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  • Unambiguous identification of fungi: where do we stand and how accurate and precise is fungal DNA barcoding?

    Lücking, Robert; Aime, M Catherine; Robbertse, Barbara; Miller, Andrew N; Ariyawansa, Hiran A; Aoki, Takayuki; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Crous, Pedro W; Druzhinina, Irina S; Geiser, David M; et al. (BMC, 2020-07-10)
    True fungi (Fungi) and fungus-like organisms (e.g. Mycetozoa, Oomycota) constitute the second largest group of organisms based on global richness estimates, with around 3 million predicted species. Compared to plants and animals, fungi have simple body plans with often morphologically and ecologically obscure structures. This poses challenges for accurate and precise identifications. Here we provide a conceptual framework for the identification of fungi, encouraging the approach of integrative (polyphasic) taxonomy for species delimitation, i.e. the combination of genealogy (phylogeny), phenotype (including autecology), and reproductive biology (when feasible). This allows objective evaluation of diagnostic characters, either phenotypic or molecular or both. Verification of identifications is crucial but often neglected. Because of clade-specific evolutionary histories, there is currently no single tool for the identification of fungi, although DNA barcoding using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) remains a first diagnosis, particularly in metabarcoding studies. Secondary DNA barcodes are increasingly implemented for groups where ITS does not provide sufficient precision. Issues of pairwise sequence similarity-based identifications and OTU clustering are discussed, and multiple sequence alignment-based phylogenetic approaches with subsequent verification are recommended as more accurate alternatives. In metabarcoding approaches, the trade-off between speed and accuracy and precision of molecular identifications must be carefully considered. Intragenomic variation of the ITS and other barcoding markers should be properly documented, as phylotype diversity is not necessarily a proxy of species richness. Important strategies to improve molecular identification of fungi are: (1) broadly document intraspecific and intragenomic variation of barcoding markers; (2) substantially expand sequence repositories, focusing on undersampled clades and missing taxa; (3) improve curation of sequence labels in primary repositories and substantially increase the number of sequences based on verified material; (4) link sequence data to digital information of voucher specimens including imagery. In parallel, technological improvements to genome sequencing offer promising alternatives to DNA barcoding in the future. Despite the prevalence of DNA-based fungal taxonomy, phenotype-based approaches remain an important strategy to catalog the global diversity of fungi and establish initial species hypotheses.
  • Simplicilones A and B Isolated from the Endophytic Fungus SPC3.

    Anoumedem, Elodie Gisèle M; Mountessou, Bel Youssouf G; Kouam, Simeon F; Narmani, Abolfazl; Surup, Frank; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-10-29)
    Two new tetracyclic polyketides with a spirocenter, simplicilones A (1) and B (2) were isolated from the broth-culture of the endophytic fungus Simplicilliumsubtropicum (SPC3) in the course of our screening for new bioactive secondary metabolites. This endophytoic fungus is naturally harboured in the fresh bark of the Cameroonian medicinal plant Duguetia staudtii (Engl. and Diels) Chatrou. The planar structures of the simplicilones were elucidated by MS and 1D as well as 2D NMR spectroscopic techniques. The relative configuration was assigned by NOESY experiments in conjunction with coupling constants; subsequently, the absolute configurations were assigned by the modified Mosher's method. The compounds showed weak cytotoxic effects against the cell line KB3.1 (in vitro cytotoxicity (IC50) = 25 µg/mL for 1, 29 µg/mL for 2), but were inactive against the tested Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as fungi.
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acids Control Biofilm Formation of and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria.

    Yuyama, Kamila Tomoko; Rohde, Manfred; Molinari, Gabriella; Stadler, Marc; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-11-08)
    Infections involving biofilms are difficult to treat due to increased resistances against antibiotics and the immune system. Hence, there is an urgent demand for novel drugs against biofilm infections. During our search for novel biofilm inhibitors from fungi, we isolated linoleic acid from the ascomycete Hypoxylon fragiforme which showed biofilm inhibition of several bacteria at sub-MIC concentrations. Many fatty acids possess antimicrobial activities, but their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) are high and reports on biofilm interferences are scarce. We demonstrated that not only linoleic acid but several unsaturated long-chain fatty acids inhibited biofilms at sub-MIC concentrations. The antibiofilm activity exerted by long-chain fatty acids was mainly against Gram-positive bacteria, especially against Staphylococcus aureus. Micrographs of treated S. aureus biofilms revealed a reduction in the extracellular polymeric substances, pointing to a possible mode of action of fatty acids on S. aureus biofilms. The fatty acids had a strong species specificity. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids had higher activities than saturated ones, but no obvious rule could be found for the optimal length and desaturation for maximal activity. As free fatty acids are non-toxic and ubiquitous in food, they may offer a novel tool, especially in combination with antibiotics, for the control of biofilm infections.
  • Stieleriacines, N-Acyl Dehydrotyrosines From the Marine Planctomycete Stieleria neptunia sp. nov.

    Sandargo, Birthe; Jeske, Olga; Boedeker, Christian; Wiegand, Sandra; Wennrich, Jan-Peer; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; Surup, Frank; et al. (Frontiers, 2020-07-16)
    Bacteria of the phylum Planctomycetes occur ubiquitously in marine environments and play important roles in the marine nitrogen- and carbon cycle, for example as scavengers after phototrophic blooms. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of the planctomycetal strain Enr13T isolated from a Posidonia sp. biofilm obtained from seawater sediment close to Panarea Island, Italy. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and multi-locus sequence analysis supports the delineation of strain Enr13T from characterized species part of the phylum of Planctomycetes. HPLC-MS analysis of culture broth obtained from strain Enr13T revealed the presence of lipophilic metabolites, of which the major compound was isolated by preparative reversed-phase HPLC. The structure of this compound, named stieleriacine D (1), was elucidated utilizing HRESIMS, 1D- and 2D-NMR data as a new N-acylated dehydrotyrosine derivative. Its biosynthesis was proposed based on an in silico gene cluster analysis. Through analysis of the MS/MS spectrum of 1 and its minor derivative, stieleriacine E (2), it was possible to assign the structure of 2 without isolation. 1 showed antibacterial activity, however, the wide distribution of structurally related compounds indicates a potential role as a signaling molecule.
  • Multisystem combined uranium resistance mechanisms and bioremediation potential of Stenotrophomonas bentonitica BII-R7: Transcriptomics and microscopic study

    Pinel-Cabello, M.; Jroundi, F.; López-Fernández, M.; Geffers, R.; Jarek, M.; Jauregui, R.; Link, A.; Vílchez-Vargas, R.; Merroun, M. L.; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2021-02-05)
    The potential use of microorganisms in the bioremediation of U pollution has been extensively described. However, a lack of knowledge on molecular resistance mechanisms has become a challenge for the use of these technologies. We reported on the transcriptomic and microscopic response of Stenotrophomonas bentonitica BII-R7 exposed to 100 and 250 μM of U. Results showed that exposure to 100 μM displayed up-regulation of 185 and 148 genes during the lag and exponential phases, respectively, whereas 143 and 194 were down-regulated, out of 3786 genes (>1.5-fold change). Exposure to 250 μM of U showed up-regulation of 68 genes and down-regulation of 290 during the lag phase. Genes involved in cell wall and membrane protein synthesis, efflux systems and phosphatases were up-regulated under all conditions tested. Microscopic observations evidenced the formation of U-phosphate minerals at membrane and extracellular levels. Thus, a biphasic process is likely to occur: the increased cell wall would promote the biosorption of U to the cell surface and its precipitation as U-phosphate minerals enhanced by phosphatases. Transport systems would prevent U accumulation in the cytoplasm. These findings contribute to an understanding of how microbes cope with U toxicity, thus allowing for the development of efficient bioremediation strategies.
  • Hybridorubrins A-D, novel azaphilone heterodimers from stromata of Hypoxylon fragiforme and insights into the biosynthetic machinery for azaphilone diversification.

    Becker, Kevin; Pfütze, Sebastian; Kuhnert, Eric; Cox, Russell; Stadler, Marc; Surup, Frank; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley-VCH, 2020-08-04)
    The diversity of azaphilones in stromatal extracts of the fungus Hypoxylon fragiforme was investigated and linked to their biosynthetic machineries using bioinformatics. Nineteen azaphilone-type compounds were isolated and characterized by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, with their absolute stereoconfigurations assigned using Mosher ester analysis and ECD spectroscopy. Four unprecedented bisazaphilones, named hybridorubrins A-D ( 1 - 4 ), were elucidated, in addition to new fragirubrins F-G ( 5 - 6 ) and various known mitorubrin derivatives. Only the hybridorubrins, which are composed of mitorubrin and fragirubrin moieties, exhibited strong inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation. Analysis of the genome of H. fragiforme revealed the presence of two separate biosynthetic gene clusters (BGC) hfaza1 and hfaza2 responsible for azaphilone formation. While the hfaza1 BGC likely encodes the assembly of the backbone and addition of fatty acid moieties to yield the ( R )-configured series of fragirubrins, the hfaza2 BGC contains the necessary genes to synthesise the widely distributed ( S )-mitorubrins. This study is the first example of two distant cross-acting fungal BGC collaborating to produce two families of azaphilones and bisazaphilones derived thereof.
  • Three novel species and a new record of Daldinia (Hypoxylaceae) from Thailand

    Wongkanoun, Sarunyou; Becker, Kevin; Boonmee, Kanthawut; Srikitikulchai, Prasert; Boonyuen, Nattawut; Chainuwong, Boonchuai; Luangsa-ard, Jennifer; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-10-08)
    n an investigation of stromatic Xylariales in Thailand, several specimens of Daldinia were discovered. Three novel species (D. flavogranulata, D. phadaengensis, and D. chiangdaoensis) were recognized from a molecular phylogeny based on concatenated ITS, LSU, RPB2, and TUB2 sequence data, combined with morphological characters and secondary metabolite profiles based on high performance liquid chromatography coupled to diode array detection and mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). The major components detected were cytochalasins (in D. flavogranulata and D. chiangdaoensis) and daldinin type azaphilones (in D. phadaengensis). In addition, D. brachysperma, which had hitherto only been reported from America, was found for the first time in Asia. Its phylogenetic affinities were studied, confirming previous suspicions from morphological comparisons that the species is closely related to D. eschscholtzii and D. bambusicola, both common in Thailand. Daldinia flavogranulata, one of the new taxa, was found to be closely related to the same taxa. The other two novel species, D. phadaengensis and D. chiangdaoensis, share characters with D. korfii and D. kretzschmarioides, respectively.
  • Erinacine C Activates Transcription from a Consensus ETS DNA Binding Site in Astrocytic Cells in Addition to NGF Induction.

    Rascher, Monique; Wittstein, Kathrin; Winter, Barbara; Rupcic, Zeljka; Wolf-Asseburg, Alexandra; Stadler, Marc; Köster, Reinhard W; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-10-14)
    Medicinal mushrooms of the genus Hericium are known to produce secondary metabolites with homeostatic properties for the central nervous system. We and others have recently demonstrated that among these metabolites cyathane diterpenoids and in particular erinacine C possess potent neurotrophin inducing properties in astrocytic cells. Yet, the signaling events downstream of erinacine C induced neurotrophin acitivity in neural-like adrenal phaeochromocytoma cells (PC12) cells have remained elusive. Similar, signaling events activated by erinacine C in astrocytic cells are unknown. Using a combination of genetic and pharmacological inhibitors we show that erinacine C induced neurotrophic activity mediates PC12 cell differentiation via the TrkA receptor and likely its associated PLCγ-, PI3K-, and MAPK/ERK pathways. Furthermore, a small library of transcriptional activation reporters revealed that erinacine C induces transcriptional activation mediated by DNA consensus binding sites of selected conserved transcription factor families. Among these, transcription is activated from an ETS consensus in a concentration dependent manner. Interestingly, induced ETS-consensus transcription occurs in parallel and independent of neurotrophin induction. This finding helps to explain the many pleiotropic functions of cyathane diterpenoids. Moreover, our studies provide genetic access to cyathane diterpenoid functions in astrocytic cells and help to mechanistically understand the action of cyathanes in glial cells.
  • Recent progress in biodiversity research on the Xylariales and their secondary metabolism.

    Becker, Kevin; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2020-10-23)
    The families Xylariaceae and Hypoxylaceae (Xylariales, Ascomycota) represent one of the most prolific lineages of secondary metabolite producers. Like many other fungal taxa, they exhibit their highest diversity in the tropics. The stromata as well as the mycelial cultures of these fungi (the latter of which are frequently being isolated as endophytes of seed plants) have given rise to the discovery of many unprecedented secondary metabolites. Some of those served as lead compounds for development of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Recently, the endophytic Xylariales have also come in the focus of biological control, since some of their species show strong antagonistic effects against fungal and other pathogens. New compounds, including volatiles as well as nonvolatiles, are steadily being discovered from these ascomycetes, and polythetic taxonomy now allows for elucidation of the life cycle of the endophytes for the first time. Moreover, recently high-quality genome sequences of some strains have become available, which facilitates phylogenomic studies as well as the elucidation of the biosynthetic gene clusters (BGC) as a starting point for synthetic biotechnology approaches. In this review, we summarize recent findings, focusing on the publications of the past 3 years.
  • Cycloheximide-Producing Associated With and Fungus-Farming Ambrosia Beetles.

    Grubbs, Kirk J; Surup, Frank; Biedermann, Peter H W; McDonald, Bradon R; Klassen, Jonathan L; Carlson, Caitlin M; Clardy, Jon; Currie, Cameron R; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2020-09-24)
    Symbiotic microbes help a myriad of insects acquire nutrients. Recent work suggests that insects also frequently associate with actinobacterial symbionts that produce molecules to help defend against parasites and predators. Here we explore a potential association between Actinobacteria and two species of fungus-farming ambrosia beetles, Xyleborinus saxesenii and Xyleborus affinis. We isolated and identified actinobacterial and fungal symbionts from laboratory reared nests, and characterized small molecules produced by the putative actinobacterial symbionts. One 16S rRNA phylotype of Streptomyces (XylebKG-1) was abundantly and consistently isolated from the galleries and adults of X. saxesenii and X. affinis nests. In addition to Raffaelea sulphurea, the symbiont that X. saxesenii cultivates, we also repeatedly isolated a strain of Nectria sp. that is an antagonist of this mutualism. Inhibition bioassays between Streptomyces griseus XylebKG-1 and the fungal symbionts from X. saxesenii revealed strong inhibitory activity of the actinobacterium toward the fungal antagonist Nectria sp. but not the fungal mutualist R. sulphurea. Bioassay guided HPLC fractionation of S. griseus XylebKG-1 culture extracts, followed by NMR and mass spectrometry, identified cycloheximide as the compound responsible for the observed growth inhibition. A biosynthetic gene cluster putatively encoding cycloheximide was also identified in S. griseus XylebKG-1. The consistent isolation of a single 16S phylotype of Streptomyces from two species of ambrosia beetles, and our finding that a representative isolate of this phylotype produces cycloheximide, which inhibits a parasite of the system but not the cultivated fungus, suggests that these actinobacteria may play defensive roles within these systems.
  • A dynamic portal for a community-driven, continuously updated classification of Fungi and fungus-like organisms: outlineoffungi.org

    Wijayawardene, NN; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Mushroom Research Foundation, 2020-09-10)
  • Phylogeny- and morphology-based recognition of new species in the spider-parasitic genus (Hypocreales, Cordycipitaceae) from Thailand.

    Kuephadungphan, Wilawan; Tasanathai, Kanoksri; Petcharad, Booppa; Khonsanit, Artit; Stadler, Marc; Luangsa-Ard, J Jennifer; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (PenSoft publisher, 2020-09-02)
    Thailand is known to be a part of what is called the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, hosting a vast array of organisms across its diverse ecosystems. This is reflected by the increasing number of new species described over time, especially fungi. However, a very few fungal species from the specialized spider-parasitic genus Gibellula have ever been reported from this region. A survey of invertebrate-pathogenic fungi in Thailand over several decades has led to the discovery of a number of fungal specimens with affinities to this genus. Integration of morphological traits into multi-locus phylogenetic analysis uncovered four new species: G. cebrennini, G. fusiformispora, G. pigmentosinum, and G. scorpioides. All these appear to be exclusively linked with torrubiella-like sexual morphs with the presence of granulomanus-like asexual morph in G. pigmentosinum and G. cebrennini. A remarkably high host specificity of these new species towards their spider hosts was revealed, and for the first time, evidence is presented for manipulation of host behavior in G. scorpioides.
  • Biosynthesis of oxygenated brasilane terpene glycosides involves a promiscuous N-acetylglucosamine transferase.

    Feng, Jin; Surup, Frank; Hauser, Maurice; Miller, Anna; Wennrich, Jan-Peer; Stadler, Marc; Cox, Russell J; Kuhnert, Eric; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Royal Sciety of Chemistry, 2020-09-16)
    Investigation of the metabolome of the ascomycete Annulohypoxylon truncatum led to the identification of novel oxygenated brasilane glycosides and the revision of the stereochemistry of the brasilane A octahydro-1H-indene core scaffold to trans. The bra biosynthetic gene cluster containing five genes (braA-braE) was identified and verified by heterologous expression experiments in Aspergillus oryzae demonstrating that BraC is a multifunctional P450 monooxygenase. In vitro studies of BraB revealed it to be a very rare fungal UDP-GlcNAc dependent N-acetylglucosamine transferase. UDP-glucose is also accepted as a donor, and a broad acceptor substrate tolerance for various primary and secondary alcohols was observed.
  • Diversely Functionalised Cytochalasins through Mutasynthesis and Semi-Synthesis.

    Wang, Chongqing; Lambert, Christopher; Hauser, Maurice; Deuschmann, Adrian; Zeilinger, Carsten; Rottner, Klemens; Stradal, Theresia E B; Stadler, Marc; Skellam, Elizabeth J; Cox, Russell J; et al. (Wiley-VCH, 2020-06-02)
    Mutasynthesis of pyrichalasin H from Magnaporthe grisea NI980 yielded a series of unprecedented 4'-substituted cytochalasin analogues in titres as high as the wild-type system (≈60 mg L-1 ). Halogenated, O-alkyl, O-allyl and O-propargyl examples were formed, as well as a 4'-azido analogue. 4'-O-Propargyl and 4'-azido analogues reacted smoothly in Huisgen cycloaddition reactions, whereas p-Br and p-I compounds reacted in Pd-catalysed cross-coupling reactions. A series of examples of biotin-linked, dye-linked and dimeric cytochalasins was rapidly created. In vitro and in vivo bioassays of these compounds showed that the 4'-halogenated and azido derivatives retained their cytotoxicity and antifungal activities; but a unique 4'-amino analogue was inactive. Attachment of larger substituents attenuated the bioactivities. In vivo actin-binding studies with adherent mammalian cells showed that actin remains the likely intracellular target. Dye-linked compounds revealed visualisation of intracellular actin structures even in the absence of phalloidin, thus constituting a potential new class of actin-visualisation tools with filament-barbed end-binding specificity.
  • Microfungi associated with Clematis (Ranunculaceae) with an integrated approach to delimiting species boundaries

    Phukhamsakda, Chayanard; McKenzie, Eric H. C.; Phillips, Alan J. L.; Gareth Jones, E. B.; Jayarama Bhat, D.; Stadler, Marc; Bhunjun, Chitrabhanu S.; Wanasinghe, Dhanushka N.; Thongbai, Benjarong; Camporesi, Erio; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-07-07)
    The cosmopolitan plant genus Clematis contains many climbing species that can be found worldwide. The genus occurs in the wild and is grown commercially for horticulture. Microfungi on Clematis were collected from Belgium, China, Italy, Thailand and the UK. They are characterized by morphology and analyses of gene sequence data using an integrated species concept to validate identifications. The study revealed two new families, 12 new genera, 50 new species, 26 new host records with one dimorphic character report, and ten species are transferred to other genera. The new families revealed by multigene phylogeny are Longiostiolaceae and Pseudomassarinaceae in Pleosporales (Dothideomycetes). New genera are Anthodidymella (Didymellaceae), Anthosulcatispora and Parasulcatispora (Sulcatisporaceae), Fusiformispora (Amniculicolaceae), Longispora (Phaeosphaeriaceae), Neobyssosphaeria (Melanommataceae), Neoleptosporella (Chaetosphaeriales, genera incertae sedis), Neostictis (Stictidaceae), Pseudohelminthosporium (Neomassarinaceae), Pseudomassarina (Pseudomassarinaceae), Sclerenchymomyces (Leptosphaeriaceae) and Xenoplectosphaerella (Plectosphaerellaceae). The newly described species are Alloleptosphaeria clematidis, Anthodidymella ranunculacearum, Anthosulcatispora subglobosa, Aquadictyospora clematidis, Brunneofusispora clematidis, Chaetosphaeronema clematidicola, C. clematidis, Chromolaenicola clematidis, Diaporthe clematidina, Dictyocheirospora clematidis, Distoseptispora clematidis, Floricola clematidis, Fusiformispora clematidis, Hermatomyces clematidis, Leptospora clematidis, Longispora clematidis, Massariosphaeria clematidis, Melomastia clematidis, M. fulvicomae, Neobyssosphaeria clematidis, Neoleptosporella clematidis, Neoroussoella clematidis, N. fulvicomae, Neostictis nigricans, Neovaginatispora clematidis, Parasulcatispora clematidis, Parathyridaria clematidis, P. serratifoliae, P. virginianae, Periconia verrucose, Phomatospora uniseriata, Pleopunctum clematidis, Pseudocapulatispora clematidis, Pseudocoleophoma clematidis, Pseudohelminthosporium clematidis, Pseudolophiostoma chiangraiense, P. clematidis, Pseudomassarina clematidis, Ramusculicola clematidis, Sarocladium clematidis, Sclerenchymomyces clematidis, Sigarispora clematidicola, S. clematidis, S. montanae, Sordaria clematidis, Stemphylium clematidis, Wojnowiciella clematidis, Xenodidymella clematidis, Xenomassariosphaeria clematidis and Xenoplectosphaerella clematidis. The following fungi are recorded on Clematis species for the first time: Angustimassarina rosarum, Dendryphion europaeum, Dermatiopleospora mariae, Diaporthe ravennica, D. rudis, Dichotomopilus ramosissimum, Dictyocheirospora xishuangbannaensis, Didymosphaeria rubi-ulmifolii, Fitzroyomyces cyperacearum, Fusarium celtidicola, Leptospora thailandica, Memnoniella oblongispora, Neodidymelliopsis longicolla, Neoeutypella baoshanensis, Neoroussoella heveae, Nigrograna chromolaenae, N. obliqua, Pestalotiopsis verruculosa, Pseudoberkleasmium chiangmaiense, Pseudoophiobolus rosae, Pseudoroussoella chromolaenae, P. elaeicola, Ramusculicola thailandica, Stemphylium vesicarium and Torula chromolaenae. The new combinations are Anthodidymella clematidis (≡ Didymella clematidis), A. vitalbina (≡ Didymella vitalbina), Anthosulcatispora brunnea (≡ Neobambusicola brunnea), Fuscohypha kunmingensis (≡ Plectosphaerella kunmingensis), Magnibotryascoma rubriostiolata (≡ Teichospora rubriostiolata), Pararoussoella mangrovei (≡ Roussoella mangrovei), Pseudoneoconiothyrium euonymi (≡ Roussoella euonymi), Sclerenchymomyces jonesii (≡ Neoleptosphaeria jonesii), Stemphylium rosae (≡ Pleospora rosae), and S. rosae-caninae (≡ Pleospora rosae-caninae). The microfungi on Clematis is distributed in several classes of Ascomycota. The analyses are based on morphological examination of specimens, coupled with phylogenetic sequence data. To the best of our knowledge, the consolidated species concept approach is recommended in validating species.
  • Molecular Phylogeny and Morphology of (=Lepteutypa ) (Amphisphaeriaceae).

    Samarakoon, Milan C; Maharachchikumbura, Sajeewa S N; Liu, Jian-Kui Jack; Hyde, Kevin D; Promputtha, Itthayakorn; Stadler, Marc; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-09-17)
    Amphisphaeriaceous taxa (fungi) are saprobes on decaying wood in terrestrial, mangrove, and freshwater habitats. The generic boundaries of the family have traditionally been based on morphology, and the delimitation of genera has always been challenging. Amphisphaeria species have clypeate ascomata and 1-septate ascospores and a coelomycetous asexual morph. Lepteutypa is different from Amphisphaeria in having eutypoid stromata and more than 1-septate ascospores. These main characters have been used for segregation of Lepteutypa from Amphisphaeria for a long time. However, the above characters are overlapping among Amphisphaeria and Lepteutypa species. Therefore, here we synonymized Lepteutypa under Amphisphaeria based on holomorphic morphology and multigene phylogeny. Further, our cluster analysis reveals the relationship between seven morphological traits among Amphisphaeria/Lepteutypa species and suggests those morphologies are not specific to either genus. Three new species (i.e., Amphisphaeria camelliae, A. curvaticonidia, and A. micheliae) are introduced based on morphology and LSU-ITS-RPB2-TUB2 phylogenies. Furthermore, the monotypic genus Trochilispora, which had been accepted in Amphisphaeriaceae, is revisited and synonymized under Hymenopleella and placed in Sporocadaceae.
  • Amidochelocardin Overcomes Resistance Mechanisms Exerted on Tetracyclines and Natural Chelocardin.

    Hennessen, Fabienne; Miethke, Marcus; Zaburannyi, Nestor; Loose, Maria; Lukežič, Tadeja; Bernecker, Steffen; Hüttel, Stephan; Jansen, Rolf; Schmiedel, Judith; Fritzenwanker, Moritz; et al. (MDPI, 2020-09-18)
    The reassessment of known but neglected natural compounds is a vital strategy for providing novel lead structures urgently needed to overcome antimicrobial resistance. Scaffolds with resistance-breaking properties represent the most promising candidates for a successful translation into future therapeutics. Our study focuses on chelocardin, a member of the atypical tetracyclines, and its bioengineered derivative amidochelocardin, both showing broad-spectrum antibacterial activity within the ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) panel. Further lead development of chelocardins requires extensive biological and chemical profiling to achieve favorable pharmaceutical properties and efficacy. This study shows that both molecules possess resistance-breaking properties enabling the escape from most common tetracycline resistance mechanisms. Further, we show that these compounds are potent candidates for treatment of urinary tract infections due to their in vitro activity against a large panel of multidrug-resistant uropathogenic clinical isolates. In addition, the mechanism of resistance to natural chelocardin was identified as relying on efflux processes, both in the chelocardin producer Amycolatopsis sulphurea and in the pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae. Resistance development in Klebsiella led primarily to mutations in ramR, causing increased expression of the acrAB-tolC efflux pump. Most importantly, amidochelocardin overcomes this resistance mechanism, revealing not only the improved activity profile but also superior resistance-breaking properties of this novel antibacterial compound.
  • Phylogenetic Assignment of the Fungicolous (Ascomycota, Xylariales) and Investigation of its Secondary Metabolites.

    Becker, Kevin; Lambert, Christopher; Wieschhaus, Jörg; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-09-11)
    The ascomycete Hypoxylon invadens was described in 2014 as a fungicolous species growing on a member of its own genus, H.fragiforme, which is considered a rare lifestyle in the Hypoxylaceae. This renders H.invadens an interesting target in our efforts to find new bioactive secondary metabolites from members of the Xylariales. So far, only volatile organic compounds have been reported from H.invadens, but no investigation of non-volatile compounds had been conducted. Furthermore, a phylogenetic assignment following recent trends in fungal taxonomy via a multiple sequence alignment seemed practical. A culture of H.invadens was thus subjected to submerged cultivation to investigate the produced secondary metabolites, followed by isolation via preparative chromatography and subsequent structure elucidation by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS). This approach led to the identification of the known flaviolin (1) and 3,3-biflaviolin (2) as the main components, which had never been reported from the order Xylariales before. Assessment of their antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects via a panel of commonly used microorganisms and cell lines in our laboratory did not yield any effects of relevance. Concurrently, genomic DNA from the fungus was used to construct a multigene phylogeny using ribosomal sequence information from the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), the 28S large subunit of ribosomal DNA (LSU), and proteinogenic nucleotide sequences from the second largest subunit of the DNA-directed RNA polymerase II (RPB2) and β-tubulin (TUB2) genes. A placement in a newly formed clade with H.trugodes was strongly supported in a maximum-likelihood (ML) phylogeny using sequences derived from well characterized strains, but the exact position of said clade remains unclear. Both, the chemical and the phylogenetic results suggest further inquiries into the lifestyle of this unique fungus to get a better understanding of both, its ecological role and function of its produced secondary metabolites hitherto unique to the Xylariales.
  • Re-Evaluation of the Order Sordariales: Delimitation of Lasiosphaeriaceae s. str., and Introduction of the New Families Diplogelasinosporaceae, Naviculisporaceae, and Schizotheciaceae.

    Marin-Felix, Yasmina; Miller, Andrew N; Cano-Lira, José F; Guarro, Josep; García, D; Stadler, Marc; Huhndorf, Sabine M; Stchigel, Alberto M; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-09-17)
    The order Sordariales includes the polyphyletic family Lasiosphaeriaceae, which comprises approximately 30 genera characterized by its paraphysate ascomata, asci with apical apparati, and mostly two-celled ascospores, which have a dark apical cell and a hyaline lower cell, frequently ornamented with mucilaginous appendages[...].
  • Biological and chemical diversity go hand in hand: Basidiomycota as source of new pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

    Sandargo, Birthe; Chepkirui, Clara; Cheng, Tian; Chaverra-Muñoz, Lillibeth; Thongbai, Benjarong; Stadler, Marc; Hüttel, Stephan; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2019-02-07)
    The Basidiomycota constitutes the second largest higher taxonomic group of the Fungi after the Ascomycota and comprises over 30.000 species. Mycelial cultures of Basidiomycota have already been studied since the 1950s for production of antibiotics and other beneficial secondary metabolites. Despite the fact that unique and selective compounds like pleuromutilin were obtained early on, it took several decades more until they were subjected to a systematic screening for antimicrobial and anticancer activities. These efforts led to the discovery of the strobilurins and several hundreds of further compounds that mainly constitute terpenoids. In parallel the traditional medicinal mushrooms of Asia were also studied intensively for metabolite production, aimed at finding new therapeutic agents for treatment of various diseases including metabolic disorders and the central nervous system. While the evaluation of this organism group has in general been more tedious as compared to the Ascomycota, the chances to discover new metabolites and to develop them further to candidates for drugs, agrochemicals and other products for the Life Science industry have substantially increased over the past decade. This is owing to the revolutionary developments in -OMICS techniques, bioinformatics, analytical chemistry and biotechnological process technology, which are steadily being developed further. On the other hand, the new developments in polythetic fungal taxonomy now also allow a more concise selection of previously untapped organisms. The current review is dedicated to summarize the state of the art and to give an outlook to further developments.

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