Discovery of a sexual cycle in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

@article{OGorman2009DiscoveryOA,
  title={Discovery of a sexual cycle in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus},
  author={C{\'e}line M O'Gorman and Hubert T. Fuller and Paul S. Dyer},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2009},
  volume={457},
  pages={471-474}
}
Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic fungus whose spores are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. It is also an opportunistic human pathogen in immunocompromised individuals, causing potentially lethal invasive infections, and is associated with severe asthma and sinusitis. The species is only known to reproduce by asexual means, but there has been accumulating evidence for recombination and gene flow from population genetic studies, genome analysis, the presence of mating-type genes and expression… 

Variations in sexual fitness among natural strains of the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

Global Sexual Fertility in the Opportunistic Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and Identification of New Supermater Strains

In this study a global collection of 131 isolates was established with a near 1:1 ratio of mating types, and ninety seven percent of isolates were found to produce cleistothecia with at least one mating partner, showing that sexual fertility is not limited to the Irish population but is a characteristic of global A. fumigatus.

Discovery of a Sexual Cycle in Aspergillus lentulus, a Close Relative of A. fumigatus

It is demonstrated that A. lentulus possesses a functional sexual cycle with mature cleistothecia, containing heat-resistant ascospores, being produced after 3 weeks of incubation, and has significant implications for the management of drug resistance and control of invasive aspergillosis associated with this emerging fungal pathogen.

Culturing and Mating of Aspergillus fumigatus

The presence of a sexual cycle now offers a valuable tool for classical genetic analysis of the fungus, such as allowing determination of whether traits of interest are mono‐ or poly‐genic in nature.

Mating type and invasiveness are significantly associated in Aspergillus fumigatus.

The results suggest a possible association between the MAT1-1 mating type and A. fumigatus invasiveness, which might have significant medical implications, as sexual reproduction might contribute to increased virulence or resistance to antifungal agents.

Mating type and invasiveness are significantly associated in Aspergillus fumigatus

The results suggest a possible association between the MAT1-1 mating type and A. fumigatus invasiveness, which could have signifi cant medical implications, as sexual reproduction might contribute to increased virulence or resistance to antifungal agents.

Aspergillus: Sex and Recombination

Genome analyses have revealed networks of genes necessary for sexual reproduction in several Aspergillus species, consistent with latent sexuality in these fungi, and knowledge of MAT gene presence has then successfully been applied to induce sexual reproduction between MAT1-1 andMAT1-2 isolates of certain supposedly asexual aspergilli.

Sexual development and cryptic sexuality in fungi: insights from Aspergillus species.

It is argued that the formation of cleistothecia and accessory tissues, such as Hülle cells and sclerotia, should be viewed as two independent but co-ordinated developmental pathways.
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