Submitted to: Eukaryotic Cell
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2009
Publication Date: 5/8/2009
Citation: Balajee, A., Baddley, J.W., Peterson, S.W., Nickle, D., Varga, J., Boey, A., Lass-Florl, C., Samson, R.A. 2009. Aspergillus alabamensis, a New Clinically Relevant Species in the Section Terrei. Eukaryotic Cell. 8(5):713-722.
Interpretive Summary: Some molds from the group A. terreus are associated with human disease. Those from patients were compared with molds from this group found in nature. Also, these molds are very difficult to distinguish without using molecular techniques. We have established the number of species based on molecular techniques and using this and character analysis have described a mold that is new to science and is associated with human disease. Knowledge of this new species will benefit patients with mycotic disease, doctors treating mycotic disease patients, and increases our general knowledge of biodiversity in the A. terreus group.
Technical Abstract: Analyzing a large number of clinical and environmental A. terreus isolates representing diverse geographic locations, we propose for the first time a multi locus sequence approach for analyzing species diversity within Section Terrei. Results of the present study employing sequences generated from 3 protein coding genes - Enolase [enoA], ' tubulin [benA] and calmodulin [calM] demonstrated the presence of a new species – Aspergillus alabamensis within the section Terrei. Most members of this new species were recovered as colonizing isolates from immunocompetent populations and were morphologically similar to A. terreus with decreased in vitro susceptibilities to the antifungal drug amphotericin B. Based on phylogenetic and phenotype analyses, we propose that A. terreus var. africanus should be considered a variant of A. terreus whereas A. terreus var. aureus should be raised to species status within the section Terrei. No population structure was revealed within the A. terreus clade, indicating for the first time that A. terreus, like A. fumigatus is a truly cosmopolitan fungus with a global distribution.