and the activation of the expression of genes related to immunity after injury, which are likely the result of convergent evolution.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Bactrocera oleae on the fungal microbiota of ripe olive drupes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c099458d5eed0c4842aeaa5

The olive fruit fly (OFF), Bactrocera oleae is the most devastating pest affecting olive fruit worldwide. Previous investigations have addressed the fungal microbiome associated with olive drupes or B. oleae, but the impact of the insect on fungal communities of olive fruit remains undescribed. In the present work, the fungal microbiome of olive drupes, infested and non-infested by the OFF, was investigated in four different localities and cultivars. Olive fruit fly infestations caused a general reduction of the fungal diversity, a higher quantity of the total DNA and an increase in taxa that remained unidentified or had unknown roles. The infestations led to imbalanced fungal communities with the growth of taxa that are usually outcompeted. While it was difficult to establish a cause-effect link between fly infestation and specific fungi, it is clear that the fly alters the natural microbial balance, especially the low abundant taxa. On the other hand, the most abundant ones, were not significantly influenced by the insect. In fact, despite the slight variation between the sampling locations, Aureobasidium, Cladosporium, and Alternaria, were the dominant genera, suggesting the existence of a typical olive fungal microbiome.

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<![CDATA[Preservation potential of keratin in deep time]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841b6d5eed0c484fca868

Multiple fossil discoveries and taphonomic experiments have established the durability of keratin. The utility and specificity of antibodies to identify keratin peptides has also been established, both in extant feathers under varying treatment conditions, and in feathers from extinct organisms. Here, we show localization of feather-keratin antibodies to control and heat-treated feathers, testifying to the repeatability of initial data supporting the preservation potential of keratin. We then show new data at higher resolution that demonstrates the specific response of these antibodies to the feather matrix, we support the presence of protein in heat-treated feathers using ToF-SIMS, and we apply these methods to a fossil feather preserved in the unusual environment of sinter hot springs. We stress the importance of employing realistic conditions such as sediment burial when designing experiments intended as proxies for taphonomic processes occurring in the fossil record. Our data support the hypothesis that keratin, particularly the β-keratin that comprises feathers, has potential to preserve in fossil remains.

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<![CDATA[<i>PLoS Pathogens</i> Issue Image | Vol. 14(11) November 2018]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae487d5eed0c484589e42

Lymph nodes are sites of prolonged bacterial persistence during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in macaques

In Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected macaques, lymph nodes are the second most commonly infected anatomic sites after the lungs. This image shows the architecture and organization of a thoracic lymph node before M. tuberculosis infection. Once infected, granulomas form and disrupt the lymph node structure and this is associated with higher bacterial burden. Flynn et al.

Image Credit: Edwin C. Klein, University of Pittsburg (2018)

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome profiling of Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici during compatible and incompatible interactions with sister wheat lines carrying and lacking Pm40]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a196b463d7e428027f8b2

Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt) is an obligate biotrophic fungus that causes wheat powdery mildew, which is a devastating disease in wheat. However, little is known about the pathogenesis of this fungus, and differences in the pathogenesis of the same pathogen at various resistance levels in hosts have not been determined. In the present study, leaf tissues of both Pm40-expressing hexaploid wheat line L658 and its Pm40-deficient sister line L958 were harvested at 0 (without inoculation), 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours post-inoculation (hpi) with Bgt race 15 and then subjected to RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). In addition, we also observed changes in fungal growth morphology at the aforementioned time points. There was a high correlation between percentage of reads mapped to the Bgt reference genome and biomass of the fungus within the leaf tissue during the growth process. The percentage of mapped reads of Bgt in compatible interactions was significantly higher (at the p<0.05 level) than that of reads in incompatible interactions from 24 to 72 hpi. Further functional annotations indicated that expression levels of genes encoding H+-transporting ATPase, putative secreted effector proteins (PSEPs) and heat shock proteins (HSPs) were significantly up-regulated in compatible interactions compared with these levels in incompatible interactions, particularly at 72 hpi. Moreover, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis suggested that genes involved in the endocytosis pathway were also enriched in compatible interactions. Overall, genes encoding H+-transporting ATPase, PSEPs and HSPs possibly played crucial roles in successfully establishing the pathogenesis of compatible interactions during late stages of inoculation. The study results also indicated that endocytosis is likely to play a potential role in Bgt in establishing compatible interactions.

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<![CDATA[Exploitation of Trametes versicolor for bioremediation of endocrine disrupting chemicals in bioreactors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02bd

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are environmental contaminants causing increasing concerns due to their toxicity, persistence and ubiquity. In the present study, degradative capabilities of Trametes versicolor, Pleurotus ostreatus and Phanerochaete chrysosporium to act on five EDCs, which represent different classes of chemicals (phenols, parabens and phthalate) and were first applied as single compounds, were assessed. T. versicolor was selected due to its efficiency against target EDCs and its potentialities were exploited against a mixture of EDCs in a cost-effective bioremediation process. A fed-batch approach as well as a starvation strategy were applied in order to reduce the need for input of ‘fresh’ biomass, and avoid the requirement for external nutrients. The fungus was successfully operated in two different bioreactors over one week. Semi-batch cultures were carried out by daily adding a mixture of EDCs to the bioreactors in a total of five consecutive degradation cycles. T. versicolor was able to efficiently remove all compounds during each cycle converting up to 21 mg L-1 day-1 of the tested EDCs. The maintained ability of T. versicolor to remove EDCs without any additional nutrients represents the main outcome of this study, which enables to forecast its application in a water treatment process.

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<![CDATA[New Insights into the Structure of (1→3,1→6)-β-D-Glucan Side Chains in the Candida glabrata Cell Wall]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbb04f

β-glucan is a (1→3)-β-linked glucose polymer with (1→6)-β-linked side chains and a major component of fungal cell walls. β-glucans provide structural integrity to the fungal cell wall. The nature of the (1–6)-β-linked side chain structure of fungal (1→3,1→6)-β-D-glucans has been very difficult to elucidate. Herein, we report the first detailed structural characterization of the (1→6)-β-linked side chains of Candida glabrata using high-field NMR. The (1→6)-β-linked side chains have an average length of 4 to 5 repeat units spaced every 21 repeat units along the (1→3)-linked polymer backbone. Computer modeling suggests that the side chains have a bent curve structure that allows for a flexible interconnection with parallel (1→3)-β-D-glucan polymers, and/or as a point of attachment for proteins. Based on these observations we propose new approaches to how (1→6)-β-linked side chains interconnect with neighboring glucan polymers in a manner that maximizes fungal cell wall strength, while also allowing for flexibility, or plasticity.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Degenerate Nuclei and Development of a SCAR Marker for Flammulina velutipes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ecab0ee8fa60b6cdb2

Flammulina velutipes is one of the major edible mushrooms in the world. Recently, abnormalities that have a negative impact on crop production have been reported in this mushroom. These symptoms include slow vegetative growth, a compact mycelial mat, and few or even no fruiting bodies. The morphologies and fruiting capabilities of monokaryons of wild-type and degenerate strains that arose through arthrospore formation were investigated through test crossing. Only one monokaryotic group of the degenerate strains and its hybrid strains showed abnormal phenotypes. Because the monokaryotic arthrospore has the same nucleus as the parent strain, these results indicated that only one aberrant nucleus of the two nuclei in the degenerate strain was responsible for the degeneracy. A sequence-characterized amplified region marker that is linked to the degenerate monokaryon was identified based on a polymorphic sequence that was generated using random primers. Comparative analyses revealed the presence of a degenerate-specific genomic region in a telomere, which arose via the transfer of a genomic fragment harboring a putative helicase gene. Our findings have narrowed down the potential molecular targets responsible for this phenotype for future studies and have provided a marker for the detection of degenerate strains.

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<![CDATA[Validation of Reference Genes for Robust qRT-PCR Gene Expression Analysis in the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85f6d

The rice blast fungus causes significant annual harvest losses. It also serves as a genetically-tractable model to study fungal ingress. Whilst pathogenicity determinants have been unmasked and changes in global gene expression described, we know little about Magnaporthe oryzae cell wall remodelling. Our interests, in wall remodelling genes expressed during infection, vegetative growth and under exogenous wall stress, demand robust choice of reference genes for quantitative Real Time-PCR (qRT-PCR) data normalisation. We describe the expression stability of nine candidate reference genes profiled by qRT-PCR with cDNAs derived during asexual germling development, from sexual stage perithecia and from vegetative mycelium grown under various exogenous stressors. Our Minimum Information for Publication of qRT-PCR Experiments (MIQE) compliant analysis reveals a set of robust reference genes used to track changes in the expression of the cell wall remodelling gene MGG_Crh2 (MGG_00592). We ranked nine candidate reference genes by their expression stability (M) and report the best gene combination needed for reliable gene expression normalisation, when assayed in three tissue groups (Infective, Vegetative, and Global) frequently used in M. oryzae expression studies. We found that MGG_Actin (MGG_03982) and the 40S 27a ribosomal subunit MGG_40s (MGG_02872) proved to be robust reference genes for the Infection group and MGG_40s and MGG_Ef1 (Elongation Factor1-α) for both Vegetative and Global groups. Using the above validated reference genes, M. oryzae MGG_Crh2 expression was found to be significantly (p<0.05) elevated three-fold during vegetative growth as compared with dormant spores and two fold higher under cell wall stress (Congo Red) compared to growth under optimal conditions. We recommend the combinatorial use of two reference genes, belonging to the cytoskeleton and ribosomal synthesis functional groups, MGG_Actin, MGG_40s, MGG_S8 (Ribosomal subunit 40S S8) or MGG_Ef1, which demonstrated low M values across heterogeneous tissues. By contrast, metabolic pathway genes MGG_Fad (FAD binding domain-containing protein) and MGG_Gapdh (Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) performed poorly, due to their lack of expression stability across samples.

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<![CDATA[Germ Tube Mediated Invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Amphibian Skin Is Host Dependent]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b9955f

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.

We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea.

Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus.

In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent characteristics of the host epidermis.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of Five Novel Mitoviruses in the White Pine Blister Rust Fungus Cronartium ribicola]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e5ab0ee8fa60b6aec6

The white pine blister rust (WPBR) fungus Cronartium ribicola (J.C. Fisch.) is an exotic invasive forest pathogen causing severe stem canker disease of native white pine trees (subgenus Strobus) in North America. The present study reports discovery of five novel mitoviruses in C. ribicola by deep RNA sequencing. The complete genome of each mitovirus was determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) was detected in each of the viral genomes using mitochondrial genetic codes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the C. ribicola mitoviruses (CrMV1 to CrMV5) are new putative species of the genus Mitovirus. qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq analyses revealed that viral RNAs were significantly increased in fungal mycelia in cankered pine stems compared to expression during two different stages of spore development, suggesting that viral genome replication and transcription benefit from active growth of the host fungus. CrMVs were widespread with relatively high levels of minor allele frequency (MAF) in western North America. As the first report of mitoviruses in the Class Pucciniomycetes, this work allows further investigation of the dynamics of a viral community in the WPBR pathosystem, including potential impacts that may affect pathogenicity and virulence of the host fungus.

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<![CDATA[The Trypanosome Nuclear Pore Reveals 1.5 Billion Years of Similarities and Differences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4dab0ee8fa60b8d2f8

Comparison of the nuclear pore complex from trypanosomes with those of animals, plants, and fungi offers new insights into this quintessential eukaryotic structure. Read the accompanying Research Article.

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<![CDATA[Functional Characterization of Calcineurin Homologs PsCNA1/PsCNB1 in Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici Using a Host-Induced RNAi System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae0ab0ee8fa60bbb8fd

Calcineurin plays a key role in morphogenesis, pathogenesis and drug resistance in most fungi. However, the function of calcineurin genes in Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) is unclear. We identified and characterized the calcineurin genes PsCNA1 and PsCNB1 in Pst. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that PsCNA1 and PsCNB1 form a calcium/calmodulin regulated protein phosphatase belonging to the calcineurin heterodimers composed of subunits A and B. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses revealed that both PsCNA1 and PsCNB1 expression reached their maximum in the stage of haustorium formation, which is one day after inoculation. Using barely stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) as a transient expression vector in wheat, the expression of PsCNA1 and PsCNB1 in Pst was suppressed, leading to slower extension of fungal hyphae and reduced production of urediospores. The immune-suppressive drugs cyclosporin A and FK506 markedly reduced the germination rates of urediospores, and when germination did occur, more than two germtubes were produced. These results suggest that the calcineurin signaling pathway participates in stripe rust morphogenetic differentiation, especially the formation of haustoria during the early stage of infection and during the production of urediospores. Therefore PsCNA1 and PsCNB1 can be considered important pathogenicity genes involved in the wheat-Pst interaction.

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