Home • Melanconium sp. NRRL 54901 v1.0
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Figures from Lamprecht et al., IMA Fungus 1, 13-24 (2011).

Novel Diaporthaceous fungus related to Stenocarpella and Phaeocytostroma

NRRL 54901 represents a putatively novel ascomycete (Sordariomycetes, Diaporthales) that is closely related to Stenocarpella and Phaeocytostroma (Lamprecht et al., 2011). It was selected as part of the 1000 Fungal Genomes CSP to represent the family Diaporthaceae. These fungi are agronomically important because they cause a variety of economically destructive diseases of maize worldwide, including root and crown rots, dry-rot of ears, stalk rot and leaf blight. Stenocarpella maydis produces a variety of toxic secondary metabolites that contaminate food and feed. For example, diplonine is responsible for a neuromycotoxicosis of sheep and cattle in South Africa called diplodiosis (Snyman et al., 2011). Other bioactive metabolites include diplodiatoxin, which is phytotoxic, and chaetoglobosins and diplosporin, which show insecticidal activity (Wicklow et al., 2011). In addition, chaetoglobosin exhibited significant antifungal activity against two toxigenic molds, Fusarium verticillioides and Aspergillus flavus.

Currently NRRL 54901 has only produced sterile mycelium in pure culture, but efforts are in progress to obtain diagnostic conidiomata (= fruiting bodies that produce conidia) on potato dextrose and pine needle agar. Given the close relationship with Stenocarpella and Phaeocytostroma (Lamprecht et al., 2011), NRRL 54901 is predicted to produce dark brown to black conidiomata that exude morphologically distinct brown and hyaline conidia at maturity.


Lamprecht, S.C., Crous, P.W., Groenewald, J.Z., Tewoldemedhin, Y.T., Marasas, W.F.O., 2011. Diaporthaceae associated with root and crown rot of maize. IMA Fungus 1, 13-24. Snyman, L.D., Kellerman, T.S., Vleggaar, R., Flett, B.C., Basson, K.M., Schultz, R.A., 2011.

Diplonine, a neurotoxin isolated from cultures of the fungus Stenocarpella maydis (Berk.) Sacc. that induces diplodiosis. J. Agri. Food Chem. 59, 9039-9044.

Wicklow, D.T., Rogers, K.D., Dowd, P.F., Gloer, J.B., 2011. Bioactive metabolites from Stenocarpella maydis, a stalk and ear rot pathogen of maize. Fungal Biol.