• Secondary metabolite biosynthetic diversity in the fungal family Hypoxylaceae and Xylaria hypoxylon.

      Kuhnert, E; Navarro-Muñoz, J C; Becker, K; Stadler, M; Collemare, J; Cox, R J; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2021-08-26)
      To date little is known about the genetic background that drives the production and diversification of secondary metabolites in the Hypoxylaceae. With the recent availability of high-quality genome sequences for 13 representative species and one relative (Xylaria hypoxylon) we attempted to survey the diversity of biosynthetic pathways in these organisms to investigate their true potential as secondary metabolite producers. Manual search strategies based on the accumulated knowledge on biosynthesis in fungi enabled us to identify 783 biosynthetic pathways across 14 studied species, the majority of which were arranged in biosynthetic gene clusters (BGC). The similarity of BGCs was analysed with the BiG-SCAPE engine which organised the BGCs into 375 gene cluster families (GCF). Only ten GCFs were conserved across all of these fungi indicating that speciation is accompanied by changes in secondary metabolism. From the known compounds produced by the family members some can be directly correlated with identified BGCs which is highlighted herein by the azaphilone, dihydroxynaphthalene, tropolone, cytochalasan, terrequinone, terphenyl and brasilane pathways giving insights into the evolution and diversification of those compound classes. Vice versa, products of various BGCs can be predicted through homology analysis with known pathways from other fungi as shown for the identified ergot alkaloid, trigazaphilone, curvupallide, viridicatumtoxin and swainsonine BGCs. However, the majority of BGCs had no obvious links to known products from the Hypoxylaceae or other well-studied biosynthetic pathways from fungi. These findings highlight that the number of known compounds strongly underrepresents the biosynthetic potential in these fungi and that a tremendous number of unidentified secondary metabolites is still hidden. Moreover, with increasing numbers of genomes for further Hypoxylaceae species becoming available, the likelihood of revealing new biosynthetic pathways that encode new, potentially useful compounds will significantly improve. Reaching a better understanding of the biology of these producers, and further development of genetic methods for their manipulation, will be crucial to access their treasures.
    • Fusarium: more than a node or a foot-shaped basal cell.

      Crous, P W; Lombard, L; Sandoval-Denis, M; Seifert, K A; Schroers, H-J; Chaverri, P; Gené, J; Guarro, J; Hirooka, Y; Bensch, K; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-08-17)
      Recent publications have argued that there are potentially serious consequences for researchers in recognising distinct genera in the terminal fusarioid clade of the family Nectriaceae. Thus, an alternate hypothesis, namely a very broad concept of the genus Fusarium was proposed. In doing so, however, a significant body of data that supports distinct genera in Nectriaceae based on morphology, biology, and phylogeny is disregarded. A DNA phylogeny based on 19 orthologous protein-coding genes was presented to support a very broad concept of Fusarium at the F1 node in Nectriaceae. Here, we demonstrate that re-analyses of this dataset show that all 19 genes support the F3 node that represents Fusarium sensu stricto as defined by F. sambucinum (sexual morph synonym Gibberella pulicaris). The backbone of the phylogeny is resolved by the concatenated alignment, but only six of the 19 genes fully support the F1 node, representing the broad circumscription of Fusarium. Furthermore, a re-analysis of the concatenated dataset revealed alternate topologies in different phylogenetic algorithms, highlighting the deep divergence and unresolved placement of various Nectriaceae lineages proposed as members of Fusarium. Species of Fusarium s. str. are characterised by Gibberella sexual morphs, asexual morphs with thin- or thick-walled macroconidia that have variously shaped apical and basal cells, and trichothecene mycotoxin production, which separates them from other fusarioid genera. Here we show that the Wollenweber concept of Fusarium presently accounts for 20 segregate genera with clear-cut synapomorphic traits, and that fusarioid macroconidia represent a character that has been gained or lost multiple times throughout Nectriaceae. Thus, the very broad circumscription of Fusarium is blurry and without apparent synapomorphies, and does not include all genera with fusarium-like macroconidia, which are spread throughout Nectriaceae (e.g., Cosmosporella, Macroconia, Microcera). In this study four new genera are introduced, along with 18 new species and 16 new combinations. These names convey information about relationships, morphology, and ecological preference that would otherwise be lost in a broader definition of Fusarium. To assist users to correctly identify fusarioid genera and species, we introduce a new online identification database, Fusarioid-ID, accessible at www.fusarium.org. The database comprises partial sequences from multiple genes commonly used to identify fusarioid taxa (act1, CaM, his3, rpb1, rpb2, tef1, tub2, ITS, and LSU). In this paper, we also present a nomenclator of names that have been introduced in Fusarium up to January 2021 as well as their current status, types, and diagnostic DNA barcode data. In this study, researchers from 46 countries, representing taxonomists, plant pathologists, medical mycologists, quarantine officials, regulatory agencies, and students, strongly support the application and use of a more precisely delimited Fusarium (= Gibberella) concept to accommodate taxa from the robust monophyletic node F3 on the basis of a well-defined and unique combination of morphological and biochemical features. This F3 node includes, among others, species of the F. fujikuroi, F. incarnatum-equiseti, F. oxysporum, and F. sambucinum species complexes, but not species of Bisifusarium [F. dimerum species complex (SC)], Cyanonectria (F. buxicola SC), Geejayessia (F. staphyleae SC), Neocosmospora (F. solani SC) or Rectifusarium (F. ventricosum SC). The present study represents the first step to generating a new online monograph of Fusarium and allied fusarioid genera (www.fusarium.org).
    • Occasional comment: Fungal identification to species-level can be challenging.

      Raja, Huzefa A; Oberlies, Nicholas H; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2021-07-14)
      [No abstract available]
    • Nomenclatural issues concerning cultured yeasts and other fungi: why it is important to avoid unneeded name changes.

      Yurkov, Andrey; Alves, Artur; Bai, Feng-Yan; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Buzzini, Pietro; Čadež, Neža; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Casaregola, Serge; Chaturvedi, Vishnu; Collin, Valérie; et al. (BMC, 2021-07-13)
      The unambiguous application of fungal names is important to communicate scientific findings. Names are critical for (clinical) diagnostics, legal compliance, and regulatory controls, such as biosafety, food security, quarantine regulations, and industrial applications. Consequently, the stability of the taxonomic system and the traceability of nomenclatural changes is crucial for a broad range of users and taxonomists. The unambiguous application of names is assured by the preservation of nomenclatural history and the physical organisms representing a name. Fungi are extremely diverse in terms of ecology, lifestyle, and methods of study. Predominantly unicellular fungi known as yeasts are usually investigated as living cultures. Methods to characterize yeasts include physiological (growth) tests and experiments to induce a sexual morph; both methods require viable cultures. Thus, the preservation and availability of viable reference cultures are important, and cultures representing reference material are cited in species descriptions. Historical surveys revealed drawbacks and inconsistencies between past practices and modern requirements as stated in the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (ICNafp). Improper typification of yeasts is a common problem, resulting in a large number invalid yeast species names. With this opinion letter, we address the problem that culturable microorganisms, notably some fungi and algae, require specific provisions under the ICNafp. We use yeasts as a prominent example of fungi known from cultures. But viable type material is important not only for yeasts, but also for other cultivable Fungi that are characterized by particular morphological structures (a specific type of spores), growth properties, and secondary metabolites. We summarize potential proposals which, in our opinion, will improve the stability of fungal names, in particular by protecting those names for which the reference material can be traced back to the original isolate.
    • Comparative analyses of the Hymenoscyphus fraxineus and Hymenoscyphus albidus genomes reveals potentially adaptive differences in secondary metabolite and transposable element repertoires.

      Elfstrand, Malin; Chen, Jun; Cleary, Michelle; Halecker, Sandra; Ihrmark, Katarina; Karlsson, Magnus; Davydenko, Kateryna; Stenlid, Jan; Stadler, Marc; Durling, Mikael Brandström; et al. (BMC, 2021-07-04)
      Background: The dieback epidemic decimating common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Europe is caused by the invasive fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. In this study we analyzed the genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus, its native but, now essentially displaced, non-pathogenic sister species, and compared them with several other members of Helotiales. The focus of the analyses was to identify signals in the genome that may explain the rapid establishment of H. fraxineus and displacement of H. albidus. Results: The genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus showed a high level of synteny and identity. The assembly of H. fraxineus is 13 Mb longer than that of H. albidus', most of this difference can be attributed to higher dispersed repeat content (i.e. transposable elements [TEs]) in H. fraxineus. In general, TE families in H. fraxineus showed more signals of repeat-induced point mutations (RIP) than in H. albidus, especially in Long-terminal repeat (LTR)/Copia and LTR/Gypsy elements. Comparing gene family expansions and 1:1 orthologs, relatively few genes show signs of positive selection between species. However, several of those did appeared to be associated with secondary metabolite genes families, including gene families containing two of the genes in the H. fraxineus-specific, hymenosetin biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC). Conclusion: The genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus show a high degree of synteny, and are rich in both TEs and BGCs, but the genomic signatures also indicated that H. albidus may be less well equipped to adapt and maintain its ecological niche in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Meroterpenoids: A Comprehensive Update Insight on Structural Diversity and Biology.

      Nazir, Mamona; Saleem, Muhammad; Tousif, Muhammad Imran; Anwar, Muhammad Aijaz; Surup, Frank; Ali, Iftikhar; Wang, Daijie; Mamadalieva, Nilufar Z; Alshammari, Elham; Ashour, Mohamed L; et al. (MDPI, 2021-06-29)
      Meroterpenoids are secondary metabolites formed due to mixed biosynthetic pathways which are produced in part from a terpenoid co-substrate. These mixed biosynthetically hybrid compounds are widely produced by bacteria, algae, plants, and animals. Notably amazing chemical diversity is generated among meroterpenoids via a combination of terpenoid scaffolds with polyketides, alkaloids, phenols, and amino acids. This review deals with the isolation, chemical diversity, and biological effects of 452 new meroterpenoids reported from natural sources from January 2016 to December 2020. Most of the meroterpenoids possess antimicrobial, cytotoxic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, enzyme inhibitory, and immunosupressive effects.
    • Total Synthesis of Thuggacin cmc-A and Its Structure Determination.

      Tsutsumi, Tomohiro; Matsumoto, Moe; Iwasaki, Hitomi; Tomisawa, Kei; Komine, Keita; Fukuda, Hayato; Eustache, Jacques; Jansen, Rolf; Hatakeyama, Susumi; Ishihara, Jun; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2021-06-15)
      The first total synthesis of thuggacin cmc-A and the determination of the absolute structure are described. The thuggacin family of antibiotics is of great interest due to the antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Based on the assumption that seven stereogenic centers in thuggacin cmc-A would share the same stereochemistry as thuggacin-A, all stereogenic centers of thuggacin cmc-A were strictly constructed in a stereocontrolled manner. The total synthesis allowed its stereostructure to be fully confirmed.
    • Analogs of the carotane antibiotic fulvoferruginin from submerged cultures of a Thai sp.

      Sandargo, Birthe; Kaysan, Leon; Teponno, Rémy B; Richter, Christian; Thongbai, Benjarong; Surup, Frank; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Beilstein Institut, 2021-06-04)
      A recent find of a Marasmius species in Northern Thailand led to the isolation of five unprecedented derivatives of the carotane antibiotic fulvoferruginin (1), fulvoferruginins B-F (2-6). The structures of these sesquiterpenoids were elucidated using HRESIMS, 1D and 2D NMR, as well as CD spectroscopy. Assessing the bioactivity, fulvoferruginin emerged as a potent cytotoxic agent of potential pharmaceutical interest.
    • Synthesis of the fungal macrolide berkeleylactone A and its inhibition of microbial biofilm formation.

      Schriefer, Manuel G; Schrey, Hedda; Zeng, Haoxuan; Stadler, Marc; Schobert, Rainer; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021-05-03)
      The fungal macrolide berkeleylactone A was synthesised in 13 steps and 24% yield using (R)-propylene oxide and an asymmetric Noyori hydrogenation of a β-ketoester to install the stereogenic centres. A domino addition-Wittig olefination of a 13-hydroxytetradecanal intermediate with the cumulated ylide Ph3PCCO closed the macrocyle by establishing the α,β-unsaturated ester group, necessary for the attachment of the sidechain thiol via a thia-Michael reaction. The synthetic berkeleylactone A inhibited the formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms and showed significant dispersive effects on preformed biofilms of Candida albicans by at least 45% relative to untreated controls at concentrations as low as 1.3 μg mL-1.
    • How to publish a new fungal species, or name, version 3.0.

      Aime, M Catherine; Miller, Andrew N; Aoki, Takayuki; Bensch, Konstanze; Cai, Lei; Crous, Pedro W; Hawksworth, David L; Hyde, Kevin D; Kirk, Paul M; Lücking, Robert; et al. (BMC, 2021-05-03)
      It is now a decade since The International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF) produced an overview of requirements and best practices for describing a new fungal species. In the meantime the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICNafp) has changed from its former name (the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) and introduced new formal requirements for valid publication of species scientific names, including the separation of provisions specific to Fungi and organisms treated as fungi in a new Chapter F. Equally transformative have been changes in the data collection, data dissemination, and analytical tools available to mycologists. This paper provides an updated and expanded discussion of current publication requirements along with best practices for the description of new fungal species and publication of new names and for improving accessibility of their associated metadata that have developed over the last 10 years. Additionally, we provide: (1) model papers for different fungal groups and circumstances; (2) a checklist to simplify meeting (i) the requirements of the ICNafp to ensure the effective, valid and legitimate publication of names of new taxa, and (ii) minimally accepted standards for description; and, (3) templates for preparing standardized species descriptions.
    • Ophiocordyceps flavida sp. nov. (Ophiocordycipitaceae), a new species from Thailand associated with Pseudogibellula formicarum (Cordycipitaceae), and their bioactive secondary metabolites

      Mongkolsamrit, Suchada; Noisripoom, Wasana; Pumiputikul, Siraphop; Boonlarppradab, Chollaratt; Samson, Robert A.; Stadler, Marc; Becker, Kevin; Luangsa-Ard, Janet Jennifer; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2021-04-01)
      During a diversity study of entomopathogenic fungi in an agricultural ecosystem, two fungi were collected, isolated, and identified based on molecular phylogenetic analyses of three nuclear loci (LSU, TEF1, and RPB1) combined with morphological data. In this study, one novel species is described, Ophiocordyceps flavida, and a new record of Pseudogibellula formicarum for Thailand. Ophiocordyceps flavida morphologically resembles the Hirsutella anamorph of Ophiocordyceps pruinosa by having a mononematous character of the conidiophores and the same insect host (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Pseudogibellula formicarum is found to occur simultaneously with O. flavida, producing white conidiophores on the host. Additionally, secondary metabolites of both fungi were investigated and the major compound in O. flavida was identified as 2-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-oxirane. Pseudogibellula formicarum from Ghana and Thailand produces 6-methoxy-1H-indole-3-carbonitrile as a main component. These compounds are known from chemical synthesis or as products of biotransformation, respectively. However, they were obtained in our study as genuine fungal metabolites for the first time and may even constitute chemotaxonomic markers for the respective species
    • New developments in mycological taxonomy and nomenclature and news about the future development of Mycological Progress.

      Stadler, Marc; Weber, Evi; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2021-03-27)
      [No abstract available]
    • Amycolatomycins A and B, Cyclic Hexapeptides Isolated from an amycolatopsis sp. 195334CR.

      Primahana, Gian; Risdian, Chandra; Mozef, Tjandrawati; Wink, Joachim; Surup, Frank; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-03-05)
      The rare actinobacterium Amycolatopsis sp. strain 195334CR was found to produce previously undescribed cyclic hexapeptides, which we named amycolatomycin A and B (1 and 2). Their planar structures were determined by high-resolution mass spectrometry as well as extensive 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy, while the absolute stereochemistry of its amino acids were determined by Marfey's method. Moreover, 1 and 2 differ by the incorporation of l-Ile and l-allo-Ile, respectively, whose FDVA (Nα-(2,4-Dinitro-5-fluorphenyl)-L-valinamide) derivatives were separated on a C4 column. Their hallmark in common is a unique 2,6-dichloro-tryptophan amino acid unit. Amycolatomycin A (1) exhibited weak activity against Bacillus subtilis DSM 10 (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 33.4 µg/mL).
    • Three New Derivatives of Zopfinol from Pseudorhypophila Mangenotii gen. et comb. nov

      Harms, Karen; Milic, Andrea; Stchigel, Alberto M; Stadler, Marc; Surup, Frank; Marin-Felix, Yasmina; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-03-03)
      Triangularia mangenotti was analyzed for the production of secondary metabolites, resulting in the isolation of known zopfinol (1) and its new derivatives zopfinol B-C (2-4), the 10-membered lactones 7-O-acetylmultiplolide A (5) and 8-O-acetylmultiplolide A (6), together with sordarin (7), sordarin B (8), and hypoxysordarin (9). The absolute configuration of 1 was elucidated by the synthesis of MPTA-esters. Compound 1 showed antimicrobial activity against the Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus and the fungus Mucor hiemalis. While 4 was weakly antibacterial, 3 showed stronger antibiotic activity against the Gram-positive bacteria and weak antifungal activity against M. hiemalis and Rhodotorula glutinis. We furthermore observed the cytotoxicity of 1, 3 and 4 against the mammalian cell lines KB3.1 and L929. Moreover, the new genus Pseudorhypophila is introduced herein to accommodate Triangularia mangenotii together with several species of Zopfiella-Z. marina, Z. pilifera, and Z. submersa. These taxa formed a well-supported monophyletic clade in the recently introduced family Navicularisporaceae, located far from the type species of the respective original genera, in a phylogram based on the combined dataset sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), the nuclear rDNA large subunit (LSU), and fragments of the ribosomal polymerase II subunit 2 (rpb2) and β-tubulin (tub2) genes. Zopfiella submersa is synonymized with P. marina due to the phylogenetic and morphological similarity. The isolation of zopfinols 1-4 and sordarins 7-9 confirms the potential of this fungal order as producers of bioactive compounds and suggests these compounds as potential chemotaxonomic markers.
    • Resolution of the Hypoxylon fuscum complex (hypoxylaceae, xylariales) and discovery and biological characterization of two of its prominent secondary metabolites.

      Lambert, Christopher; Pourmoghaddam, Mohammad Javad; Cedeño-Sanchez, Marjorie; Surup, Frank; Khodaparast, Seyed Akbar; Krisai-Greilhuber, Irmgard; Voglmayr, Hermann; Stradal, Theresia E B; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-02-11)
      Hypoxylon, a large, cosmopolitan genus of Ascomycota is in the focus of our current poly-thetic taxonomic studies, and served as an excellent source for bioactive secondary metabolites at the same time. The present work concerns a survey of the Hypoxylon fuscum species complex based on specimens from Iran and Europe by morphological studies and high performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and diode array detection (HPLC-MS-DAD). Apart from known chemotaxonomic markers like binaphthalene tetrol (BNT) and daldinin F, two unprece-dented molecules were detected and subsequently isolated to purity by semi preparative HPLC. Their structures were established by nuclear-magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as 3'-malonyl-daldinin F (6) and pseudofuscochalasin A (4). The new daldinin derivative 6 showed weak cytotoxicity towards mammalian cells but bactericidal activity. The new cytochalasin 4 was compared to cytochalasin C in an actin disruption assay using fluorescence microscopy of human osteo-sarcoma U2OS cells, revealing comparable activity towards F-actin but being irreversible compared to cytochalasin C. Concurrently, a multilocus molecular phylogeny based on ribosomal and proteinogenic nucleotide sequences of Hypoxylon species resulted in a well-supported clade for H. fuscum and its allies. From a comparison of morphological, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic evidence, we introduce the new species H. eurasiaticum and H. pseudofuscum.
    • 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.
    • Natural products in drug discovery: advances and opportunities.

      Atanasov, Atanas G; Zotchev, Sergey B; Dirsch, Verena M; Supuran, Claudiu T; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2021-01-28)
      Natural products and their structural analogues have historically made a major contribution to pharmacotherapy, especially for cancer and infectious diseases. Nevertheless, natural products also present challenges for drug discovery, such as technical barriers to screening, isolation, characterization and optimization, which contributed to a decline in their pursuit by the pharmaceutical industry from the 1990s onwards. In recent years, several technological and scientific developments - including improved analytical tools, genome mining and engineering strategies, and microbial culturing advances - are addressing such challenges and opening up new opportunities. Consequently, interest in natural products as drug leads is being revitalized, particularly for tackling antimicrobial resistance. Here, we summarize recent technological developments that are enabling natural product-based drug discovery, highlight selected applications and discuss key opportunities.
    • Taxonomy, Diversity and Cultivation of the Oudemansielloid/Xeruloid Taxa Hymenopellis, Mucidula, Oudemansiella, and Xerula and with Respect to Their Bioactivities: A Review.

      Niego, Allen Grace; Raspé, Olivier; Thongklang, Naritsada; Charoensup, Rawiwan; Lumyong, Saisamorn; Stadler, Marc; Hyde, Kevin D; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-01-13)
      The oudemansielloid/xeruloid taxa Hymenopellis, Mucidula, Oudemansiella, and Xerula are genera of Basidiomycota that constitute an important resource of bioactive compounds. Numerous studies have shown antimicrobial, anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and other bioactivities of their extracts. The bioactive principles can be divided into two major groups: (a) hydrophilic polysaccharides with relatively high molecular weights and (b) low molecular medium polar secondary metabolites, such as the antifungal strobilurins. In this review, we summarize the state of the art on biodiversity, cultivation of the fungi and bioactivities of their secondary metabolites and discuss future applications. Although the strobilurins are well-documented, with commercial applications as agrochemical fungicides, there are also other known compounds from this group that have not yet been well-studied. Polysaccharides, dihydro-citrinone phenol A acid, scalusamides, and acetylenic lactones such as xerulin, also have potential applications in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and medicinal market and should be further explored. Further studies are recommended to isolate high quality bioactive compounds and fully understand their modes of action. Given that only few species of oudemansielloid/xeruloid mushrooms have been explored for their production of secondary metabolites, these taxa represent unexplored sources of potentially useful and novel bioactive metabolites.
    • Discovery of novel biologically active secondary metabolites from Thai mycodiversity with anti-infective potential

      Kuephadungphan, Wilawan; Macabeo, Allan Patrick G.; Luangsa-Ard, Janet Jennifer; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2021-01-01)
      This mini-review is dedicated to the summary of results of the EU-funded Project “Golden Mycological Triangle” (acronym GoMyTri), which was carried out in collaboration of three research infrastructures in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand during the years 2014–2018. The cooperation explored the mycological and microbiological biodiversity of Europe and Southeast Asia with regard to the search for the badly needed new antibiotics and other biologically active secondary metabolites. The project was conducted to foster international collaboration networks, know-how exchange and interdisciplinary training of young scientists. The first two years of the project were mainly dedicated to field work, and several hundreds of fungal cultures have been isolated from material mostly collected in Thailand. These fungal strains were characterized by morphological and molecular phylogenetic methods and several new taxa were discovered. The cultures underwent screening for antimicrobial and nematicidal metabolites and a number of bioactive metabolites have already been found, isolated and characterized. Several large phylogenetic studies have already been published that resulted from the project work. The results were also brought to the attention of the scientific community as well as the general public through various dissemination events. Based on the tremendous success of this project, a follow-up project application including additional partners from Africa and further European countries has recently been filed and approved, and the international, interdisciplinary collaboration will now continue in the new RISE-MSCA-Project (acronym “Mycobiomics”).
    • Corallopyronin A for short-course anti-wolbachial, macrofilaricidal treatment of filarial infections.

      Schiefer, Andrea; Hübner, Marc P; Krome, Anna; Lämmer, Christine; Ehrens, Alexandra; Aden, Tilman; Koschel, Marianne; Neufeld, Helene; Chaverra-Muñoz, Lillibeth; Jansen, Rolf; et al. (PLOS, 2020-12-07)
      Current efforts to eliminate the neglected tropical diseases onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, caused by the filarial nematodes Onchocerca volvulus and Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia spp., respectively, are hampered by lack of a short-course macrofilaricidal-adult-worm killing-treatment. Anti-wolbachial antibiotics, e.g. doxycycline, target the essential Wolbachia endosymbionts of filariae and are a safe prototype adult-worm-sterilizing and macrofilaricidal regimen, in contrast to standard treatments with ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine, which mainly target the microfilariae. However, treatment regimens of 4-5 weeks necessary for doxycycline and contraindications limit its use. Therefore, we tested the preclinical anti-Wolbachia drug candidate Corallopyronin A (CorA) for in vivo efficacy during initial and chronic filarial infections in the Litomosoides sigmodontis rodent model. CorA treatment for 14 days beginning immediately after infection cleared >90% of Wolbachia endosymbionts from filariae and prevented development into adult worms. CorA treatment of patently infected microfilaremic gerbils for 14 days with 30 mg/kg twice a day (BID) achieved a sustained reduction of >99% of Wolbachia endosymbionts from adult filariae and microfilariae, followed by complete inhibition of filarial embryogenesis resulting in clearance of microfilariae. Combined treatment of CorA and albendazole, a drug currently co-administered during mass drug administrations and previously shown to enhance efficacy of anti-Wolbachia drugs, achieved microfilarial clearance after 7 days of treatment at a lower BID dose of 10 mg/kg CorA, a Human Equivalent Dose of 1.4 mg/kg. Importantly, this combination led to a significant reduction in the adult worm burden, which has not yet been published with other anti-Wolbachia candidates tested in this model. In summary, CorA is a preclinical candidate for filariasis, which significantly reduces treatment times required to achieve sustained Wolbachia depletion, clearance of microfilariae, and inhibition of embryogenesis. In combination with albendazole, CorA is robustly macrofilaricidal after 7 days of treatment and fulfills the Target Product Profile for a macrofilaricidal drug.