POLYTOLYPA is a monotypic genus of fungus containing the single
species POLYTOLYPA HYSTRICIS. First classified in the Onygenaceae
family, as of 2008 it is considered to be in the
although there is still uncertainty as to its phylogenetic
relationships with other similar genera. This species is only known
from a single specimen derived in the laboratory from a specimen of
dung of the
North American porcupine
North American porcupine , Erethizon dorsatum, collected
in Ontario, Canada.
Polytolypa hystricis contains bioactive compounds
that have antifungal activity.
* 1 Taxonomy, phylogeny, and naming
* 2 Description
* 3 Habitat and distribution
* 4 Bioactive compounds
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
TAXONOMY, PHYLOGENY, AND NAMING
Polytolypa hystricis was initially grown from the dung of the
North American porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum (pictured).
The genus was first described in 1993 by University of Toronto
botanists J.A. Scott and D.W. Malloch, who grew the fungus in moist
chamber cultures of porcupine dung collected in Stoneleigh,
Canada. The generic name
Polytolypa is from the Greek word poly
(πολυ) meaning "many", and tolype (τολυπη), meaning "skein
of yarn". The specific epithet hystricis comes from the Greek hystrix
(υστριξ), or "porcupine".
The genus has been classified in the
Onygenaceae , a fungal family
characterized by species capable of digesting human hair in vitro, and
with spores that are punctate (with minute surface punctures) when
viewed with scanning electron microscopy . However, as Scott and
colleagues demonstrated using traditional laboratory tests to
determine keratinolytic activity, P. hystricus is not able to digest
hair. There is still uncertainty as to its phylogenetic relationships
with other similar genera.
Polytolypa is thought to be evolutionarily
most closely related to the genera Malbranchea and
Spiromastix . The
Spiromastix represent a sister clade to the
Ajellomyces clade, based on analysis of partial nuclear LSU sequence
data. However, the phylogenetics of
Polytolypa are still unclear and
await further study. The 10th edition of the Dictionary of the Fungi
(2008) considers the genus to be in the
although uncertainty with this classification is indicated in the
entry; in contrast, the online mycological database MycoBank
classifies the genus in the Onygenaceae.
The ascus-containing reproductive structures, or ascomata , are
minute, spherical bodies, typically 200–400 μm in diameter. They
start out white, but gradually become rusty brown in maturity. The
ascomata, which may be clustered together in groups or scattered
about, grow in a shallow layer of "hairs" (actually fungal mycelia )
called a tomentum. The ascomata have "appendages" composed of numerous
coiled, sometimes branched helices of hyphae that are coiled 3–15
The ascospores produced by
Polytolypa are ellipsoidal, yellow to
yellow-orange in color, with dimensions of 2.5–5 by 3–4 μm.
Viewed with a light microscope their surfaces appear to be smooth, but
under scanning electron microscopy , they are revealed to be densely
marked with punctures and small, hard, sharp projections. The
structures that produce the ascospores are called asci . In Polytolypa
they are numerous, spherical, and measure 9–10 by 12–13 μm. Each
ascus contains eight ascospores, which are released when the ascus
dissolves away at maturity. The anamorph (asexual form of the fungus)
resembles the genus
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
Polytolypa hystricis is known only from the dung of the North
American porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum. Porcupine dens accumulate
thick layers of nutrient-rich dung, hair and urine that are degraded
by a succession of fungi. These fungi are disseminated by arthropods
(such as insects) or by the porcupine themselves.
Chemical analysis has shown that
Polytolypa hystricis contains a
unique triterpenoid chemical named polytolypin, as well two compounds
known previously as metabolites from Scleroderris Canker (Gremmeniella
abietina ). Both polytolypin and one of the previously identified
compounds have "moderate" antifungal activity against the species
Ascobolus furfuraceous , while polytopin alone can inhibit the growth
Candida albicans .
* ^ A B C D E F Scott JA, Malloch DW, Gloer JB (1993). "Polytolypa,
an undescribed genus in the Onygenales". Mycologia. 85 (3): 503–8.
JSTOR 3760710 . doi :10.2307/3760710 .
* ^ Lumbsch TH, Huhndorf SM (December 2007). "Outline of Ascomycota
– 2007". Myconet. Chicago, USA: The Field Museum, Department of
Botany. 13: 1–58. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009.
* ^ Untereiner WA, Scott JA, Naveau FA, Currah RS, Bachewich J
(2002). "Phylogeny of Ajellomyces,
Polytolypa and Spiromastix
(Onygenaceae) inferred from rDNA sequence and non-molecular data"
(PDF). Studies in Mycology. 47: 25–35.
* ^ Untereiner WA, Scott JA, Naveau FA, Sigler L, Bachewich J,
Angus A (2004). "The Ajellomycetaceae, a new family of
vertebrate-associated Onygenales". Mycologia. 96 (4): 812–21. JSTOR
3762114 . PMID 21148901 . doi :10.2307/3762114 .
* ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary
Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. p. 556. ISBN
* ^ "
Polytolypa J.A. Scott & Malloch 1993".
International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
* ^ Gamble WR, Gloer JB,