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New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov.

Meirelles LA, Montoya QV, Solomon SE, Rodrigues A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade.Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides.Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Since the formal description of fungi in the genus Escovopsis in 1990, only a few studies have focused on the systematics of this group. For more than two decades, only two Escovopsis species were described; however, in 2013, three additional Escovopsis species were formally described along with the genus Escovopsioides, both found exclusively in attine ant gardens. During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade. Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides. Based on the type of conidiogenesis (sympodial), as well as morphology of conidiogenous cells (percurrent), non-vesiculated conidiophores, and DNA sequences, we describe the four new strains as a new species, Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov. Phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear markers (Large subunit RNA; translation elongation factor 1-alpha; and internal transcribed spacer) from the new strains as well as available sequences in public databases confirmed that all known fungi infecting attine ant gardens comprise a monophyletic group within the Hypocreaceae family, with very diverse morphological characteristics. Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

SEM of Escovopsis kreiselii CBS 139320 (= LESF53) showing morphological aspects.Slide cultures grown in PDA and SNA for five days at 25°C. A-B: Conidiophore growing patterns on the aerial mycelia; C: Conidiophore branching pattern; D: Chlamydospores; E-I: Percurrent conidiogenous cells showing conidia attached to the cells by denticles; J-M: Conidia. J: Conidia with attached denticle; K-L: Conidia without denticles and M: smooth walled conidia.
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pone.0112067.g002: SEM of Escovopsis kreiselii CBS 139320 (= LESF53) showing morphological aspects.Slide cultures grown in PDA and SNA for five days at 25°C. A-B: Conidiophore growing patterns on the aerial mycelia; C: Conidiophore branching pattern; D: Chlamydospores; E-I: Percurrent conidiogenous cells showing conidia attached to the cells by denticles; J-M: Conidia. J: Conidia with attached denticle; K-L: Conidia without denticles and M: smooth walled conidia.

Mentions: Morphological differences were observed between the E. kreiselii strains (LESF53, LESF303, LESF304 and LESF305) and all previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides associated with attine ants [19]. The most distinguishing feature of the new species compared with others is the type of conidiogenesis: E. kreiselii has holoblastic sympodial conidiogenesis with percurrent conidiogenous cells (Figs. 1 and 2). The colony color also differs from previously described species: E. kreiselii spores are pink while other described species of Escovopsis are brown, and Escovopsioides is white (Fig. 1). Such color differences appear to be important to distinguish fungi within the Escovopsis clade [6, 9, 19]. Escovopsis kreiselii grows better at 25°C (but also grows well at 20°C, see S1 Fig.) which is consistent with thermal preferences described for some attine ants [36]. Moreover, no growth was observed at 30°C, indicating that E. kreiselii is sensitive to high temperatures. E. kreiselii also has chlamydospores (Fig. 1M and 2D) similar to Escovopsioides nivea.


New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov.

Meirelles LA, Montoya QV, Solomon SE, Rodrigues A - PLoS ONE (2015)

SEM of Escovopsis kreiselii CBS 139320 (= LESF53) showing morphological aspects.Slide cultures grown in PDA and SNA for five days at 25°C. A-B: Conidiophore growing patterns on the aerial mycelia; C: Conidiophore branching pattern; D: Chlamydospores; E-I: Percurrent conidiogenous cells showing conidia attached to the cells by denticles; J-M: Conidia. J: Conidia with attached denticle; K-L: Conidia without denticles and M: smooth walled conidia.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4305282&req=5

pone.0112067.g002: SEM of Escovopsis kreiselii CBS 139320 (= LESF53) showing morphological aspects.Slide cultures grown in PDA and SNA for five days at 25°C. A-B: Conidiophore growing patterns on the aerial mycelia; C: Conidiophore branching pattern; D: Chlamydospores; E-I: Percurrent conidiogenous cells showing conidia attached to the cells by denticles; J-M: Conidia. J: Conidia with attached denticle; K-L: Conidia without denticles and M: smooth walled conidia.
Mentions: Morphological differences were observed between the E. kreiselii strains (LESF53, LESF303, LESF304 and LESF305) and all previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides associated with attine ants [19]. The most distinguishing feature of the new species compared with others is the type of conidiogenesis: E. kreiselii has holoblastic sympodial conidiogenesis with percurrent conidiogenous cells (Figs. 1 and 2). The colony color also differs from previously described species: E. kreiselii spores are pink while other described species of Escovopsis are brown, and Escovopsioides is white (Fig. 1). Such color differences appear to be important to distinguish fungi within the Escovopsis clade [6, 9, 19]. Escovopsis kreiselii grows better at 25°C (but also grows well at 20°C, see S1 Fig.) which is consistent with thermal preferences described for some attine ants [36]. Moreover, no growth was observed at 30°C, indicating that E. kreiselii is sensitive to high temperatures. E. kreiselii also has chlamydospores (Fig. 1M and 2D) similar to Escovopsioides nivea.

Bottom Line: During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade.Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides.Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Since the formal description of fungi in the genus Escovopsis in 1990, only a few studies have focused on the systematics of this group. For more than two decades, only two Escovopsis species were described; however, in 2013, three additional Escovopsis species were formally described along with the genus Escovopsioides, both found exclusively in attine ant gardens. During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade. Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides. Based on the type of conidiogenesis (sympodial), as well as morphology of conidiogenous cells (percurrent), non-vesiculated conidiophores, and DNA sequences, we describe the four new strains as a new species, Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov. Phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear markers (Large subunit RNA; translation elongation factor 1-alpha; and internal transcribed spacer) from the new strains as well as available sequences in public databases confirmed that all known fungi infecting attine ant gardens comprise a monophyletic group within the Hypocreaceae family, with very diverse morphological characteristics. Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus