Black spot of sweet persimmon, caused by Alternaria alternata, occurred in an orchard in Gyeongnam province, Korea in 2012. The symptom was appearance of 0.5 to 4 cm black spots on the surface of fruit. The pathogen was isolated from flesh of disease lesions. The causal agent was identified as A. alternata by morphological characteristics and sequencers of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1 and ITS4 regions of rRNA. Artificial inoculation of the pathogen resulted in development of disease symptoms and the re-isolated pathogen showed characteristics of A. alternata.
Alternaria alternata; Black spot; Sweet persimmon
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have mutualistic relationships with more than 80% of terrestrial plant species. This symbiotic relationship is ancient and would have had important roles in establishment of plants on land. Despite their abundance and wide range of relationship with plant species, AMF have shown low species diversity. However, molecular studies have suggested that diversity of these fungi may be much higher, and genetic variation of AMF is very high within a species and even within a single spore. Despite low diversity and lack of host specificity, various functions have been associated with plant growth responses to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization. In addition, different community composition of AMF affects plants differently, and plays a potential role in ecosystem variability and productivity. AMF have high functional diversity because different combinations of host plants and AMF have different effects on the various aspects of symbiosis. Consequently, recent studies have focused on the different functions of AMF according to their genetic resource and their roles in ecosystem functioning. This review summarizes taxonomic, genetic, and functional diversities of AMF and their roles in natural ecosystems.
Arbuscular mycorrhizas; Ecosystem; Functional diversity; Genetic diversity; Taxonomic diversity
Usnea Adans. is a somewhat rare lichen in South Korea, and, in nearly two decades, no detailed taxonomic or revisionary study has been conducted. This study was based on the specimens deposited in the lichen herbarium at the Korean Lichen Research Institute, and the samples were identified using information obtained from recent literature. In this study, a total of eight species of Usnea, including one new record, Usnea hakonensis Asahina, are documented. Detailed descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical, and chemical characteristics are provided. A key to all known Usnea species in South Korea is also presented.
Key; New record; Parmeliaceae; South Korea; Usnea
We collected nearly 70 specimens of Amanita species during a diversity study of Korean mushrooms conducted in 2012. In this study, we primarily investigated 23 Amanita specimens belonging to sections Amanita and Vaginatae. Based on sequence data of the internal transcribed spacers and partial large subunit of ribosomal RNA and morphological characteristics, we identified the following 15 phylogenetic species: A. alboflavescens, A. ceciliae, A. farinosa, A. fulva, A. griseofolia, A. ibotengutake, A. melleiceps, A. orientifulva, A. pantherina, A. rubrovolvata, A. sinensis, A. subglobosa, A. vaginata, A. cf. vaginata f. alba, and an undescribed Amanita species. In this study, four of the identified Amanita species (A. griseofolia, A. ibotengutake, A. orientifulva, and A. sinensis) were reported for the first time in Korea.
Amanita sect. Amanita; Amanita sect. Vaginatae; ITS; Morphology; nLSU; Phylogeny
Makgeolli is a traditional cloudy-white Korean rice wine with an alcohol content of 6~7%. The present study investigated the morphological characteristics, carbon-utilizing ability, fatty acid composition, alcohol resistance, glucose tolerance, and flocculence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Y98-5 and Pichia anomala Y197-13, non-S. cerevisiae isolated from Nuruk, which is used in brewing Makgeolli. Similar morphological characteristics were observed for both isolated wild yeast strains; and the carbon source assimilation of Y197-13 differed from that of other P. anomala strains. Strain Y197-13 was negative for D-trehalose, mannitol, arbutin, I-erythritol, and succinic acid. The major cellular fatty acids of strain Y197-13 included C18:2n6c (33.94%), C18:1n9c (26.97%) and C16:0 (20.57%). Strain Y197-13 was Crabtree-negative, with 60% cell viability at 12% (v/v) ethanol. The flocculation level of strain Y197-13 was 8.38%, resulting in its classification as a non-flocculent yeast.
Makgeolli; Nuruk; Pichia anomala; Y197-13
Vegetative growth signaling of the opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is mediated by GpaA (Gα). FlbA is a regulator of G protein signaling, which attenuates GpaA-mediated growth signaling in this fungus. The flbA deletion (ΔflbA) and the constitutively active GpaA (GpaAQ204L) mutants exhibit enhanced proliferation, precocious autolysis, and reduced asexual sporulation. In this study, we demonstrate that both mutants also show enhanced tolerance against H2O2 and their radial growth was approximately 1.6 fold higher than that of wild type (WT) in medium with 10 mM H2O2. We performed quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) for examination of mRNA levels of three catalase encoding genes (catA, cat1, and cat2) in WT and the two mutants. According to the results, while levels of spore-specific catA mRNA were comparable among the three strains, cat1 and cat2 mRNA levels were significantly higher in the two mutants than in WT. In particular, the ΔflbA mutant showed significantly enhanced and prolonged expression of cat1 and precocious expression of cat2. In accordance with this result, activity of the Cat1 protein in the ΔflbA mutant was higher than that of gpaAQ204L and WT strains. For activity of the Cat2 protein, both mutants began to show enhanced activity at 48 and 72 hr of growth compared to WT. These results lead to the conclusion that GpaA activates expression and activity of cat1 and cat2, whereas FlbA plays an antagonistic role in control of catalases, leading to balanced responses to neutralizing the toxicity of reactive oxygen species.
Aspergillus fumigatus; Catalases; FlbA; GpaA; H2O2; Regulator of G protein signaling
An α-glucosidase inhibitor was developed from Aspergillus oryzae N159-1, which was screened from traditional fermented Korean foods. The intracellular concentration of the inhibitor reached its highest level when the fungus was cultured in tryptic soy broth medium at 27℃ for five days. The inhibitor was purified using a series of purification steps involving ultrafiltration, Sephadex G-25 gel permeation chromatography, strong cation exchange solid phase extraction, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography, and size exclusion chromatography. The final yield of the purification was 1.9%. Results of the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis indicated that the purified α-glucosidase inhibitor was a tri-peptide, Pro-Phe-Pro, with the molecular weight of 360.1 Da. The IC50 value of the peptide against α-glucosidase activity was 3.1 mg/mL. Using Lineweaver-Burk plot analysis, the inhibition pattern indicated that the inhibitor acts as a mixed type inhibitor.
α-Glucosidase inhibitory peptide; Anti-obesity; Aspergillus oryzae N159-1
Two species of the lichen genus Dirinaria (Tuck.) Clem. are recognized in the South Korean lichen mycota, viz: D. applanata and D. picta. Descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical, and chemical characteristics together with molecular analysis and a key to known Dirinaria species are presented. D. picta is recorded from South Korea for the first time.
Dirinaria; Key; New record; Physciaceae; South Korea
A chemical mutagenesis technique was employed for development of mutant strains of Sparassis crispa targeting the shortened cultivation time and the high β-glucan content. The homogenized mycelial fragments of S. crispa IUM4010 strain were treated with 0.2 vol% methyl methanesulfonate, an alkylating agent, yielding 199 mutant strains. Subsequent screening in terms of growth and β-glucan content yielded two mutant strains, B4 and S7. Both mutants exhibited a significant increase in β-glucan productivity by producing 0.254 and 0.236 mg soluble β-glucan/mg dry cell weight for the B4 and S7 strains, respectively, whereas the wild type strain produced 0.102 mg soluble β-glucan/mg dry cell weight. The results demonstrate the usefulness of chemical mutagenesis for generation of mutant mushroom strains.
Beta-glucan; Chemical mutagenesis; Growth rate; Sparassis crispa
A Bacillus sp. BS061 significantly reduced disease incidence of gray mold and powdery mildew. To identify the active principle, the culture filtrate was partitioned between butanol and water. The antifungal activity against B. cinerea was evident in the butanol-soluble portion, and active substances were identified as cyclic lipopeptides, iturin A series, by nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR) and mass analysis. Interestingly, antifungal activity against powdery mildew was observed in the water-soluble portion, suggesting that cyclic lipopeptides have no responsibility to suppress powdery mildew. This finding reveals that biocontrol agents of Bacillus origin suppress gray mold and powdery mildew through the secretion of different bioactive substances.
Bacillus sp. BS061; Biocontrol agent; Gray mold; Lipopeptides; Powdery mildew
Sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers are one of the most effective and accurate tools for microbial identification. In this study, we applied SCAR markers for the rapid and accurate detection of Phytophthora katsurae, the casual agent of chestnut ink disease in Korea. In this study, we developed seven SCAR markers specific to P. katsurae using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), and assessed the potential of the SCAR markers to serve as tools for identifying P. katsurae. Seven primer pairs (SOPC 1F/SOPC 1R, SOPC 1-1F/SOPC 1-1R, SOPC 3F/SOPC 3R, SOPC 4F/SOPC 4R, SOPC 4F/SOPC 4-1R, SOPD 9F/SOPD 9R, and SOPD 10F/SOPD 10R) from a sequence derived from RAPD fragments were designed for the analysis of the SCAR markers. To evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of the SCAR markers, the genomic DNA of P. katsurae was serially diluted 10-fold to final concentrations from 1 mg/mL to 1 pg/mL. The limit of detection using the SCAR markers ranged from 100 µg/mL to 100 ng/mL. To identify the limit for detecting P. katsurae zoospores, each suspension of zoospores was serially diluted 10-fold to final concentrations from 10 × 105 to 10 × 101 zoospores/mL, and then extracted. The limit of detection by SCAR markers was approximately 10 × 101 zoospores/mL. PCR detection with SCAR markers was specific for P. katsurae, and did not produce any P. katsurae-specific PCR amplicons from 16 other Phytophthora species used as controls. This study shows that SCAR markers are a useful tool for the rapid and effective detection of P. katsurae.
Chestnut ink disease; Phytophthora katsurae; Random amplified polymorphic DNA; Sequence characterized amplified region
Diverse fungi are present in Korean traditional meju and they are known to play an important role in fermented soybean products. To determine the origin of the fungi in meju, we examined the mycoflora of soybeans from 10 traditional meju factories. The samples were untreated or treated with sodium hypochlorite, and placed on malt extract agar (MEA), dichloran 18% glycerol agar (DG18), and dichloran rose bengal chloramphenicol agar (DRBC) medium. A total of 794 fungal strains were isolated and they were identified as 41 genera and 86 species. From sodium hypochlorite untreated soybeans, the genera, Cladosporium (55%), Eurotium (51%), Fusarium (33%), Penicillium (22%), and Aspergillus (exclusion of Eurotium) (20%), were mainly isolated, and Eurotium herbariorum (22%), Eurotium repens (18%), Cladosporium tenuissimum (18%), F. fujikuroi (18%), Aspergillus oryzae/flavus (7%), and Penicillium steckii (6%) were the predominant species. In case of sodium hypochlorite-treated soybeans, Eurotium (31%) and Cladosporium (5%) were frequently isolated, but Aspergillus (excluding Eurotium), Penicillium and Fusarium which were frequently isolated from untreated soybeans, were rarely isolated. Eurotium herbariorum (21%), Eurotium repens (8%), and Cladosporium tenuissimum (3%) were the predominant species. Of the 41 genera and 86 species isolated from soybeans, 13 genera and 33 species were also found in meju. These results suggest that the fungi on soybeans may influence the mycoflora of meju.
Cladosporium tenuissimum; Eurotium herbariorum; Eurotium repens; Fungi; Soybean
The use of a microorganism, or its secretions, to prevent plant disease offers an attractive alternative or supplement to synthetic fungicides for the management of plant disease without the negative effects of chemical control mechanisms. During a screening for microorganisms with the potential to be used as microbial fungicides, Bacillus sp. BS061 was isolated from a plant leaf. The strain BS061 potently inhibited the mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea, and significantly reduced disease incidence of powdery mildew in cucumber and strawberry. We also found that the culture filtrate of BS061 inhibited the mycelial growth of various plant pathogens.
Bacillus sp. BS061; Biocontrol effect; Gray mold; Powdery mildew
Twenty Penicillium isolates were recovered during the investigation of fungal community in the soil samples collected from Wando (Jeonnam Province, Korea). Among them, one species was identified and described as P. cainii based on phylogentic analysis of internal transcribed spacer and β-tubulin (BT2) genes and morphological characteristics. This is a first report of P. cainii in Korea.
Morphology; Penicillium cainii; Sequence analysis; Soil fungi
Three Penicillium species have been isolated from insect specimens in Korea; Penicillium sp., P. steckii, and P. polonicum. Penicillium sp. (KNU12-3-2) was isolated from Lixus imperessiventris, while P. polonicum (KNU12-1-8) and Penicillium steckii (KNU12-2-9) were isolated from Muljarus japonicas and Meloe proscarabaeus, respectively. The identification was based on the morphological characteristics of the fungi and in internal transcribed spacer analysis. This is the first report on the isolation of these three species of Penicillium from insects in Korea.
Lixus imperessiventris; Meloe proscarabaeus; Muljarus japonicas; Penicillium spp
Pathogenic microbes secrete various enzymes with lipolytic activities to facilitate their survival within the host. Lipolytic enzymes include extracellular lipases and phospholipases, and several lines of evidence have suggested that these enzymes contribute to the virulence of pathogenic fungi. Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans are the most commonly isolated human fungal pathogens, and several biochemical and molecular approaches have identified their extracellular lipolytic enzymes. The role of lipases and phospholipases in the virulence of C. albicans has been extensively studied, and these enzymes have been shown to contribute to C. albicans morphological transition, colonization, cytotoxicity, and penetration to the host. While not much is known about the lipases in C. neoformans, the roles of phospholipases in the dissemination of fungal cells in the host and in signaling pathways have been described. Lipolytic enzymes may also influence the survival of the lipophilic cutaneous pathogenic yeast Malassezia species within the host, and an unusually high number of lipase-coding genes may complement the lipid dependency of this fungus. This review briefly describes the current understanding of the lipolytic enzymes in major human fungal pathogens, namely C. albicans, C. neoformans, and Malassezia spp.
Candida albicans; Cryptococcus neoformans; Lipase; Lipolytic enzyme; Malassezia; Phospholipase
The following new species for the lichen genus Graphis in Korea are reported: G. chlorotica, G. nanodes and G. tenuirima. A brief description of these species, together with their distribution, ecology, and illustrations are provided. A key to all known species of this genus from Korea is also presented.
Graphidaceae; Lichen; Lirellate; Taxonomy
This study aimed to investigate differences in ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities between disturbed sites and undisturbed old forest sites. ECM root tips of Pinus densiflora were collected from 4 sites disturbed by human activities and 3 undisturbed old forest sites adjacent to the disturbed sites. Results in this study showed that the number of ECM root tips, species diversity, and number of species were significantly higher in the disturbed sites than in the undisturbed sites, suggesting that the ECM fungal community structure was affected by the degree of disturbance.
Community structure; Disturbance; Ectomycorrhizas; Pinus densiflora; Species diversity
The needled leaves of three conifer species were collected in Mt. Taehwa during different seasons of the year. Total 59 isolates and 19 species of endophytic fungi were isolated from the leaves and identified using morphological and molecular characteristics. As a result, Shannon index was different in its host plant; Larix kaempferi had a highest value of species diversity. According to the sampling season, 9 species of 19 species were isolated during fall season. The results suggest that the existing of host plant and sampling season are major factors of distribution of endophytic fungi.
Conifers; Endophytes; Internal transcribed spacer; Larix kaempferi; Species diversity
In this study, ethanolic extracts from Hericium erinaceum cultivated with Artemisia capillaris (HEAC) were assessed for their ability to lower the cholesterol levels of male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a high-fat diet. Rats were randomly subdivided into seven test groups. Each group contained eight rats fed a high-fat diet during a growth period lasting 4 wk. Supplementation with the extracts was performed once a day for 2 wk after the high-fat diet. The control group (rats fed a high-fat diet) showed a high efficiency ratio (feed efficiency ratio) value compared to the normal group. Biochemical parameters, including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c), and triglyceride (TG) levels dramatically increased in the control group compared to the normal group. High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) content in the control group was also significantly lower relative to the normal group. Two positive control groups, treated with simvastatin and atorvastatin, had lowered TC, LDL-c, and TG levels, and increased HDL-c content compared to the control group. Treatment with the tested extracts, including HEAC, ethanolic extracts from Hericium erinaceum, and ethanolic extracts from Artemisia capillaris reduced TC, LDL-c, and TG levels and elevated HDL-c content in the hyperlipidemia rats. The atherogenic index and cardiac risk factor values for the HEAC-treated group were 0.95 and 1.95, respectively. Simvastatin- and atorvastatin-treated groups showed atherogenic index values of 1.56 and 1.69, respectively, and cardiac risk factor values of 2.56 and 2.69, respectively. These results show HEAC possesses an ability to cure hyperlipidemia in rats and may serve as an effective natural medicine for treating hyperlipidemia in humans.
Atorvastatin; Hericium erinaceum; Hyperlipidemia; Simvastatin
Msi1-like (MSIL) proteins, which are eukaryote-specific and contain a series of WD40 repeats, have pleiotropic roles in chromatin assembly, DNA damage repair, and regulation of nutrient/stress-sensing signaling pathways. In the fungal kingdom, the functions of MSIL proteins have been studied most intensively in the budding yeast model Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an ascomycete. Yet their functions are largely unknown in other fungi. Recently, an MSIL protein, Msl1, was discovered and functionally characterized in the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, a basidiomycete. Interestingly, MSIL proteins appear to have redundant and unique roles in both fungi, suggesting that MSIL proteins may have evolutionarily divergent roles in different parts of the fungal kingdom. In this review, we will describe the current findings regarding the role of MSIL proteins in fungi and discuss future directions for research on this topic.
Chromatin assembly factor; Histone; Msi1; Retinoblastoma; WD40
Hypotrachyna (Vainio) Hale is a somewhat rare lichen genus found on the Korean Peninsula. Since it was first recorded more than two decades ago, no detailed taxonomic or revisionary study of the genus has been conducted. Thus, the present study was conducted to carry out a detailed taxonomic and revisionary study of Hypotrachyna in South Korea. This study was based on specimens deposited in the Korean Lichen Research Institute (KoLRI). Detailed taxonomic studies and a literature review confirmed the presence of seven species of Hypotrachyna from South Korea, including one new record, Hypotrachyna nodakensis (Asahina) Hale. Descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical and chemical characters together with a key to all known Hypotrachyna species are presented.
Hypotrachyna; Key; New record; Parmeliaceae; South Korea
Two new species of endophytic fungi were encountered during a diversity study of healthy tissues of chili pepper plants in Korea. The species were identified as Paecilomyces inflatus and Bionectria ochroleuca based on molecular and morphological analyses. Morphological descriptions of these endophytic isolates matched well with their molecular analysis. In the present study, detailed descriptions of internal transcribed spacer regions and morphological observations of these two fungi are presented.
Bionectria ochroleuca; Chili pepper; Endophytic fungi; Morphology; Paecilomyces inflatus
Parmotrema A. Massal. is a common lichen genus scattered throughout the Korean Peninsula; however, no detailed taxonomic or revisionary study of this genus has been conducted for nearly two decades. Therefore, this study revised the taxonomy of this genus based on specimens deposited in the lichen herbarium at the Korean Lichen Research Institute and samples wereidentified using recent literature. In this revisionary study, a total of eighteen species of Parmotrema including eight new records [Parmotrema cetratum (Ach.) Hale, Parmotrema cristiferum (Taylor) Hale, Parmotrema grayanum (Hue) Hale, Parmotrema defectum (Hale) Hale, Parmotrema dilatatum (Vain.) Hale, Parmotrema margaritatum (Hue) Hale, Parmotrema pseudocrinitum (Abbayes) Hale, and Parmotrema subsumptum (Nyl.) Hale] are documented. Detailed descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical and chemical characteristics are also given and a key to the known Parmotrema species of the Korean Peninsula is presented.
Key; New record; Parmeliaceae; Parmotrema; South Korea