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      Identification, Characterization, and Evaluation of Nematophagous Fungal Species of Arthrobotrys and Tolypocladium for the Management of Meloidogyne incognita


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          Root-knot nematodes belonging to the genus Meloidogyne are agriculturally important pests, and biocontrol strategies offer safer alternatives for their management. In the present study, two fungal species from Indian soils were identified as Arthrobotrys thaumasia and Tolypocladium cylindrosporum based on morphological characteristics and further confirmed using molecular markers. In vitro evaluation of A. thaumasia against M. incognita and Caenorhabditis elegans showed 82 and 73% parasitism, respectively, whereas T. cylindrosporum gave 65.2 and 57.7% parasitism, respectively. Similarly, culture filtrates of A. thaumasia caused 57.7 and 53.7% mortality of M. incognita and C. elegans, respectively, whereas T. cylindrosporum caused higher mortality of 87.3 and 64%, respectively. Besides, greenhouse evaluation of both fungi against M. incognita infecting tomato significantly reduced nematode disease burden reflecting parasitic success measured as the total number of galls, egg masses, eggs per egg mass, and derived nematode multiplication factor. Application of A. thaumasia and T. cylindrosporum reduced nematode multiplication factor by 80 and 95%, respectively, compared with control. General metabolite profiling of tested fungi using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and ultra-performance liquid chromatography–quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometry reported for the first time here showed presence of various volatile and non-volatile compounds with nematicidal activity, viz., trimethyl-heptadiene, methyl-hexadecanol, dodecadienal, decane, terpendole E, dodecane, acetamido-6-anthraquinone, and hexadecanol. Also, other compounds such as undecane, dibutyl-disulfide, octadecenal, paganin, talathermophilin, dactylarin, tolypyridone A, tolypyridone B, pyridoxatin, and destruxin were identified, reported in the literature to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties. This is the first report of the occurrence of both fungi from India and pioneer demonstration of T. cylindrosporum for root-knot nematode management.

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          A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences.

          Some simple formulae were obtained which enable us to estimate evolutionary distances in terms of the number of nucleotide substitutions (and, also, the evolutionary rates when the divergence times are known). In comparing a pair of nucleotide sequences, we distinguish two types of differences; if homologous sites are occupied by different nucleotide bases but both are purines or both pyrimidines, the difference is called type I (or "transition" type), while, if one of the two is a purine and the other is a pyrimidine, the difference is called type II (or "transversion" type). Letting P and Q be respectively the fractions of nucleotide sites showing type I and type II differences between two sequences compared, then the evolutionary distance per site is K = -(1/2) ln [(1-2P-Q) square root of 1-2Q]. The evolutionary rate per year is then given by k = K/(2T), where T is the time since the divergence of the two sequences. If only the third codon positions are compared, the synonymous component of the evolutionary base substitutions per site is estimated by K'S = -(1/2) ln (1-2P-Q). Also, formulae for standard errors were obtained. Some examples were worked out using reported globin sequences to show that synonymous substitutions occur at much higher rates than amino acid-altering substitutions in evolution.
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            Development of primer sets designed for use with the PCR to amplify conserved genes from filamentous ascomycetes.

            We constructed nine sets of oligonucleotide primers on the basis of the results of DNA hybridization of cloned genes from Neurospora crassa and Aspergillus nidulans to the genomes of select filamentous ascomycetes and deuteromycetes (with filamentous ascomycete affiliations). Nine sets of primers were designed to amplify segments of DNA that span one or more introns in conserved genes. PCR DNA amplification with the nine primer sets with genomic DNA from ascomycetes, deuteromycetes, basidiomycetes, and plants revealed that five of the primer sets amplified a product only from DNA of the filamentous ascomycetes and deuteromycetes. The five primer sets were constructed from the N. crassa genes for histone 3, histone 4, beta-tubulin, and the plasma membrane ATPase. With these five primer sets, polymorphisms were observed in both the size of and restriction enzyme sites in the amplified products from the filamentous ascomycetes. The primer sets described here may provide useful tools for phylogenetic studies and genome analyses in filamentous ascomycetes and deuteromycetes (with ascomycete affiliations), as well as for the rapid differentiation of fungal species by PCR.
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              Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi

              Cordyceps, comprising over 400 species, was historically classified in the Clavicipitaceae, based on cylindrical asci, thickened ascus apices and filiform ascospores, which often disarticulate into part-spores. Cordyceps was characterized by the production of well-developed often stipitate stromata and an ecology as a pathogen of arthropods and Elaphomyces with infrageneric classifications emphasizing arrangement of perithecia, ascospore morphology and host affiliation. To refine the classification of Cordyceps and the Clavicipitaceae, the phylogenetic relationships of 162 taxa were estimated based on analyses consisting of five to seven loci, including the nuclear ribosomal small and large subunits (nrSSU and nrLSU), the elongation factor 1α (tef1), the largest and the second largest subunits of RNA polymerase II (rpb1 and rpb2), β-tubulin (tub), and mitochondrial ATP6 (atp6). Our results strongly support the existence of three clavicipitaceous clades and reject the monophyly of both Cordyceps and Clavicipitaceae. Most diagnostic characters used in current classifications of Cordyceps (e.g., arrangement of perithecia, ascospore fragmentation, etc.) were not supported as being phylogenetically informative; the characters that were most consistent with the phylogeny were texture, pigmentation and morphology of stromata. Therefore, we revise the taxonomy of Cordyceps and the Clavicipitaceae to be consistent with the multi-gene phylogeny. The family Cordycipitaceae is validated based on the type of Cordyceps, C. militaris, and includes most Cordyceps species that possess brightly coloured, fleshy stromata. The new family Ophiocordycipitaceae is proposed based on Ophiocordyceps Petch, which we emend. The majority of species in this family produce darkly pigmented, tough to pliant stromata that often possess aperithecial apices. The new genus Elaphocordyceps is proposed for a subclade of the Ophiocordycipitaceae, which includes all species of Cordyceps that parasitize the fungal genus Elaphomyces and some closely related species that parasitize arthropods. The family Clavicipitaceae s. s. is emended and includes the core clade of grass symbionts (e.g., Balansia, Claviceps, Epichloë, etc.), and the entomopathogenic genus Hypocrella and relatives. In addition, the new genus Metacordyceps is proposed for Cordyceps species that are closely related to the grass symbionts in the Clavicipitaceae s. s. Metacordyceps includes teleomorphs linked to Metarhizium and other closely related anamorphs. Two new species are described, and lists of accepted names for species in Cordyceps, Elaphocordyceps, Metacordyceps and Ophiocordyceps are provided.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                10 December 2021
                : 12
                : 790223
                [1] 1Division of Nematology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute , New Delhi, India
                [2] 2Division of Agricultural Chemicals, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute , New Delhi, India
                [3] 3Division of Genetics, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute , New Delhi, India
                [4] 4Division of Plant Pathology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute , New Delhi, India
                Author notes

                Edited by: Alok Kumar Srivastava, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (ICAR), India

                Reviewed by: Laith Khalil Tawfeeq Al-Ani, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia; Kgabo Martha Pofu, University of Limpopo, South Africa

                This article was submitted to Microbial Symbioses, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                Copyright © 2021 Kassam, Yadav, Chawla, Kundu, Hada, Jaiswal, Bollinedi, Kamil, Devi and Rao.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 06 October 2021
                : 10 November 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 84, Pages: 16, Words: 12444
                Funded by: Indian Council for Cultural Relations, doi 10.13039/501100013644;
                Original Research

                Microbiology & Virology
                arthrobotrys thaumasia,tolypocladium cylindrosporum,nematophagous fungi,meloidogyne incognita,biocontrol,parasitism,metabolite profiling


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