The fungus Corynespora cassiicola is primarily found in the tropics and subtropics, and is widely diverse in substrate utilization and host association. Isolate characterization within C. cassiicola was undertaken to investigate how genetic diversity correlates with host specificity, growth rate, and geographic distribution. C. cassiicola isolates were collected from 68 different plant species in American Samoa, Brazil, Malaysia, and Micronesia, and Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee within the United States. Phylogenetic analyses using four loci were performed with 143 Corynespora spp. isolates, including outgroup taxa obtained from culture collections: C. citricola, C. melongenae, C. olivacea, C. proliferata, C. sesamum, and C. smithii. Phylogenetic trees were congruent from the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region, two random hypervariable loci (caa5 and ga4), and the actin-encoding locus act1, indicating a lack of recombination within the species and asexual propagation. Fifty isolates were tested for pathogenicity on eight known C. cassiicola crop hosts: basil, bean, cowpea, cucumber, papaya, soybean, sweet potato, and tomato. Pathogenicity profiles ranged from one to four hosts, with cucumber appearing in 14 of the 16 profiles. Bootstrap analyses and Bayesian posterior probability values identified six statistically significant phylogenetic lineages. The six phylogenetic lineages correlated with host of origin, pathogenicity, and growth rate but not with geographic location. Common fungal genotypes were widely distributed geographically, indicating long-distance and global dispersal of clonal lineages. This research reveals an abundance of previously unrecognized genetic diversity within the species and provides evidence for host specialization on papaya.
Aureobasidium pullulans AY4 is an opportunistic pathogen that was isolated from the skin of an immunocompromised patient. We present here the draft genome of strain AY4, which reveals an abundance of genes relevant to bioindustrial applications, including biocontrol and biodegradation. Putative genes responsible for the pathogenicity of strain AY4 were also identified.
Cladophialophora bantiana is a dematiaceous fungus with a predilection for causing central nervous system (CNS) infection manifesting as brain abscess in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. In this paper, we report comprehensive genomic analyses of C. bantiana isolated from the brain abscess of an immunocompetent man, the first reported case in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. The identity of the fungus was determined using combined morphological analysis and multilocus phylogeny. The draft genome sequence of a neurotrophic fungus, C. bantiana UM 956 was generated using Illumina sequencing technology to dissect its genetic fundamental and basic biology. The assembled 37.1 Mb genome encodes 12,155 putative coding genes, of which, 1.01% are predicted transposable elements. Its genomic features support its saprophytic lifestyle, renowned for its versatility in decomposing hemicellulose and pectin components. The C. bantiana UM 956 was also found to carry some important putative genes that engaged in pathogenicity, iron uptake and homeostasis as well as adaptation to various stresses to enable the organism to survive in hostile microenvironment. This wealth of resource will further catalyse more downstream functional studies to provide better understanding on how this fungus can be a successful and persistent pathogen in human.
Brown spot disease, caused by Cochliobolus miyabeanus, is currently considered to be one of the most important yield reducers of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Despite its agricultural importance, little is known about the virulence mechanisms deployed by the fungus. Therefore, we set out to identify novel virulence factors with a role in disease development. This article reports, for the first time, the production of tentoxin by C. miyabeanus as a virulence factor during brown spot disease and the identification of the non-ribosomal protein synthetase (NRPS) CmNps3, responsible for tentoxin biosynthesis. We compared the chemical compounds produced by C. miyabeanus strains differing in virulence ability using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled to high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry (HRMS). The production of tentoxin by a highly virulent strain was revealed by principal component analysis of the detected ions and confirmed by UHPLC coupled to tandem-quadrupole mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The corresponding NRPS was identified by in silico genome analysis and confirmed by gene deletion. Infection tests with wild-type and Cmnps3 mutants showed that tentoxin acts as a virulence factor and is correlated with chlorosis development during the second phase of infection. Although rice has previously been classified as a tentoxin-insensitive plant species, our data demonstrate that tentoxin production by C. miyabeanus affects symptom development.