Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335007

Research Project: Use of Microorganisms to Manage Weeds and Insect Pests in Turf and Agricultural Systems

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Bifiguratus adelaidae, gen. et sp. nov., a new member of Mucoromycotina in endophytic and soil-dwelling habitats

item TORRES-CRUS, TERRY - Western Illinois University
item BILLINGSLEY TOBIAS, TERRI - Western Illinois University
item ALMATRUK, MARYAM - Western Illinois University
item HESSE, CEDAR - Los Alamos National Research Laboratory
item KUSKE, CHERYL - Los Alamos National Research Laboratory
item DESIRO, ALESSANDRO - Michigan State University
item BENUCCI, GIAN MARIA N - Michigan State University
item BONITO, GREGORY - Michigan State University
item STAJICH, JASON - University Of California
item Dunlap, Christopher
item ARNOLD, A. ELIZABETH - University Of Arizona
item PORRAS-ALFARO, ANDREA - Western Illinois University

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2017
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Torres-Crus, T.J., Billingsley Tobias, T.L., Almatruk, M., Hesse, C.N., Kuske, C.R., Desiro, A., Benucci, G., Bonito, G., Stajich, J.E., Dunlap, C.A., Arnold, A., Porras-Alfaro, A. 2017. Bifiguratus adelaidae, gen. et sp. nov., a new member of Mucoromycotina in endophytic and soil-dwelling habitats. Mycologia. 109(3):363-378.

Interpretive Summary: An ARS researcher from Peoria, IL collaborated with scientists from Western Illinois University to characterize a novel Fungus found in forest soil. This manuscript reports on the characterization of a new species of fungi, Bifiguratus adelaidae. This fungus is thought to belong to a lineage that was one of the first to live within plants. This species may possess novel and unusual biochemical characteristics, which makes it attractive for various agricultural and biotechnological purposes. As such, this strain was accessioned into the Crop Bioprotection Research Unit’s culture collection where its potential for biological control applications can be assessed in future studies.

Technical Abstract: Illumina amplicon sequencing of soil in a temperate pine forest in the southeastern United States detected an abundant, N-responsive fungal genotype of unknown phylogenetic affiliation. Two isolates with ribosomal sequences consistent with that genotype were subsequently obtained in culture. Examination of records in GenBank revealed that a genetically similar fungus had been isolated previously as an endophyte of moss in a pine forest in the southwestern USA. These three isolates were characterized using morphological and multi-locus molecular data (18S, ITS, and 28S rRNA sequences). Phylogenetic analyses and comparison to other Mucoromycota genomes revealed that the taxon represents a novel lineage in the Mucoromycotina, only preceded by Calcarisporiella. The fungus is dimorphic, grows best at room temperature, and direct sequencing and culturing shows that it is associated with a wide variety of epihyphal bacteria including Bacillus licheniformis and Stenotrophomonas sp. Here a new monotypic fungal genus, Bifiguratus adelaidae, is proposed.