Microbial symbionts are essential for plant niche expansion into novel habitats. Dormant propagules of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi are thought to play an important role in seedling establishment in invasion fronts; however, propagule bank communities above the treeline are poorly understood in the Eurasian Arctic, where treelines are expected to advance under rapid climate change. To investigate the availability of EM fungal propagules, we collected 100 soil samples from Arctic tundra sites and applied bioassay experiments using Larix cajanderi as bait seedlings. We detected 11 EM fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) by obtaining entire ITS regions. Suillusclintonianus was the most frequently observed OTU, followed by Cenococcum geophilum and Sebacinales OTU1. Three Suillus and one Rhizopogon species were detected in the bioassay seedlings, indicating the availability of Larix-specific suilloid spores at least 30 km from the contemporary treeline. Spores of S. clintonianus and S. spectabilis remained infective after preservation for 14 mo and heat treatment at 60 °C, implying the durability of the spores. Long-distance dispersal capability and spore resistance to adverse conditions may represent ecological strategies employed by suilloid fungi to quickly associate with emerging seedlings of compatible hosts in treeless habitats.
A new species of Lamproderma (Myxomycetes), described herein as L. vietnamense, was recovered in the field on ground litter from mountain subtropical forests (Phia Oắc - Phia Đén National Park) of northern Vietnam. Morphological details were examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. The species is characterized by a distinct and unique combination of morphological features, including a bright blue, shiny and very thin membranous peridium, a small dome-shaped columella, rigid, straight, branched, brown capillitial threads which gradually become pale at the periphery and finally colorless at the tips and small-meshed, banded-reticulate spores with 9-12 meshes across the spore diameter and solid walls without perforations 0.3-0.5 µm high. The stability of the taxonomic characters of L. vietnamense is supported by two well-developed collections found in 2018 and 2019. Partial sequences of three molecular markers (SSU, EF1α, COI) for both collections are identical. A two-gene phylogeny of the first two markers displays the two known accessions as a well-separated entity and indicates affinity of the new species with L. columbinum (the type taxon of the genus), L. violaceum, and several nivicolous Lamproderma species.
Due to the high crude fiber content, straw of various crops is difficult to become a high quality forage resource. The degradation of cellulose in nature mainly depends on the cellulase secreted by microbes, which degrade cellulose into small molecular substances through chemical action, and the microbes that secrete cellulase mainly include some bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes, etc. The large and diverse microbial population contained in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in nutrient digestion. At present, many cellulose-degrading strains have been screened and obtained from animal digestive system and feces, such as Bacillus subtilis from the feces of Panda, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens from the cecum of goose. In this study, the fungal diversity was analysed in the fresh faeces of Tibetan sheep, Tibetan gazelle and Tibetan antelope in Qiangtang, Tibet. Results showed that the structure and species of gut fungi are different in three animals, which may be related to the different physiological functions among different animals, e.g., Tibetan antelope and Tibetan gazelle have stronger tolerance to rough feeding than Tibetan sheep. This study will lay a foundation for cellulose-degrading fungal development and provides technical support for improving rough feeding tolerance of Tibetan sheep.
Phyllactinia verruculosa is a powdery mildew species (Erysiphaceae, tribe Phyllactinieae) so far only known from its type material collected in China on Indigofera scabrida in 1992, which only comprised the sexual morph. Two asexual morph samples were observed, one was collected on I. tinctoria on the campus of Guizhou University, Guiyang, China, and another one, on I. scabrida, was borrowed from Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The anamorphic characters were observed, described and illustrated. The phylogenetic analysis of the combination of internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) and 28S rDNA sequences showed that Ph. verruculosa is phylogenetically distantly related from other Phyllactinia species. To our knowledge, this is the first record of the asexual morph and first ITS+28S sequences for Ph. verruculosa, and I. tinctoria is a new host record for this species.
Powdery mildew was found on Aristolochia debilis (Aristolochiaceae) in Jiangsu Province and Shandong Province, China. This fungus is characterized by having long conidiophore foot-cells which are straight or curved at the base, and chasmothecia with numerous appendages. Phylogenetic analysis using internal transcribed spacer sequences showed that five sequences on A. debilis determined in this study and two sequences retrieved from Erysiphe sp. on A. debilis formed an independent cluster within the Erysiphe aquilegiae clade with 58% bootstrap support. This powdery mildew differs from allied species of the E. aquilegiae clade in producing longer conidia and conidiophores with longer foot-cells, which are often curved at the base. Morphological observations and molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed a new powdery mildew species, described as Erysiphe ruyongzhengiana.
Myconymphaea yatsukahoi is a fungus that has only been isolated once from a forest in the Sugadaira Research Station, Nagano, Japan. Over 20 y have passed since its first discovery but since then it has not been rediscovered. Here, we re-isolated M. yatsukahoi from the type locality and another location, Tambara Moor, Gunma, Japan. Sporophores of this species were detected by direct field observation in Sugadaira and by induction from soil from Tambara. We attempted to narrow down isolation sources of this species by investigating the excrements of Lithobiomorpha and Scolopendromorpha centipedes, which are frequently found in the two locations where the species is distributed. In both locations, we found M. yatsukahoi in the excrements of Lithobiomorpha but not Scolopendromorpha. Myconymphaea yatsukahoi appears to be a coprophilous fungus and the excrements of the predators living in soil may be promising isolation sources for understanding the hidden diversity of kickxellalean fungi.