Black Fungi
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2021 ◽  
Vol 7 (10) ◽  
pp. 836
Author(s):  
Veronika E. Mayer ◽  
Sybren de Hoog ◽  
Simona M. Cristescu ◽  
Luciano Vera ◽  
Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldú

Black fungi of the order Chaetothyriales are grown by many tropical plant-mutualistic ants as small so-called “patches” in their nests, which are located inside hollow structures provided by the host plant (“domatia”). These fungi are introduced and fostered by the ants, indicating that they are important for the colony. As several species of Chaetothyriales tolerate, adsorb, and metabolize toxic volatiles, we investigated the composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of selected domatia in the Azteca/Cecropia ant-plant mutualism. Concentrations of VOCs in ant-inhabited domatia, empty domatia, and background air were compared. In total, 211 compounds belonging to 19 chemical families were identified. Ant-inhabited domatia were dominated by ketones with 2-heptanone, a well-known ant alarm semiochemical, as the most abundant volatile. Empty domatia were characterized by relatively high concentrations of the monoterpenes d-limonene, p-cymene and β-phellandrene, as well as the heterocyclic sulphur-containing compound, benzothiazole. These compounds have biocidal properties and are primarily biosynthesized by plants as a defense mechanism. Interestingly, most of the latter compounds were present at lower concentrations in ant inhabited domatia than in non-colonized ones. We suggest that Chaetothyriales may play a role in reducing the VOCs, underlining that the mutualistic nature of these fungi as VOCs accumulation might be detrimental for the ants, especially the larvae.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Shaweta Sharma ◽  
Akhil Sharma ◽  
Utsav Gupta

Abstract Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern. However, its association and rising cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus make the scenario even more troublesome. In addition, no specific medication against mucormycosis/black fungus makes things even worse.Objective: Garlic phytoconstituents have shown remarkable antifungal properties against various fungal species in various studies. Thus, the objective of the study was to check the potency of garlic phytoconstituents against the 1,3-beta-glucan synthase fungal protein using in-silico methods.Method: Auto Dock was used to evaluate selected garlic phytochemical molecules against 1,3-beta-glucan synthase fungal protein, and Discovery studio visualizer was used to create 3D and 2D interaction photos.Results: Five out of 9 phytoconstituents were found to form conventional hydrogen bonds, and only alliin formed the highest number of hydrogen bonds. However, the binding energy and inhibition constant of all nine phytoconstituents were determined. Interestingly, Z-ajoene showed the lowest binding energy of -5.07 kcal/mol and inhibition constant of 192.57µM.Conclusion: The results of our investigation suggested that garlic phytochemicals can have a good impact against black fungi, pertaining to the significant binding energies of phytoconstituents during blind docking. Specifically, Z-ajoene could be a good alternate against black fungi. However, detailed research is required to explore the antifungal activity of garlic against mucormycosis.


Author(s):  
Ummu Afeera Binti Zainulabid ◽  
Muhammad Naimmuddin Bin Abdul Azih ◽  
Sasi Kumar A/L Maniyam ◽  
Azliana Binti Abd Fuaa ◽  
Mohd Radhwan Bin Abidin ◽  
...  

Pulmonary phaeohyphomycosis is a rare infection in the lung caused by black fungi containing a cytoplasmic melanin-like pigment. A 42-year-old man with underlying retroviral disease on HAART was investigated for having constitutional symptoms. Despite undetectable viral load and a high CD4 count, he was found to have unexplained significant loss of weight and appetite over a period of 6 months. Clinical examination revealed a cachexic man with multiple inguinal lymphadenopathies. Excisional biopsy of the inguinal lymph node revealed reactive follicular hyperplasia. CT Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis was arranged to look for occult malignancy or infection and he was found to have multiple non-enhancing subcentimeter lung nodules mainly at the lateral segment of the right middle lobe of his lung. The largest nodule measured about 0.8 x 1.5 x 0.5 (AP x W x CC), with some nodules having an irregular margin with no extension into the adjacent bronchi. Bronchoscopy was done and demonstrated a black patch at the right intermedius, lateral segment of the middle lobe which did not disappear upon bronchial flush or wash. Histopathological examination found focal areas of blackish pigment and the bronchial alveolar lavage sent for fungal culture grew Cladosporium species. The patient was treated with oral Itraconazole with marked clinical improvement. This case highlights an unusual black fungi infection in the lung that stands out not only for its rarity and it's responsiveness to treatment, but also the susceptibility of an RVD positive patient to this infection despite having suppressed viral load and normal CD4 count.International Journal of Human and Health Sciences Supplementary Issue-2: 2021 Page: S17


Author(s):  
SolJu Pak ◽  
Fang Chen ◽  
Lingjun Ma ◽  
Xiaosong Hu ◽  
Junfu Ji

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Author(s):  
Donatella Tesei ◽  
Abby J. Chiang ◽  
Markus Kalkum ◽  
Jason E. Stajich ◽  
Ganesh Babu Malli Mohan ◽  
...  

Black fungi are a group of melanotic microfungi characterized by remarkable polyextremotolerance. Due to a broad ecological plasticity and adaptations at the cellular level, it is predicted that they may survive in a variety of extreme environments, including harsh niches on Earth and Mars, and in outer space. However, the molecular mechanisms aiding survival, especially in space, are yet to be fully elucidated. Based on these premises, the rock-inhabiting black fungus Knufia chersonesos (Wt) and its non-melanized mutant (Mut) were exposed to simulated microgravity—one of the prevalent features characterizing space conditions—by growing the cultures in high-aspect-ratio vessels (HARVs). Qualitative and quantitative proteomic analyses were performed on the mycelia and supernatant of culture medium (secretome) to assess alterations in cell physiology in response to low-shear simulated microgravity (LSSMG) and to ultimately evaluate the role of cell-wall melanization in stress survival. Differential expression was observed for proteins involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolic processes, transport, and ribosome biogenesis and translation via ribosomal translational machinery. However, no evidence of significant activation of stress components or starvation response was detected, except for the scytalone dehydratase, enzyme involved in the synthesis of dihydroxynaphthalene (DNH) melanin, which was found to be upregulated in the secretome of the wild type and downregulated in the mutant. Differences in protein modulation were observed between K. chersonesos Wt and Mut, with several proteins being downregulated under LSSMG in the Mut when compared to the Wt. Lastly, no major morphological alterations were observed following exposure to LSSMG. Similarly, the strains’ survivability was not negatively affected. This study is the first to characterize the response to simulated microgravity in black fungi, which might have implications on future astrobiological missions.


2021 ◽  
Vol 7 (3) ◽  
pp. 213
Author(s):  
Laura Selbmann ◽  
Gerardo A. Stoppiello ◽  
Silvano Onofri ◽  
Jason E. Stajich ◽  
Claudia Coleine

In the harshest environmental conditions of the Antarctic desert, normally incompatible with active life, microbes are adapted to exploit the cryptoendolithic habitat (i.e., pore spaces of rocks) and represent the predominant life-forms. In the rocky niche, microbes take advantage of the thermal buffering, physical stability, protection against UV radiation, excessive solar radiation, and water retention—of paramount importance in one of the driest environments on Earth. In this work, high-throughput sequencing and culture-dependent approaches have been combined, for the first time, to untangle the diversity and distribution of black fungi in the Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial communities, hosting some of the most extreme-tolerant microorganisms. Rock samples were collected in a vast area, along an altitudinal gradient and opposite sun exposure—known to influence microbial diversity—with the aim to compare and integrate results gained with the two approaches. Among black fungi, Friedmanniomyces endolithicus was confirmed as the most abundant taxon. Despite the much stronger power of the high-throughput sequencing, several species were not retrieved with DNA sequencing and were detectable by cultivation only. We conclude that both culture-dependent and -independent analyses are needed for a complete overview of black fungi diversity. The reason why some species remain undetectable with molecular methods are speculated upon. The effect of environmental parameters such as sun exposure on relative abundance was clearer if based on the wider biodiversity detected with the molecular approach.


Life ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 10 (12) ◽  
pp. 362
Author(s):  
Laura Selbmann ◽  
Zsigmond Benkő ◽  
Claudia Coleine ◽  
Sybren de Hoog ◽  
Claudio Donati ◽  
...  

The polyphyletic group of black fungi within the Ascomycota (Arthoniomycetes, Dothideomycetes, and Eurotiomycetes) is ubiquitous in natural and anthropogenic habitats. Partly because of their dark, melanin-based pigmentation, black fungi are resistant to stresses including UV- and ionizing-radiation, heat and desiccation, toxic metals, and organic pollutants. Consequently, they are amongst the most stunning extremophiles and poly-extreme-tolerant organisms on Earth. Even though ca. 60 black fungal genomes have been sequenced to date, [mostly in the family Herpotrichiellaceae (Eurotiomycetes)], the class Dothideomycetes that hosts the largest majority of extremophiles has only been sparsely sampled. By sequencing up to 92 species that will become reference genomes, the “Shed light in The daRk lineagES of the fungal tree of life” (STRES) project will cover a broad collection of black fungal diversity spread throughout the Fungal Tree of Life. Interestingly, the STRES project will focus on mostly unsampled genera that display different ecologies and life-styles (e.g., ant- and lichen-associated fungi, rock-inhabiting fungi, etc.). With a resequencing strategy of 10- to 15-fold depth coverage of up to ~550 strains, numerous new reference genomes will be established. To identify metabolites and functional processes, these new genomic resources will be enriched with metabolomics analyses coupled with transcriptomics experiments on selected species under various stress conditions (salinity, dryness, UV radiation, oligotrophy). The data acquired will serve as a reference and foundation for establishing an encyclopedic database for fungal metagenomics as well as the biology, evolution, and ecology of the fungi in extreme environments.


2020 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Oliver Voigt ◽  
Nicole Knabe ◽  
Sarah Nitsche ◽  
Eileen A. Erdmann ◽  
Julia Schumacher ◽  
...  

AbstractMicrocolonial black fungi are a group of ascomycetes that exhibit high stress tolerance, yeast-like growth and constitutive melanin formation. They dominate a range of hostile natural and man-made environments, from desert rocks and salterns to dishwashers, roofs and solar panels. Due to their slow growth and a lack of genetic tools, the underlying mechanisms of black fungi’s phenotypic traits have remained largely unexplored. We chose to address this gap by genetically engineering the rock-inhabiting fungus Knufia petricola (Eurotiomycetes, Chaetothyriales), a species that exhibits all characteristics of black fungi. A cell biological approach was taken by generating K. petricola strains expressing green or red fluorescent protein variants. By applying: (1) traditional gene replacement; (2) gene editing and replacement via plasmid-based or ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-based CRISPR/Cas9, and (3) silencing by RNA interference (RNAi), we constructed mutants in the pathways leading to melanin, carotenoids, uracil and adenine. Stable single and double mutants were generated with homologous recombination (HR) rates up to 100%. Efficient, partially cloning-free strategies to mutate multiple genes with or without resistance cassettes were developed. This state-of-the-art genetic toolkit, together with the annotated genome sequence of strain A95, firmly established K. petricola as a model for exploring microcolonial black fungi.


Author(s):  
Chiara Tonon ◽  
Romy Breitenbach ◽  
Oliver Voigt ◽  
Francesco Turci ◽  
Anna A. Gorbushina ◽  
...  

2020 ◽  
Vol 124 (5) ◽  
pp. 407-417 ◽  
Author(s):  
Julia Schumacher ◽  
Anna A. Gorbushina
Keyword(s):  

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