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Meliniomyces sp. PMI_1271
Colony of Meliniomyces sp. PMI_1271 growing on Modified Melin-Norkrans medium (MMN). Image by Khalid Hameed.

In the “1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya“ project (CSP1974), we aim to sequence additional sampling of genomic diversity within keystone lineages of plant-interacting fungi and saprophytic fungi that are of special ecological importance for understanding terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, comparative genome analysis with saprotrophic, mycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific and conserved adaptations associated with each fungal lifestyle.

Meliniomyces is classified in the family Hyaloscyphaceae, which is one of the most diverse groups in the Ascomycota. Members of the Hyaloscyphoid clade will produced small apothecia when fruiting. However, Meliniomyces isolated from plants are usually sterile fungi that are found forming symbiotic associations either as ericoid mycorrhizae or as endophytes. There are some strains have been observed forming endomycorrhizal associations. Meliniomyces is a slow grower in culture and it has been found in hosts such as Picea, Vaccinium, Pinus, Populus, Tsuga, and Nothofagus, among others. Meliniomyces sp. PMI_1271 was isolated from Populus trichocarpa as root endophyte, and it could have a role as mycorrhiza forming a symbiosis. The dual role of endophyte and mycorrhiza is one of the most interesting points of this fungus and it is a focus of study to determine its role in association with other mycorrhizal fungi. This work is supported by the Genomic Science Program (U.S. Department of Energy) Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI) Scientific Focus Area (http://pmi.ornl.gov) and by the Joint Genome Institute (U.S. Department of Energy) through their Community Sequencing Program (CSP 1974, 1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya, F. Martin PI).


Bonito, G.M., Benucci, G.M.N., Hameed, K., Weighill, D., Jones, P., Chen, K.H., Jacobson, D., Schadt, C.W. and Vilgalys, R., 2019. Fungal-bacterial networks in the Populus rhizobiome are impacted by soil properties and host genotype. Frontiers in microbiology, 10, p.481.

Bonito, G., Hameed, K., Ventura, R., Krishnan, J., Schadt, C.W. and Vilgalys, R., 2016. Isolating a functionally relevant guild of fungi from the root microbiome of Populus. Fungal ecology, 22, pp.35-42.

Hambleton, S., & Sigler, L. (2005). Meliniomyces, a new anamorph genus for root-associated fungi with phylogenetic affinities to Rhizoscyphus ericae (≡ Hymenoscyphus ericae), Leotiomycetes. Studies in Mycology, 53, 1-27.