Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Routine collecting for fungal pathogens of insects in upstate New York has resulted in this first report of a linkage with a sexual state for an economically important mold, TOLYPOCLADIUM INFLATUM (the commercial source of the antibiotic cephalosporin A (used to prevent rejection of trans- planted organs) and a candidate for the biological control of flies. Sexual spores of the fungus, CORDYCEPS SUBSESSILIS, produced the TOLYPO- CLADIUM state when grown on nutrient agar. Not only was the morphology of the fungus obtained identical with that of T. INFLATUM, the types and quantities of efrapeptins (fungus-produced toxins that kill insects) produced by cultures matched those previously demonstrated for T. INFLATUM. Knowing the links between the sexual and conidial forms of fungi is essential for the better understanding and refining the complex taxo- nomy of these organisms. Linking TOLYPOCLADIUM with CORDYCEPS provides key clues to focus searches for other fungi producing cyclosporins or other compounds that might also have biological control or pharmaceutical value. If the sexual (CORDYCEPS) state could be induced in cultures, new strains producing greater quantities or variant versions of cyclosporins or other useful compounds might be bred naturally without depending on genetic engineering or needing to find and to target specific genes to manipulate.
A collection of CORDYCEPS SUBSESSILIS is documented. Axenic cultures of single part ascospores produced an anamorph attributable to the common soil hyphomycete TOLYPOCLADIUM INFLATUM (=T. NIVEUM). Efrapeptins were identified in the culture filtrates of the anamorph. The efrapeptin profile of the C. SUBSESSILIS anamorph was found to be similar to that of other isolates of T. INFLATUM. This is the first report of a teleomorph for thi important anamorph genus.