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Penicillium sp. NC0857
Penicillium sp. NC0857 on 2% malt extract agar (MEA). Photo credit: J. M. U’Ren

Penicillium sp. NC0857

Penicillium sp. NC0857 was isolated in culture from surface-sterilized decomposing leaf tissue of the eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (Pinaceae), collected in leaf litter near Highlands, North Carolina as part of a study examining endophytic and saprotrophic fungal communities across North America (U’Ren & Arnold, 2016). We identified this isolate as an unidentified species of Penicillium (Pezizomycotina, Eurotiomycetes, Eurotiales, Aspergillaceae) via ITS-partial LSU rDNA sequencing. Based on ITS rDNA sequence similarity, we determined that fungi with this genotype also occur in living leaves as endophytic fungi (U'Ren et al., 2012). Described species of Penicillium are critically important in food and drug production and are ubiquitous in nature as saprotrophs in soils and decomposing plant material (Houbraken et al., 2014). Comparative genomic analysis of NC0857 will help elucidate nutrient acquisition, substrate use, and symbiotic interactions in this diverse genus.

References:

Houbraken, J., R.P. de Vries & R.A. Samson. 2014. Modern taxonomy of biotechnologically important Aspergillus and Penicillium species. Adv Appl Microbiol. 86:199–249.

U’Ren, J. M., F. Lutzoni, J. Miadlikowska, A. Laetsch & A.E. Arnold. 2012. Host- and geographic structure of endophytic and endolichenic fungi at a continental scale. American Journal of Botany. 99: 898–914.

U’Ren, J. M. & A.E. Arnold. 2016. Diversity, taxonomic composition, and functional aspects of fungal communities in living, senescent, and fallen leaves at five sites across North America. PeerJ. e2768.