Eccentricity in the Behavior of Penicillium spp. as Phytopathogen and Phytoaugmentor

DHAVAL PATEL,1 PRASAD ANDHARE,2 SUDESHNA MENON,1 SEBASTIAN VADAKAN,' and DWEIPAYAN GOSWAMI1

'Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Ahmadabad, Gujarat-380009, India

2PD Patel Institute of Applied Sciences, Charotar University of Science and Technology, Changa, Gujarat-388421, India

INTRODUCTION

A fungus is an associate of the assembly of eukaryotic organisms that includes unicellular microorganisms, for instance, yeasts and molds and multicellular fungi such as mushrooms and bracket fungi. These creatures are classified as a kingdom, ‘Fungi.’ Fungus is a Latin word of fungour’ which mean ‘to flourish.’ The branch of botany that deals with fungi is called ‘mycology.’ The scientist who is concerned with fungi is called a mycologist. Few fungi are most noteworthy organisms, in both the terms of their environmental as well as economic roles. Fungi are found in the most diverse habitats. Almost fungi can be found in every available habitat where organic matter (whether its’ living or else dead) is existing. The fungus occurs in the soil, which abounds in dead decaying organic material. Many fungi nurture on our foodstuffs such as homemade bread, jams, pickles, vegetable, and even fruits. Some fungi are even present water that we drink and in the air that we respire.

Usually, the fungi are either dormant or they metabolize and nurture very slowly exploiting a series of carbon-based molecules generally organic (Bardgett, 2005). The existence of a living plant penetratingly changes the circumstance for fungi. Plants exude organic matter directly, and they feed arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The fungi distribute organic matter in the surrounding rhizospheric soil. In general, the attentiveness of the microbes is greatest adjacent to the surface of roots (rhizosphere). Dead organic materials are broken down by fungi, and the nutrient cycle of the ecosystem flourishes (Krantz, 2014). Moreover, the vascular plants need symbiotic fungi or other mycorrhizae, which would help them to provide essential nutrients, and in return, the fungi will be inhabited, which would result into the overall growth and development of the plant (Bmndrett et al.,

2009). Other fungi provide abundant drugs (for instance, penicillin), mushrooms, truffles, and morels that can be used as food, and the fermented bread, beverages are also brewed (champagne, wine, and beer).

Fungi are classified into cluster achlorophyllous (Gupta et al., 2017a), which means they do not have the chlorophyll pigments, which are generally present in plant cells, which are obligatory for carrying out photosynthesis. Fungi, therefore, are not capable of carrying out photosynthesis. Glycogen is the carbohydr ate molecule in which fungi store energy, whereas in animals, the same molecule is used to store energy in muscle and liver cells, but in the plant, the energy storage molecule is starch instead of glycogen. Some fungi are heterotrophs, whose mode of the nutr ient is thr ough absorption. Saprophytic firrrgi are those fungi that release enzymes on to the organic material. These enzymes would breakdown dead organic material into chemicals which they can absorb easily and process them as their' food source. The other type of fungi is parasitic that dir ectly feed on living tilings for intaking their' nutrients, e.g., trees or human (Athlete’s Foot).

Fungi are also one of the sources to cause a number of the plant as well as animal diseases. Ringw'orm, an athlete’s foot along with a few several more solemn diseases are caused by fungi in humans (Soltani et al., 2017). Genetically and chemically fungi resemble similar structures to animals, which is not observed in other organisms, and that makes it difficult to treat them. Rusts, smuts, and leaf rots, root rots, and stem rots are few' plant diseases that are caused by fungi, and sometimes may they cause severe damage to crops. How'ever, a few' fungi, in specific the yeasts, they are imperative “model organisms” for stirdying difficulties in genetics and molecular biology (Bonini et al., 2017).

Fungi are simple to plant forms, and include mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews (Patel et al., 2016). Unlike other plants, however, fungi do not have chlorophyll and are not capable of photosynthesis. Fungi have imperative culinary, medical, agricultural, and industrial uses as fungi are used to create dyes, medicines, and biodegradable building materials (Ncube, 2013). Fungi are tremendously advantageous organisms in biotechnology. Fungi construct inimitable complex molecules by means of recognized metabolic pathways. Different taxa produce sets of related molecules, with each different pathway resulting in slightly different feral products. Metabolites formed along the metabolic pathway may also be biologically active (Sharma et al.,

2016). hr addition, tire feral compounds are often released into the environment. Manipulation of the genome, and environmental conditions during the formation of compounds, enable the optimization of product formation, which can be easily carried out through metabolic engineering (Bideaux et al., 2016).

In 1809 Johann Heinrich Friedrich described the genus Penicillum foe the first time hr the scientific literature from his work Observationes in ordines plantarum naturales, writing “Penicillium“Thallus e floccis caespitosis septatis simplicibus aut ramosis fertilibus erectis apice peni- cillatis,” where penicillatis denoted to the “pencil-like.” There are over 300 species revealed till the present day. Few species include Penicillium albocoremium, Penicillium aurantiogriseum, Penicillium bilaiae, Penicillium camemberti, Penicillium candidum, Penicillium claviforme, Penicillium commune, Penicillium crustosum, Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium echinulatum, and Penicillium expansum.

INTERACTION OF FUNGI WITH PLANTS AND ITS EFFECT ON AGRICULTURE

India is an agricultural country, and its economy mostly dependent on it. Fungi play both positive and negative roles hr agriculture. The harmful activities are more than helpful activities. Some of the saprophytic fungi decompose the dead material of animals and plants in the soil. The enzymes secreted by these fungi convert the larger molecules like fats, carbohydrates, and nitrogen compounds of the dead animals and plants hrto simpler compounds such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, water, and some other nutrients that can be easily absorbed by green plants (Gupta et al., 2017b). These simpler compounds will get blend with the soil to form humus, and some few would go into the aerial atmosphere; the rest would be used as the raw material in the synthesis of food. By emancipating carbon dioxide, these fungi participate in sustaining the never-ending cycle of carbon in nature. The carbon dioxide is very significant for green plants in the preparation of food materials by photosynthesis. Some fungi are in symbiotic connotation with the roots of certain plants. Equitable development of the plant can be observed only when the specific fungal partner is present around the rhizosphere of the plant soil (Compant et al., 2016). This type of association of a fungus and plant is called mycorrhiza. Some nematodes are identified to cause severe losses to agricultural crops unswervingly, and some communicate through certain disease-causing viruses. A few fungi (e.g., Dactylaria) are capable of terminating the nematodes. These predatory fungi produce mycelial loops. Usually, these loops get tightened up when any nematodes pass through, and hence they are caught. Similar to PGPR (plant growth promoting rhizobacteria), some rhizosphere fungi are able to promote plant growth and its development upon root colonization and are known as ‘plant growth promoting fungi’ (PGPF) (Hossain et al., 2008). PGPF be a member of genera Penicillium, Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Phoma. Several species of PGPF have been shown to prompt systemic resistance (SR) counter to various pathogens in plants. PGPF that are soil inhabiting saprophytes, which are noil-pathogenic have been testified to be beneficial to numerous crop plants not only by promoting their overall growth but also by playing a defensive role and defend them from diseases. Among these PGPF, roughly a few isolates of Phoma sp. and Penicillium simpli- cissimum were extremely effective in persuading SR in contradiction of cucumber antliracnose caused by CoUetotrichum orbiculare. Besides this property, certain species of Altemaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Dema- tium, Gliocladium, Helminthosporium, Humicola, and Metarhizium yield substances like humic substances in soil and hence may be significant in the conservation of soil organic matter (Table 4.1).

Availability of major/micro nutrient and water are facilitated by the extended root-zone of fungi which were formerly not accessible. Fungi facilitate mineralization, especially phosphate, along with the other nutrient that is easily utilized by the plants and overall reduces the use of chemical fertilizer by 35%. Uniform plant growth is observed owing to hydric status and soil aggregation that was formed as an optimistic impact of fungal hypliae. YAM fungi make the soil more porous that helps in deeper root penetration and increased soil microflora. It’s because VAM fungi avert soil particles to get compact by releasing chemicals, which reduces soil erosion too. Transient stimulation of host-plant disease resistance is caused by VAM fungi, and the mechanisms have also been reported. They accumulate metal pollutants in the immediate surroundings of then plant roots by scavenging them in the hyphae. As the VAM fungi simplify augment uptake of water and other nutrients, they help the host plant to overcome adversative soil circumstances. As their aptitude to ease better root growth and uptake of nutrients, VAM fungi improve the persistence frequency of transplanted stocks and advance the hardening of tissue culture. VAM fungi intensify root biomass, which is prime necessities for other organisms such as Rhizobium spp. and Trichoderma spp. resulting in noteworthy improvement in their functionality and use efficiency.

TABLE 4.1 Fungal Species That Interacts With Plants

Fungal Genus

Species

Source

Function

Altemaria

alternata

Soil

Leaf spot disease

eichhorniae

Water

Bioherbicide

infectona

Soil

Infect wheat

raphani

SoilAVater

Unknown

Aspergillus

acidus

Soil

Food fermentation

alliaceus

SoilAVater

Unknown

clavatus

Soil/Annual manure

Produces patulin toxin

flavus

Harvesting site

Produces mycotoxin

Cochliobolus

lunatus

Soil

Plant pathogen

Chaetomium

cupreum

Contaminated soil

Degradation of catechin

globosum

Soil

Produces cellulase

truncatulum

SoilAVater

Unknown

Mucor

hiemalis

Soil

Plant pathogen

indicus

Soil/Food particle

Used in production of several valuable products

racemosus

Soil

Plant pathogen

Penicillium

bilaiae

Soil

Agricultural inoculant

digitatum

SoilAvater

Plant pathogen

echinulatum

Soil

Production of mycophe- nolic acid

expansion

Soil

Plant pathogen

glaucum

Soil

Used in making Gorgonzola cheese

italicum

Soil

Plant pathogen

Trichoderma

harzianum

Soil

Biofertilizer

longibrachiatum

SoilAVater

Produces xylanase

ovalisporum

SoilAVater

Biocontrol

pleurotum

SoilAVater

Unknown

viride

Soil

PGPF

 
Source
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