Cold adaptation in the phytopathogenic fungi causing snow molds

  title={Cold adaptation in the phytopathogenic fungi causing snow molds},
  author={Tamotsu Hoshino and Nan Xiao and O. B. Tkachenko},
Snow molds are psychrophilic or psychrotrophic fungal pathogens of forage crops, winter cereals, and conifer seedlings. These fungi can grow and attack dormant plants at low temperatures under snow cover. In this review, we describe the biodiversity and physiological and biochemical characteristics of snow molds that belong to various taxa. Cold tolerance is one of the important factors related to their geographic distribution, because snow molds develop mycelia under snow cover and because… 

Ecological Strategies of Snow Molds to Tolerate Freezing Stress

Though, as a whole, snow mold fungi can tolerate low temperatures to prevail under snow, strategies to adapt cryoshpere differ from fungus to fungus according to the adaptability in their particular habitats.

Ecology and Physiology

Snow mold fungi developed diverse life history strategies to adapt to the predictability of snow cover, which is typically represented by the germination rate and the size of sclerotia, and exhibit diverse metabolic reactions to tolerate freezing stress by producing antifreeze proteins, exhibiting osmophily, and altering fatty acid composition.

Snow molds: A group of fungi that prevail under snow.

  • N. Matsumoto
  • Environmental Science
    Microbes and environments
  • 2009
Snow molds are a group of fungi that attack dormant plants under snow that grow at low temperatures in habitats where antagonists are practically absent, and host plants deteriorate due to inhibited photosynthesis under snow.

Snow Mold

In cold-temperate region, plants are more frequently damaged by biotic factors, primarily snow mold, than by abiotic factors such as freezing. Snow mold is used here as a generic name for plant

Rye Snow Mold-Associated Microdochium nivale Strains Inhabiting a Common Area: Variability in Genetics, Morphotype, Extracellular Enzymatic Activities, and Virulence

This study shows that genetically and phenotypically diverse M. nivale strains simultaneously colonize winter rye plants within a common area, and each strain is likely to utilize its own, unique strategy to cause the disease using “a personal” pattern of extracellular enzymes.

Mycelial growth of the snow mold fungus, Sclerotinia borealis, improved at low water potentials: an adaption to frozen environment

The snow mold fungus, Sclerotinia borealis, shows optimal growth at 4°C on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and can grow even at subzero temperature, indicating that inherent optimal growth occurs at high temperatures.

Environments influence the psychrophily of fungi and oomycetes in the cryosphere

The concept of cryophilic fungi is defined as fungi that are present in the cryosphere, complete their lifecycles (sexual and/or asexual reproductions), and grow under subzero temperature where water remains in the solid state such as snow and ice.

Psychrotrophic Microbes: Biodiversity, Adaptation, and Implications

The present chapter provides insights into the biodiversity of psychrotrophic microbes, their adaptation strategies, and their potential applications in agriculture, medicine, industry, food, and allied sectors.

Snow Moulds in a Changing Environment—A Scandinavian Perspective

Plant production in sub-Arctic area is assumed to be greatly affected by climate change. The northern parts of Scandinavia have unique conditions; there is no other place on the earth where plant



Cold adaptation in Arctic and Antarctic fungi

Growth and activity at low temperatures and possible physiological and ecological mechanisms underlying survival of fungi isolated from the cold Arctic and Antarctic are reviewed andMelanin in dark septate hyphae, which predominate in polar soils, could protect hyphAE from extreme temperatures and play a significant role in their persistence from year to year.

Host water potentials may restrict development of snow mould fungi in low temperature‐hardened grasses

Reduced availability of water may partly explain increased resistance to fungal pathogens in grasses after hardening and a significant decrease in water potentials from hardened plants compared with unhardened plants.

Role of ice nucleation and antifreeze activities in pathogenesis and growth of snow molds.

The lack of high ice nucleation activity combined with the presence of antifreeze activity in all fungal fractions indicates that snow molds can moderate their environment to inhibit or modify intra- and extracellular ice formation, which helps explain their ability to grow at subzero temperatures under snow cover.

Growth and respiration of psychrophilic species of the genus Typhula

Growth of three snow mold fungi, Typhula idahoensis Remsb., T. incarnata Lasch ex Fr., and T. trifolii Rostr., was studied in agar and liquid culture. T. idahoensis was grown successfully in shake

Snow mold fungus, Typhula ishikariensis group III, in Arctic Norway can grow at a sub-lethal temperature after freezing stress and during flooding

Results suggested that group III isolates can grow at a sub-lethal temperature after freezing stress and during flooding, and physiological characteristics of group III isolate are well adapted to climatic conditions in the Arctic.

Damage to Abies koreana seeds by soil-borne fungi on Mount Halla, Korea

R. therryanum caused a total loss of germination ability in A. koreana seeds at 0 °C after 100 days and was negatively correlated with the seed germination rate.

Snow mould caused by a Pythium sp.: a potential vascular plant pathogen in the maritime Antarctic

The pathogenicity of an isolate of a Pythium species from Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands was tested against the Antarctic hairgrass Deschampsia antarctica. The isolate was found to infect


The results indicated that the fungus is highly psychrophilic with an optimum temperature for growth at 0 °C, a maximum at approximately 15 °C; and a minimum below −5 °C.

Submerged batch culture of the psychrophile Monographella nivalis in a defined medium; growth, carbohydrate utilization and responses to temperature.

An asporogenous strain of the pink snow mould fungus, Monographella nivalis (Schaffnit), grew at 5 °C on a denned salts medium plus vitamins and utilized a variety of simple and polymeric carbohydrates as the sole carbon and energy source, and regulation of invertase expression appeared to be by sucrose-induction, rather than by end-product repression.

Phacidium snow blight in the Baltic countries

Distribution of a polemic in Baltic countries forest disease – snow blight and its agent Phacidium infestans Karst. (Phacidiales, Ascomycota ) are discussed on the base of the investigations carried