Home • Ilyonectria europaea PMI82 v1.0
Ilyonectria europaea
Simple conidiophore (left) and chlamydopores (right) of Ilyonectria europaea in aerial mycelium. Bars = 10 micrometer. (Photo by Ana Cabral [Ref 1], used with permission)

Within the framework of the CSP project 'Metatranscriptomics of Forest Soil Ecosystems', we are aiming to explore the interaction of forest trees with communities of soil fungi, including ectomycorrhizal symbionts that dramatically affect bioenergy-relevant plant growth, and saprotrophic soil fungi impacting carbon sequestration in forests. We are sequencing the metatranscriptome of soil fungi in ecosystems representative of major Earth ecosystems, the boreal, temperate and mediterranean forests. We are also sequencing the genome of the most abundant fungal species harvested on studied sites to serve as the foundation for a reference database for metagenomics of fungi and for a comprehensive survey of the potential soil fungal metabolome.

Ilyonectria sp. (Ilyonectria radicola complex)

Ilyonectria radicola represents a species-complex of common and widespread soil fungi in both temperate and tropical regions. These fungi are associated with symptoms of root rot on a broad range of woody and herbaceous host plants (e.g. poplar, spruce, oak, beech, azalea, ginseng, apple, etc.) but also in stems or cankers of diseased trees1,2. They may also exist as endophytes in roots of apparently healthy (asymptomatic) plants where they may function in the suppression of other fungal root pathogens3 and in maintaining the health of their hosts.

Species in the Ilyonectria radicola complex are pleomorphic and undergo asexual reproduction through the production of microconida and mycelial chlamydospores. They undergo sexual reproduction through the formation of ascospores within fruiting structures known as perithecia.

Ilyonectria belongs to the Nectriaceae (Hypocreales; Sordariomyceta, Ascomycota) but their current taxonomy is in flux2. Historically, these fungi were placed into a polyphyletic genus known as Cylindrocarpon, described from the asexual stage of their life cycle. However, with the aid of molecular phylogenetics, species the genus Cylindrocarpon are now being transferred to teleomorph genera. For example, Cylindrocarpon destructans has recently been linked to a teleomorph belonging in the Ilyonectria radicola complex, and over a dozen new species have been ascribed to this complex1. Morphological characters of their perithecia and ascospores can be phylogenetically informative.

The species sequenced has not been officially described yet, but belongs to the Ilyonectria radicola complex and is phylogenetically closest to (but distinct from) Ilyonectria europaea. The isolate was derived from healthy roots of Populus deltoides.


Genome Reference(s)


1. Cabral A, Groenewald JZ, Rego C, Oliveira H, Crous PW (2012) Cylindrocarpon root rot: multi-gene analysis reveals novel species within the Ilyonectria radicicola species complex. Mycological Progress 11: 655-688.

2. Chaverri P, Salgado C, Hirooka Y, Rossman AY, Samuels GJ (2011) Delimitation of Neonectria and Cylindrocarpon (Nectriaceae, Hypocreales, Ascomycota) and related genera with Cylindrocarpon-like anamorphs. Studies in Mycology: 57-78.

3. White NH, Chilvers GA, Evans G (1962) Antifungal Activity of Cylindrocarpon radicicola Wr. Nature 195: 406-407.