The T2Candida magnetic resonance assay is a direct-from-blood pathogen detection assay that delivers a result within 3–5 h, targeting the most clinically relevant Candida species. Between February 2019 and March 2021, the study included consecutive patients aged >18 years admitted to an intensive care unit or surgical high-dependency unit due to gastrointestinal surgery or necrotizing pancreatitis and from whom diagnostic blood cultures were obtained. Blood samples were tested in parallel with T2Candida and 1,3-β-D-glucan. Of 134 evaluable patients, 13 (10%) were classified as having proven intraabdominal candidiasis (IAC) according to the EORTC/MSG criteria. Two of the thirteen patients (15%) had concurrent candidemia. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value, respectively, were 46%, 97%, 61%, and 94% for T2Candida and 85%, 83%, 36%, and 98% for 1,3-β-D-glucan. All positive T2Candida results were consistent with the culture results at the species level, except for one case of dual infection. The performance of T2Candida was comparable with that of 1,3-β-D-glucan for candidemic IAC but had a lower sensitivity for non-candidemic IAC (36% vs. 82%). In conclusion, T2Candida may be a valuable complement to 1,3-β-D-glucan in the clinical management of high-risk surgical patients because of its rapid results and ease of use.
Colletotrichum species are plant pathogens, saprobes, and endophytes in many economically important hosts. Many studies have investigated the diversity and pathogenicity of Colletotrichum species in common ornamentals, fruits, and vegetables. However, Colletotrichum species occurring in aquatic plants are not well known. During the investigation of the diversity of endophytic fungi in aquatic plants in southwest China, 66 Colletotrichum isolates were obtained from aquatic plants there, and 26 of them were selected for sequencing and analyses of actin (ACT), chitin synthase (CHS-1), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, and β-tubulin (TUB2) genomic regions. Based on morphological characterization and multi-locus phylogenetic analyses, 13 Colletotrichum species were recognized, namely, C. baiyuense sp. nov., C. casaense sp. nov., C. demersi sp. nov., C. dianense sp. nov., C. fructicola, C. garzense sp. nov., C. jiangxiense, C. karstii, C. philoxeroidis sp. nov., C. spicati sp. nov., C. tengchongense sp. nov., C. vulgaris sp. nov., C. wuxuhaiense sp. nov. Two species complexes, the C. boninense species complex and C. gloeosporioides species complex, were found to be associated with aquatic plants. Pathogenicity tests revealed a broad diversity in pathogenicity and aggressiveness among the eight new Colletotrichum species.
The nematicidal properties of Trichoderma species have potential for developing safer biocontrol agents. In the present study, 13 native Trichoderma strains from T. citrinoviride, T. ghanense (2 strains), T. harzianum (4), T. koningiopsis, T. simmonsii, and T. virens (4) with nematicidal activity were selected and cultured in potato dextrose broth to obtain a culture filtrate (CF) for each. Each CF was partitioned with ethyl acetate to obtain organic (EA) and residual filtrate (RF) fractions, which were then tested on second-stage juveniles (J2s) of the nematodes Meloidogyne javanica and M. incognita in a microdilution assay. The most lethal strains were T. harzianum Th43-14, T. koningiopsis Th41-11, T. ghanense Th02-04, and T. virens Th32-09, which caused 51–100% mortality (%M) of J2s of both nematodes, mainly due to their RF fractions. Liquid chromatography–diode array detector-electrospray-high resolution mass spectrometry analysis of the most-active fractions revealed sesquiterpene and polyketide-like metabolites produced by the four active strains. These native Trichoderma strains have a high potential to develop safer natural products for the biocontrol of Meloidogyne species.
Chrysomyxa rusts are fungal pathogens widely distributed in the Northern hemisphere, causing spruce needle and cone rust diseases, and they are responsible for significant economic losses in China. Taxonomic delimitation and precise species identification are difficult within this genus because some characters often overlap in several species. Adequate species delimitation, enhanced by the use of DNA-based methodologies, will help to establish well-supported species boundaries and enable the identification of cryptic species. Here, we explore the cryptic species diversity in the rust genus Chrysomyxa from China. Species delimitation analyses are conducted using a distance-based method (ABGD) and three tree-based methods (GMYC, bPTP, and mPTP) based on combined LSU and ITS sequences of over 60 specimens. Although there is some incongruence among species delimitation methods, two new species and three putative cryptic species are identified. The key to 20 Chrysomyxa species distributed in China is presented. These results suggest that a significant level of undiscovered cryptic diversity is likely to be found in Chrysomyxa from China. Future studies should consider multiple analytical methods when dealing with multi-locus datasets.
In previous work, we developed a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain (DLG-K1) lacking the main monosaccharide transporters (hxt-null) and displaying high xylose reductase, xylitol dehydrogenase and xylulokinase activities. This strain proved to be a useful chassis strain to study new glucose/xylose transporters, as SsXUT1 from Scheffersomyces stipitis. Proteins with high amino acid sequence similarity (78–80%) to SsXUT1 were identified from Spathaspora passalidarum and Spathaspora arborariae genomes. The characterization of these putative transporter genes (SpXUT1 and SaXUT1, respectively) was performed in the same chassis strain. Surprisingly, the cloned genes could not restore the ability to grow in several monosaccharides tested (including glucose and xylose), but after being grown in maltose, the uptake of 14C-glucose and 14C-xylose was detected. While SsXUT1 lacks lysine residues with high ubiquitinylation potential in its N-terminal domain and displays only one in its C-terminal domain, both SpXUT1 and SaXUT1 transporters have several such residues in their C-terminal domains. A truncated version of SpXUT1 gene, deprived of the respective 3′-end, was cloned in DLG-K1 and allowed growth and fermentation in glucose or xylose. In another approach, two arrestins known to be involved in the ubiquitinylation and endocytosis of sugar transporters (ROD1 and ROG3) were knocked out, but only the rog3 mutant allowed a significant improvement of growth and fermentation in glucose when either of the XUT permeases were expressed. Therefore, for the efficient heterologous expression of monosaccharide (e.g., glucose/xylose) transporters in S. cerevisiae, we propose either the removal of lysines involved in ubiquitinylation and endocytosis or the use of chassis strains hampered in the specific mechanism of membrane protein turnover.
Microbial-based biostimulants that increase plant performance and ensure sustainable restoration of degraded soils are of great importance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the growth promotion ability of indigenous Trichoderma ghanense, T. tomentosum and their complex on early rye seedlings in sustained grassland and arable soil. The impact of soil chemical properties on the ability of selected Trichoderma strains and their complex to promote plant growth was determined by the evaluation of the rye (Secale cereale L.) early seedling growth—measuring the length of shoots and roots as well as their dry weight. Trichoderma species were tested for their ability to produce extracellular degradative enzymes on solid media. Furthermore, the soil properties and CM-cellulase activity of soil were estimated. The indigenous Trichoderma strains possess the capacity to produce enzymes such as peroxidase, laccase, tyrosinase, and endoglucanase. The results indicated a significant (p < 0.05) increase in plant growth and the improvement of some soil chemical properties (total N, mobile humic and fulvic acids, exchangeable K2O, soil CM-cellulase activity) in inoculated soils when compared to the control. The growth of the roots of rye seedlings in sustained grassland was enhanced when T. tomentosum was applied (p = 0.005). There was an increase in total weight and shoot weight of rye seedlings when T. ghanense was used in the arable soil (p = 0.014 and p = 0.024). The expected beneficial effect of Trichoderma spp. complex on rye growth promotion was not observed in any tested soil. The results could find application in the development of new and efficient biostimulants, since not only do physiological characteristics of fungi play an important role but also the quality of the soil has an impact.
Citrus is among the most important plants in the fruit industry severely infected with pathogens. Citrus green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum is one of the most devastating diseases during post-harvest stages of citrus fruit. In this study, a potential endophyte Bacillus subtilis L1-21, isolated from healthy citrus plants, was assessed for its biocontrol activity against the pathogen P. digitatum. Based on an in vitro crosstalk assay, we suggested that B. subtilis L1-21 inhibits the pathogen with an inhibition zone of 3.51 ± 0.08 cm. Biocontrol efficacy was highest for the fermented culture filtrate of B. subtilis L1-21. Additionally, using GC-MS analysis, 13 compounds were detected in the extract of this endophyte. The culture filtrate in Landy medium could enlarge and deform pathogen spores and prevent them from developing into normal mycelium. Accordingly, the Landy culture filtrate of B. subtilis L1-21 was stable in the temperature range of 4–90 °C and pH of 3–11. Further, MALDI-TOF-MS for B. subtilis L1-21 detected surfactin, fengycin, bacillaene and bacilysin as potential antifungal compounds. GFP-tagged B. subtilis L1-21 easily colonized in citrus fruit peel and pulp, suggesting its role in eliminating the fungal pathogen. Altogether, it is highly expected that the production of antifungal compounds, and the colonization potential of B. subtilis L1-21 are required against the post-harvest P. digitatum pathogen on citrus fruit.
Colletotrichum fructicola, the causal agent of pear anthracnose, causes significant annual economic losses. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signal transduction pathways that play a crucial role in mediating cellular responses to environmental and host signals in plant pathogenic fungi. In this study, we identified an ortholog of the FUS3/KSS1-related MAPK gene, CfMK1, and characterized its function in C. fructicola. The Cfmk1 deletion mutants exhibited poorly developed aerial hyphae, autolysis, no conidial mass or perithecia on solid plates. However, the conidiation of the Cfmk1 mutant in PDB liquid medium was normal compared with that of the wild type (WT). Conidia of the Cfmk1 mutant exhibited a reduced germination rate on glass slides or plant surfaces. The Cfmk1 deletion mutants were unable to form appressoria and lost the capacity to penetrate plant epidermal cells. The ability of the Cfmk1 mutants to infect pear leaves and fruit was severely reduced. Moreover, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of the WT and Cfmk1 mutant was performed, and the results revealed 1886 upregulated and 1554 downregulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the mutant. The DEGs were significantly enriched in cell wall and pathogenesis terms, which was consistent with the defects of the Cfmk1 mutant in cell wall integrity and plant infection. Overall, our data demonstrate that CfMK1 plays critical roles in the regulation of aerial hyphal growth, asexual and sexual reproduction, autolysis, appressorium formation, and pathogenicity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in large numbers of patients requiring critical care management. With the established association between severe respiratory virus infection and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (7.6% for COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA)), the pandemic places a significant number of patients at potential risk from secondary invasive fungal disease. We described a case of CAPA with substantial supporting mycological evidence, highlighting the need to employ strategic diagnostic algorithms and weighted definitions to improve the accuracy in diagnosing CAPA.
Understanding the coordinated regulation of the hundreds of carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) genes occurring in the genomes of fungi has great practical importance. We recorded genome-wide transcriptional changes of Aspergillus nidulans cultivated on glucose, lactose, or arabinogalactan, as well as under carbon-starved conditions. We determined both carbon-stress-specific changes (weak or no carbon source vs. glucose) and carbon-source-specific changes (one type of culture vs. all other cultures). Many CAZyme genes showed carbon-stress-specific and/or carbon-source-specific upregulation on arabinogalactan (138 and 62 genes, respectively). Besides galactosidase and arabinan-degrading enzyme genes, enrichment of cellulolytic, pectinolytic, mannan, and xylan-degrading enzyme genes was observed. Fewer upregulated genes, 81 and 107 carbon stress specific, and 6 and 16 carbon source specific, were found on lactose and in carbon-starved cultures, respectively. They were enriched only in galactosidase and xylosidase genes on lactose and rhamnogalacturonanase genes in both cultures. Some CAZyme genes (29 genes) showed carbon-source-specific upregulation on glucose, and they were enriched in β-1,4-glucanase genes. The behavioral ecological background of these characteristics was evaluated to comprehensively organize our knowledge on CAZyme production, which can lead to developing new strategies to produce enzymes for plant cell wall saccharification.