All fungi like eukaryotes possess mitochondria, which are the sites of the oxydative phosphorylation. As eukaryote evolution depends on oxygenic atmosphere, these organisms are primarily aerobic. Except a small group of strict anaerobes (those which lost the capacity of oxydative pathways living in special milieu in association with rumen of grass-eating animals) all fungi can utilize various compounds as carbon sources via oxidative phosphorylation pathways resulting in high energy yield. Certain groups of fungi – i.e. most of the yeasts – under anaerobe conditions, are able to supply themselves with lower levels of fermentation energy, too exhibiting a slow growing capacity utilizing the same amount of carbon source. The mutation of mitochondrial genome or mitochondrial functions encoded by nuclear genes of these fungi might result in a so-calledpetitephenotype producing small colonies on solid media due to their slow growing capacity. These mutants can utilize only fermentable carbon sources. Filamentous fungi have only limited possibilities to produce such phenotypes. ExceptZygomycetes(where the shortage of oxygen induces dimorphic transitions) filamentous fungi can grow and develop their vegetative and sexual reproductive structures only in aerobe milieu. However amongNeurosporaspecies there are several mitochondrial mutations resulting in morphological phenotypes. These are due to the lower energy level provided by the reduced capacity of cytochrome-oxidase enzymes. These mutants (e.g.pokystopper) can be considered aspetiteanalogues. The complete loss of mitochondrial functions – such asrho zerocharacter in yeast – cannot be survived by filamentous fungi.Podospora anserinaand some of its close relatives exhibit a so-calledsenescencephenotype, which means that the growing hyphae in the youngest part of the colonies stop growing and start to die within a short period of time. This phenomenon – discussed below – is also connected to reduced function of mitochondria.The first part of this paper gives a short overview of the genetic organization of mitochondria of fungi, based on the most recent data of three filamentous fungi:Aspergillus nidulansNeurospora crassaandPodospora anserina. Their data are compared to those of the well-characterizedSaccharomyces cerevisiae. In the second part we summarize what we know about other extrachrosomal elements, such as DNA plasmids of various origins and structures, and dsRNAs or virus like particles (VLP). Also discussed are their roles and/or putative functions in the life of the fungi.
Species belonging to the filamentous fungal genus Trichoderma are well known as potential candidates for the biological control of plant pathogenic fungi and as cellulase producers of biotechnological importance. Several data were published in the last decade also about the clinical importance of this genus, indicating that Trichoderma strains may be potential opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised patients. However, there is a lack of information about the potential virulence factors of clinical Trichoderma strains. This study was designed to examine the extracellular proteolytic enzymes of six clinical T. longibrachiatum isolates. Supernatants from induced liquid cultures of the examined strains were screened for proteolytic enzyme activities with 11 different chromogenic p-nitroaniline substrates. The production of trypsin-like, chymotrypsin-like and chymoelastase-like protease activities cleaving N-Benzoyl-L-Phe-L-Val-L-Arg-p-nitroanilide, N-Succinyl-L-Ala-L-Ala-L-Pro-L-Phe-p-nitroanilide,and N-Succinyl-L- Ala-L-Ala-L-Pro-L-Leu-p-nitroanilide, respectively, was common among the strains examined. Separation of trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like activities by column chromatography revealed, that both systems are complex consisting of several isoenzymes. The pH-dependence of these two protease systems was also studied. Based on the results, the different isoenzymes seem to have different optimal pH values. Extracellular proteolytic enzymes may be involved in the pathogenecity of Trichoderma strains as facultative human pathogens.
Cefditoren is the active form of cefditoren pivoxil, a new, broad-spectrum oral cephalosporin with strong in vitro activity against penicillin-susceptible and resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. In this study, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of cefditoren were determined for a special selection of S. pneumoniae isolates known to be susceptible, moderately susceptible or fully resistant to penicillin; these isolates originated from the lower respiratory tract of adults with pneumonia or the upper respiratory tract of children with or without symptoms of infection. Some of this latter group of isolates exhibited extremely high MICs to penicillin (³32 mg/l), whereas the MICs of cefditoren did not exceed 2 mg/l. The MIC50 and MIC90 of cefditoren proved to be 0.25 and 1.0 mg/l, respectively, with a range of MICs £0.015-2.0 mg/l for all the tested S. pneumoniae isolates. Its good activity suggests that cefditoren is expected to be a potent drug in infections caused by penicillin-resistant and multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae.