Syncephalastrum racemosum was probably the only species in the genus according to Schipper and Stalpers (1983), although three additional taxa, the multispored S. almaataense Novobranova (1972) and S. verrucosum Misra (1975), and three varieties of the unispored S. monosporum Zheng, Chen & Hu (Zheng et al., 1988) have been described since Benjamin’s (1959) treatment. Syncephalastrum is the only genus in the Mucorales that produces merosporangia, otherwise the hyphae and zygospores are Mucor-like. Syncephalastrum contains two species, S. racemosum and S. monosporum.
A data set consisting of six taxa from the Mortierellales and 75 spp. containing at least one species all of the genera in culture of the Mucorales (tef-1a, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, morphology) of O’Donnell et al. (2001) showed that the Syncephalastrum clade (Syncephalastraceae) had 100% bootstrap support (BP). Voigt and Olsson (2008) analyzed a data set (act, tef-1a, 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA) containing selected species of 50 genera of the Mucorales by neighbor-joining (100% BP) and strict concensus (100% BP) for the Syncephalastraceae.
Syncephalastrum racemosum has been isolated from the clinical specimens of New Orleans residents after the Katrina and Rita hurricanes of 2005, the endophytic fungal community of cacao (Theobroma cocoa L.), eyes of healthy horses, nests of laboratory reared leaf cutter ants (Atta texana Buckley), poultry feed, and spices (Elshafie et al., 2002; Rosa et al., 2003; Rubini et al., 2005; Labuda and Tancinová, 2006; Rao et al., 2007; Rodrigues et al., 2009). Cysteine and its derivatives inhibit spore germination of many Mucorales, including S. racemosum, which might prove useful in the treatment of mucormycosis (Galgóczy et al., 2009). Chitosan from S. racemosum has been used to produce a film used to immobilize lipase (Amorim et al., 2003). Syncephalastrum racemosum has been used to produce an aspartic proteinase (Syncephapepsin) with properties comparable to commericially available products (Ho et al., 1998), and both thermostable endoglucanase and cellulose-free xylanase enzymes (Sapre et al., 2006; Wonganu et al, 2008). Syncephalastrum racemosum has been used to microbially transform cinobufagin to other compounds several of which are cytoxic when tested against human hepatoma cells (Ma et al., 2008). Mycotic infections have been caused by S. racemosum, including mucormycosis (Schlebusch and Looke, 2005) and onychomycosis (Pavlovic and Bulajic, 2006). Nyilasi et al. (2008) reported a sequence-based method that can be used to identify fungi that cause zygomycosis.
Syncephalastraceae is recognized by Cannon and Kirk (2007 — significant genus is Syncephalastrum) and Kirk et al. (2008 — eight genera recognized but none are mentioned by name). Two websites, Ecyclopedia of Life (http://www.eol.org/pages/5560/) and Species 2000 Catalogue of Life 2009 Annual Checklist (htpp:www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/browse_taxa.php/) list eight genera in the Syncephalastraceae: Dichotomocladium, Fennellomyces, Mycocladus, Phascolomyces, Protomycocladus, Syncephalastrum, Thamnostylum and Zychaea.
Syncephalastrum is the only genus in the Syncephalastraceae recognized here. Syncephalastrum can be isolated from both soil and dung, but plant material or other organic substrates, including mycosis, also can be a source of this fungus.
Syncephalastraceae Naumov ex R.K. Benjamin, 1959 (Aliso 4: 327).
= Syncephalastraceae Naumov, 1935 ([Opredelitel Mukorovykh (Mucorales), Ed. 2, p. 16 (nomen nudum, without a Latin diagnosis; Art. 36.1 of the ICBN, McNeill et al., 2006)].
Somatic hyphae branched, coenocytic when young, septate in age, stolonlike, adventituous rhizoids often produced. Fertile vesicles globose or obovoid, formed on the apex of the sporophore or its branches; bearing merosporangia over its entire surface. Merosporangia more or less cylindrical, containing one- to many spores; wall fugacious. Sporangiospores cylindrical to globose to ovoid, usually borne uniseriately. Zygospores with a rough, dark zygosporangial wall, suspensors slightly unequal, nonappendaged, opposed.
Type and only genus: Syncephalastrum
Synopsis of Genera
SYNCEPHALASTRUM Schröter, 1886 (In Cohn’s Kryptogamen-Flora von Schlesen 3(2): 217); 2 sp. (Benjamin, 1959 — ILLUS.; Zycha et al., 1969 — illus.; Misra, 1975 — illus.; Benjamin and Tucker, 1978 — ILLUS.; Schipper and Stalpers, 1983 — illus.; Zheng et al., 1988 — ILLUS.).
Genera Not Accepted Here but Included in Syncephalastraceae by Some Authors
[Dichotomocladium — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
[Fennellomyces — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
[Mycocladus — see Mycocladaceae (Mucorales)]
[Phascolomyces — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
[Protomycocladus — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
[Thamnostylum — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
[Zychaea — see synonsis of genera with unknown affinities (Mucorales)]
Amorim, R.V.S., E.S. Melo, M.G. Carneiro-da-Cunha, W.M. Ledingham, and G.M. Takos-Takaki. 2003. Chitosan from Syncephalastrum racemosum used as a film support.for lipase immobilization. Bioresource Technology 89: 35-39.
Benjamin, R.K. 1959. The merosporangiferous Mucorales. Aliso 4: 321-433.
Benjamin, R.K., and B. Tucker. 1978. Syncephalastrum racemosum, pp. 141-142. In: M.S. Fuller (Ed.). Lower fungi in the laboratory. Palfrey Contributions in Botany. No. 1. Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
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Elshafie, A.E., T.A. Al-Rashdi, S.N. Al-Bahry, and C.S. Bakheit. 2002. Fungi and aflotoxins associated with spices in the Sultanate of Oman. Mycopathologia 155155-160.
Galgóczy, L., L. Kovács, K. Krizsán, T. Papp, and C. Vágvölgyi. 2009. Inhibitory effects of cysteine and cysteine derivatives on germination of sporangiospores and hyphal growth of different Zygomycetes. Mycopathologia 168:125-134.
Ho, H.-C., P.-F. Shiau, and S.-L. Wu. 1998. Single-column purification of Syncephapepsin-an aspartic proteinase from Syncephalalrum racemosum. Protein Expression and Purification 12:399-403.
Kirk, P.M., P.F. Cannon, D.W. Minter, and J.A. Stalpers. 2008. Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi. 10th Ed. Wallingford, United Kingdom, CAB International. 771 p.
Labuda, R., and D. Tancinová. 2006. Fungi recovered from Slovakian poultry feed mixtures and their toxinogenity. Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine 13:193-200.
Ma, X.-c., X.-l. Xin, K.-x. Liu, J. Han, and D.-a. Guo. 2008. Microbial transformation of cinobufagin by Syncephalastrum racemosum. Journal of Natural Products 71:1268-1270.
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Misra, P.C. 1975. A new species of Syncephalastrum. Mycotaxon 3: 51-54.
Nyilasi, I., T. Papp, Á. Csernetics, K. Krizsán, E. Nagy, and C.Vágvölgyi. 2008. High-affinity iron permease (FTR1) gene sequence-based molecular identification of clinically important Zygomycetes. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 14:393-397.
Novobranova, T.I. 1972. Species novae fungorum imperfectorum e regione Alma-Ataësi. Novitates Systematicae Plantarum non Vascularum 9:180-187.
O’Donnell, K., F.M. Lutzoni, T.J. Ward, and G.L. Benny. 2001. Evolutionary relationships among mucoralean fungi (Zygomycota): Evidence for family polyphyly on a large scale. Mycologia 93:286-296.
Pavlovic, M.D., and N. Bulajic. 2006. Great toenail onychomycosis caused by Syncephalastrum racemosum. Dermatology Online Jouirnal 12(1), 4 p. (http://dermatology.cdlib.org/121/case_reports/syncephalastrum/).
Rao, C.Y., C. Kurukularatne, J.B. Garcia-Diaz, S.A. Kemmerly, D. Reed, S.K. Fridken, and J. Morgan. 2007. Implications of detecting the mold Syncephalastrum in clinical specimens of New Orleans residents after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 49:411-416.
Rodrigues, A., R.N. Cable, U.G. Mueller, M. Bacci Jr., and F.C. Pagnocca. 2009. Antogonistic interactions between garden yeasts and microfungal garden pathogens of leaf-cutting ants. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 96:311-342.
Rosa, M., L.M. Cardozzo, J.D.S. Pereira, D,E, Brooks, A.L.B. Martins, P.S.S. Florido, and J.S.P. Strussi. 2003. Fungal flora of normal eyes of healthy horse from the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Veterinary Ophthalmology 6:51-55.
Rubini, M.R., R.T. Silva-Ribeiro, A.W. Pomella, C.S. Maki, W.L. Araújo, D.R. dos Santos, and J.L. Azevedo. 2005. Diversity of endophytic fungal community of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) and biological control of Crinipellis perniciosa, causal agent of Witches’ Broom Disease. International Journal of Biological Sciences 1:24-33.
Sapre, M.P., H. Jha, and M.B. Patil. 2006. Purification and characterization of a thermostabile-cellulose free xylanase from Syncephalastrum racemosum. Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 51:327-
Schipper, M.A.A., and J. A. Stalpers. 1983. Spore ornamentation and species concept in Syncephalastrum. Persoonia 12: 81-85.
Schlebusch, S., and D.F.M. Looke. 2005. Intraabdominal Zygomycosis caused by Syncephalastrum racemosum infection successfully treated with partial surgical debridement and high-dose Amphotericin B lipid complex. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 43:5825-5827.
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Wonganu, B., K. Pootanakit, K. Boonyapakron, V. Champreda, S. Tanapongpipat, and L. Eurwilaichiitr. 2008. Cloning, expression and characterization of a thermotolerant endoglucanase from Syncephalastrum racemosum (BCC18080) in Pichia pastoris. Protein Expression and Purification 58:78-86.
Zheng, R-y., G-q. Chen, and F.-m. Hu. 1988. Monosporus varieties of Syncephalastrum. Mycosystema 1:35-52.
Zycha, H., R. Siepmann, and G. Linnemann. 1969. Mucorales eine Beschreibung aller Gattungen und Arten dieser Pilzgruppe. Lehre, J. Cramer. 355 p.
Updated Jun 08, 2010