Members of the sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) complex are epiphytic fungi in the Ascomycota that cause economically damaging blemishes of apples worldwide. SBFS fungi are polyphyletic, but approx. 96% of SBFS species are in the Capnodiales. Evolutionary origins of SBFS fungi remain unclear, so we attempted to infer their origins by means of ancestral state reconstruction on a phylogenetic tree built utilizing genes for the nuc 28S rDNA (approx. 830 bp from near the 59 end) and the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2). The analyzed taxa included the well-known genera of SBFS as well as non-SBFS fungi from seven families within the Capnodiales. The non-SBFS taxa were selected based on their distinct ecological niches, including plant-parasitic and saprophytic species. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that most SBFS species in the Capnodiales are closely related to plant-parasitic fungi. Ancestral state reconstruction provided strong evidence that plant-parasitic fungi were the ancestors of the major SBFS lineages. Knowledge gained from this study may help to better understand the ecology and evolution of epiphytic fungi.
Hydnangium echinulatum, described originally from a single specimen collected in Malaysia, has been recollected, and based on morphological and molecular characters is recognized as representing a new gasteroid genus of boletes with affinities to the Boletineae, herein named Durianella. Diagnostic features include an epigeous, ovoid, pyramidal-warted, durian fruit-like basidiome with gelatinized glebal locules and a columella that turns indigo blue upon exposure, and subglobose basidiospores with long, curved, thin-walled and collapsible spines. A redescription, phylogenetic analysis and comparison with allied taxa are presented.
Members of Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) have been known as plant, animal, and human pathogens. Nevertheless, the taxonomic status of such an important group of fungi is still very confusing and many new species as well as lineages have been elucidated recently. Unfortunately, most of the new taxa came from temperate and subtropical regions. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were to identify strains of FSSC recovered from different sources in Malaysia. In the present study, 55 strains belonging to the FSSC were examined and phylogenetically analyzed on the basis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and partial translation elongation factor-1 (TEF-1α) sequences. Based on morphological features, a total of 55 strains were selected for molecular studies. Based on morphological features, the strains were classified into four described Fusarium species, namely Fusarium keratoplasticum, Fusarium falciforme, FSSC 5, and Fusarium cf. ensiforme, and one unknown phylogenetic species was introduced. Although the data obtained from morphological and molecular studies sufficiently supported each other, the phylogenetic trees based on ITS and TEF-1α dataset clearly distinguished closely related species and distinctly separated all morphological taxa. All members of FSSC in this research were reported for the first time for Malaysian mycoflora.
Candida speciation is vital for epidemiology and management of candidiasis. Nonmolecular conventional methods often fail to identify closely related germ tube positive yeasts from clinical specimens. The present study was conducted to identify these yeasts and to highlight issues in conventional versus molecular methods of identification. A total of 98 germ tube positive yeasts from high vaginal swabs were studied over a 12-month period. Isolates were examined with various methods including growth at 42 °C and 45 °C on Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA), color development on CHROMagar Candida medium, chlamydospore production on corn meal agar at 25 °C, carbohydrate assimilation using ID 32C system, and polymerase chain reaction using a single pair of primers targeting the hyphal wall protein 1 (Hwp1) gene. Of all the isolates studied, 97 were molecularly confirmed as C. albicans and one isolate was identified as C. dubliniensis. No C. africana was detected in this study. The molecular method used in our study was an accurate and useful tool for discriminating C. albicans, C. dubliniensis, and C. africana. The conventional methods, however, were less accurate and riddled with many issues that will be discussed in further details.
Fusarium species section Liseola namely F. fujikuroi, F. proliferatum, F. andiyazi, F. verticillioides, and F. sacchari are well-known plant pathogens on rice, sugarcane and maize. In the present study, restriction analysis of the intergenic spacer regions (IGS) was used to characterize the five Fusarium species isolated from rice, sugarcane and maize collected from various locations in Peninsular Malaysia. From the analysis, and based on restriction patterns generated by the six restriction enzymes, Bsu151, BsuRI, EcoRI, Hin6I, HinfI, and MspI, 53 haplotypes were recorded among 74 isolates. HinfI showed the most variable restriction patterns (with 11 patterns), while EcoRI showed only three patterns. Although a high level of variation was observed, it was possible to characterize closely related species and isolates from different species. UPGMA cluster analysis showed that the isolates of Fusarium from the same species were grouped together regardless of the hosts. We conclude that restriction analysis of the IGS regions can be used to characterize Fusarium species section Liseola and to discriminate closely related species as well as to clarify their taxonomic position.
Pleosporales is the largest order in the fungal class Dothideomycetes. We report the 36,814,818-bp draft genome sequence and gene annotation of UM1110, a Pleosporales isolate associated with unclassified genera that is potentially a new fungal species. Analysis of the genome sequence led to the finding of genes associated with fungal adhesive proteins, secreted proteases, allergens, and pseudohyphal development.
Morphological identification of edible mushrooms can sometimes prove troublesome, because phenotypic variation in fungi can be affected by substrate and environmental factors. One of the most important problems for mushroom breeders is the lack of a systematic consensus tool to distinguish different species, which are sometimes morphologically identical. Basidiomycetes as one of the largest groups of edible mushrooms have become more important in recent times for their medicinal and nutritional properties. Partial rDNA sequences, including the Internal Transcribed Spacer I-5.8SrDNA-Internal Transcribed Spacer II, were used in this study for molecular identification and assessment of phylogenetic relationships between selected edible species of the Basidiomycetes. Phylogenetic trees showed five distinct clades; each clade belonging to a separate family group. The first clade included all the species belonging to the Pleurotaceae (Pleurotus spp.) family; similarly, the second, third, fourth, and fifth clades consist of species from the Agaricaceae (Agaricus sp.), Lyophllaceae (Hypsigygus sp.), Marasmiaceae (Lentinula edodes sp.) and Physalacriaceae (Flammulina velutipes sp.) families, respectively. Moreover, different species of each family were clearly placed in a distinct sub-cluster and a total of 13 species were taken for analysis. Species differentiation was re-confirmed by AMOVA analysis (among the populations: 99.67%; within: 0.33%), nucleotide divergence, haplotyping and P value. Polymorphism occurred throughout the ITS regions due to insertion-deletion and point mutations, and can be clearly differentiated within the families as well as genera. Moreover, this study proves that the sequence of the ITS region is a superior molecular DNA barcode for taxonomic identification of Basidiomycetes.
Cladosporium sphaerospermum is one of the most widely distributed allergens causing serious problems in patients with respiratory tract disease. We report the 26,644,473-bp draft genome sequence and gene annotation of C. sphaerospermum UM843. Analysis of the genome sequence led to the finding of genes associated with C. sphaerospermum's melanin biosynthesis, allergens, and antifungal drug resistance.
Daldinia eschscholzii is an invasive endophyte that is most commonly found in plant tissues rich in secondary metabolites. We report the draft genome sequence of D. eschscholzii isolated from blood culture. The draft genome is 35,494,957 bp in length, with 42,898,665 reads, 61,449 contigs, and a G+C content of 46.8%. The genome was found to contain a high abundance of genes associated with plant cell wall degradation enzymes, mycotoxin production, and antifungal drug resistance.
A gasteroid bolete collected recently in Sarawak on the island of Borneo is described as the new species Spongiforma squarepantsii. A comprehensive description, illustrations, phylogenetic placement and a comparison with a closely allied species are provided.
Pleurotus citrinopileatus (yellow oyster mushroom) has an attractive shape and yellow colour but the fragile texture complicates packaging, and its strong aroma is unappealing to consumers. This study aimed to improve the characteristics and yield of P. citrinopileatus by interspecies mating between monokaryotic cultures of P. citrinopileatus and P. pulmonarius. Ten monokaryon cultures of the parental lines were crossed in all combinations to obtain hybrids. Eleven compatible mating pairs were obtained and cultivated to observe their sporophore morphology and yield. The selected hybrid, i.e. P1xC9, was beige in colour while hybrid P3xC8 was yellow in colour. Their sporophores had less offensive aroma, improved texture and higher yield. The DNA sequences of these hybrids were found to be in the same clade as the P. citrinopileatus parent with a bootstrap value of 99%. High bootstrap values indicate high genetic homology between hybrids and the P. citrinopileatus parent. The biological efficiencies of these hybrids P1xC9 (70.97%) and P3xC8 (52.14%) were also higher than the P. citrinopileatus parent (35.63%). Interspecies hybrids obtained by this mating technique can lead to better strains of mushrooms for genetic improvement of the Pleurotus species.
Three new and one previously described species of Physalacria (Physalacriaceae, Agaricales) are reported from China. Specimens of two additional species described from Malaysia and North America were studied for comparison. Placements of these species were corroborated based on morphological observations and molecular evidence from partial sequences of the nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) and the 28S D1-D3 region, and genes for translation elongation factor 1-α (tef1α) and the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (rpb2). These new species of Physalacria distributed in subtropical China were found on rotten wood of broadleaf trees or bamboo and possess stipitate-capitate basidiomata with four-spored basidia, clamp connections and smooth, inamyloid basidiospores. To facilitate studies of the genus in Asia, a key is provided for all Physalacria species reported from this region.
This report describes a modified, cost-effective method of cell wall disruption for the yeast Candida spp., which employs the use of glass beads in a simple sorbitol lysis buffer. This method can be used in conjunction with a commercial RNA or genomic DNA isolation method to obtain high-quality RNA or DNA.
During an investigation of submerged leaves and twigs sampled from tropical peat swamp forests located in Peninsular Malaysia, an anamorphic fungus not attributable to a described genus was detected and isolated in pure culture. Conidial ontogeny was thoroughly studied and illustrated using both light and SEM, which revealed a unique conidial morphology. Analysis of partial nuLSU rDNA and ITS data revealed a phylogenetic position within the Xylariales (Ascomycota), but family affiliation remained unclear.
The genotypes of 221 recent isolates of Candida albicans from various clinical specimens of 213 patients admitted to the University Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia was determined based on the amplification of a transposable intron region in the 25 S rRNA gene. The analyses of 178 C. albicans isolated from nonsterile clinical specimens showed that they could be classified into three genotypes: genotype A (138 isolates), genotype B (38 isolates) and genotype C (2 isolates). The genotyping of 43 clinical isolates from sterile specimens showed that they belonged to genotype A (29 isolates), genotype B (10 isolates), genotype C (2 isolates) and genotype D (2 isolates). The overall distribution of C. albicans genotypes in sterile and nonsterile specimens appeared similar, with genotype A being the most predominant type. This study reported the identification of C. dubliniensis (genotype D) in 2 HIV-negative patients with systemic candidiasis, which were missed by the routine mycological procedure. The study demonstrated the genetic diversity of clinical isolates of C. albicans in Malaysia.
Many species of Trichoderma have attracted interest as agents for the biological control of soil borne fungal pathogens of a range of crop plants. Research on the biochemical mechanisms associated with this application has focused on the ability of these fungi to produce enzymes which lyse fungal cell walls, and antifungal antibiotics. An important group of the latter are the non-ribosomal peptides called peptaibols. In this study Trichoderma asperellum, a strain used in biological control in Malaysia, was found to produce the peptaibol, trichotoxin. This type of peptide molecule is synthesised by a peptide synthetase (PES) enzyme template encoded by a peptide synthetase (pes) gene. Using nucleotide sequences amplified from adenylation (A-) domains as probes, to hybridise against a lambda FIXII genomic library from T. asperellum, 25 clones were recovered. These were subsequently identified as representative of four groups based on their encoding properties for specific amino acid incorporation modules in a PES. This was based on analysis of their amino acid sequences which showed up to 86% identity to other PESs including TEX 1.
Some Amanita specimens collected from Malaysia are critically investigated by morphological examination and molecular analysis of two gene fragments, the nuc rDNA partial 28S (28S) gene and the internal transcriber spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) regions. Six phylogenetic species of Amanita section Caesareae are recognized among the studied collections. One of them is described as new, A. malayensis. Four of the phylogenetic species correspond with existing morphology-based taxa: A. aporema, A. javanica, A. princeps, and A. similis. The remaining species is not described because of the paucity of material. Detailed descriptions and the distribution of these southeastern Asian species are provided, along with a key to the species of section Caesareae from Malaysia.
Epidemiological studies, using the probe Ca3, have shown that in a given patient population a single cluster of genetically related Candida albicans isolates usually predominates. The authors have investigated whether these local clusters are part of a single group, geographically widespread and highly prevalent as an aetiological agent of various types of candidiasis. An unrooted neighbour-joining tree of 266 infection-causing C. albicans isolates (each from a different individual) from 12 geographical regions in 6 countries was created, based on genetic distances generated by Ca3 fingerprinting. Thirty-seven per cent of all isolates formed a single genetically homogeneous cluster (cluster A). The remainder of isolates were genetically diverse. Using the maximum branch length within cluster A as a cut-off, they could be divided into 37 groups, whose prevalence ranged between 0.3% and 9%. Strains from cluster A were highly prevalent in all but one geographical region, with a mean prevalence across all regions of 41%. When isolates were separated into groups based on patient characteristics or type of infection, strains from cluster A had a prevalence exceeding 27% in each group, and their mean prevalence was 43% across all patient characteristics. These data provide evidence that cluster A constitutes a general-purpose genotype, which is geographically widespread and acts as a predominant aetiological agent of all forms of candidiasis in all categories of patients surveyed.
Three new species and one new variety of bioluminescent Mycena collected from Peninsular Malaysia are described herein. All new species belong to Mycena sect. Calodontes in what is known as the Mycena pura complex. Comprehensive descriptions, photographs, illustrations and comparisons with phenetically similar species are provided. Molecular sequences data from the nuclear internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2, including the 5.8S rRNA) were used to infer relationships within sect. Calodontes. Axenic cultures were obtained to provide data on culture morphology. This is the first published photographic documentation of bioluminescent basidiomes of members of Mycena sect. Calodontes. Also, this addition brings the total known bioluminescent fungi to 77 species.