Morphology and multigene phylogeny of Talaromyces amyrossmaniae, a new synnematous species belonging to the section Trachyspermi from India
expand article infoKunhiraman C. Rajeshkumar, Neriman Yilmaz§|, Sayali D. Marathe, Keith A. Seifert§
‡ National Fungal Culture Collection of India, Pune, India
§ Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada
| University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Open Access


A new Talaromyces species, T. amyrossmaniae, isolated from decaying fruit and litter of Terminalia bellerica, is described and illustrated. On the natural substrate, the new species produces determinate synnemata, with a well-defined, vivid orange red to orange red cylindrical stipe, and a greyish green capitulum. Conidiophores are typically biverticillate, or sometimes have subterminal branches, with acerose phialides that produce globose to subglobose, smooth to slightly roughened conidia. Multigene phylogenetic analyses based on the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), and partial sequences of β-tubulin (BenA), calmodulin (CaM), and DNA directed RNA polymerase second large subunit (RPB2) genes, along with morphological characterization, revealed that these isolates are distinct and form a unique lineage of Talaromyces in section Trachyspermi, closely allied to T. aerius, T. albobiverticillius, T. heiheensis, T. erythromellis, and T. solicola. The new species T. amyrossmaniae is the first species in section Trachyspermi with determinate synnemata.


BenA, CaM, conidial fungi, RPB2, synnemata, Trichocomaceae, Western Ghats


The genus Talaromyces was described as a teleomorph-based holomorph genus (Benjamin 1955). It is characterized by cleistothecial ascomata that have a soft hyphal exterior giving them a yellow, cream, pink or reddish coloration; its anamorphs are predominantly biverticillate or rarely terverticillate conidiophores with acerose phialides with a narrow mouth (Samson et al. 2011, Yilmaz et al. 2014). Conventionally, species of Talaromyces were linked with Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Geosmithia, and Merimbla anamorphs (Pitt 1980, Pitt et al. 2000). Primary phylogenetic studies of Talaromyces spp. revealed that they form a distinct clade that includes species formerly classified in Penicillium subgenus Biverticillium, separate from Eupenicillium and Penicillium spp. in other subgenera (LoBuglio et al. 1993; Seifert et al. 1993; Berbee et al. 1995; Peterson 2000; Heredia et al. 2001; Seifert et al. 2004). As redefined following the new single name provision of the International Code of Nomenclature of algae, fungi and plants (ICN), Talaromyces was expanded to include asexual species formerly included in Penicillium subgenus Biverticillium (Samson et al. 2011; Visagie and Jacobs 2012; Visagie et al. 2012; Yilmaz et al. 2012, 2014). The landmark multigene phylogeny of Penicillium and allied genera by Houbraken and Samson (2011) segregated the prevailing concept of the family Trichocomaceae into three families, Aspergillaceae, Thermoascaceae, and Trichocomaceae. Talaromyces sensu stricto is presently classified in the Trichocomaceae along with Thermomyces, Sagenomella, Rasamsonia, and Trichocoma. The molecular taxonomy and nomenclature Talaromyces were comprehensively revised in the recent past (Houbraken and Samson 2011; Samson et al. 2011; Seifert et al. 2012; Visagie and Jacobs 2012; Visagie et al. 2012; Yilmaz et al. 2012; Yilmaz et al. 2014). Yilmaz et al. (2014) resolved the phylogenetic positioning of Talaromyces species using a polyphasic taxonomic concept and placing 88 accepted species in seven well-defined sections, namely Bacillispori, Helici, Islandici, Purpurei, Subinflati, Talaromyces, and Trachyspermi. Subsequent to the monograph by Yilmaz et al. (2014), 54 new Talaromyces species have been described from all over the world (Visagie et al. 2015; Chen et al. 2016; Luo et al. 2016; Crous et al. 2016; Romero et al. 2016; Wang et al. 2016; Wang et al. 2016; Yilmaz et al. 2016a, b; Crous et al. 2017; Guevara-Suarez et al. 2017; Peterson and Jurjević 2017; Wang et al. 2017; Barbosa et al. 2018; Su and Niu 2018; Jiang et al. 2018; Varriale et al. 2018).

During the 2009 monsoon season, routine surveys were conducted to explore microfungal diversity in natural forests of Lingmala waterfalls area (17.9218N; 73.6870E) of Mahabaleshwar, northern Western Ghats, India. A previously undescribed synnema-forming fungus with penicillate conidiophores and phialidic conidiogenous cells was collected from decaying fruits and litter of Terminalia bellerica (Combretaceae) fallen onto the ground near the Lingmala waterfalls. The fungus was isolated into pure culture on different culture media, microscopic characters were recorded and its classification studied using phylogenetic analysis of aligned DNA sequences from the nuclear ribosomal ITS region and BenA, CaM, and RPB2 partial gene sequences. This paper aims to resolve the taxonomy and phylogeny of this synnematous species, which is shown to represent a new species in Talaromyces section Trachyspermi, here named T. amyrossmaniae.

Materials and methods


Conidia were removed from synnemata directly from the surface of fallen fruits under a Nikon stereomicroscope (model SMZ1500 with Digital camera; Nikon, Tokyo, Japan) and placed on malt extract agar (MEA) media containing the antibiotic Streptomycin sulphate (100 mg/L) CMS220-5G (HIMEDIA Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India). Methods and media used for examining colony characters, inoculating and incubating cultures, and microscopic examination followed those of Visagie et al. (2014), with the addition of Oatmeal Agar (OA), and Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), with incubation occurring in a Bio Multi Incubator (Model LH-30-8CT, Japan). Herbarium specimens were deposited in the Ajrekar Mycological Herbarium (AMH); cultures were accessioned and preserved in the National Fungal Culture Collection of India (NFCCI; WDCM-932), Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India. Reference and ex-type strains used in this study are listed in Table 1.

Accession numbers for fungal strains and strains used for the phylogenetic analysis.

Species Collection no. Substrate and origin GenBank accession no.
T. aerius CBS 140611T Indoor air, China KU866647 KU866835 KU866731 KU866991
T. albobiverticillius CBS 133440T Decaying leaves of a broad leaved tree, Taiwan HQ605705 KF114778 KJ885258 KM023310
CBS 140498 Air from HVAC system, China KR855658 KR855648 KR855653 KR855663
T. amyrossmaniae NFCCI 1919T Fallen decaying fruits of Terminalia bellerica (Combretaceae), Maharashtra, India MH909062 MH909064 MH909068 MH909066
NFCCI 2351 Fallen decaying fruits of Terminalia bellerica (Combretaceae), Maharashtra, India MH909063 MH909065 MH909069 MH909067
T. assiutensis CBS 147.78T Soil, Egypt JN899323 KJ865720 KJ885260 KM023305
CBS 645.80 Gossypium, India JN899334 KF114802 * *
T. atroroseus CBS 133442T House dust, South Africa KF114747 KF114789 KJ775418 KM023288
CBS 133449 Mouse dung, Denmark KF114744 KF114788 * *
T. austrocalifornicus CBS 644.95T Soil, USA JN899357 KJ865732 KJ885261 *
T. brasiliensis CBS 142493T Honey of Melipona scutellaris; Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil MF278323 LT855560 LT855563 LT855566
T. convolutus CBS 100537T Soil, Nepal JN899330 KF114773 * JN121414
T. diversus CBS 320.48T Leather, USA KJ865740 KJ865723 KJ885268 KM023285
DTO 244-E6 House dust, New Zealand KJ775712 KJ775205 * *
T. erythromellis CBS 644.80T Soil from creek bank, New South Wales JN899383 HQ156945 KJ885270 KM023290
T. heiheensis HMAS 248789T Rotten wood, China KX447526 KX447525 KX447532 KX447529
T. minioluteus CBS 642.68T Unknown JN899346 KF114799 KJ885273 JF417443
CBS 270.35 Zea mays, USA KM066172 KM066129 * *
CBS 137.84 Fruit damaged by insect, Spain KM066171 KF114798 * *
T. minnesotensis CBS 142381T Human ear, USA LT558966 LT559083 LT795604 LT795605
T. solicola DAOM 241015T Soil, South Africa FJ160264 GU385731 KJ885279 KM023295
CBS 133446 Soil, South Africa KF114730 KF114775 * *
T. systylus BAFCcult3419T Soil, Argentina KP026917 KR233838 KR233837 *
T. trachyspermus CBS 373.48T Unknown, USA JN899354 KF114803 KJ885281 JF417432
CBS 118437 Soil, Morocco KM066169 KM066127 * *
T. ucrainicus CBS 162.67T Unknown JN899394 KF114771 KJ885282 KM023289
CBS 127.64 Soil treated with cyanimide, Germany (ex-type of T. ohiensis) KM066173 KF114772 * *
T. udagawae CBS 579.72T Soil, Japan JN899350 KF114796 KX961260 *


Colony characters were recorded after 7 d of incubation on various media, including Czapek yeast autolysate agar (CYA), Blakeslee’s (1915) malt extract agar (MEAbl), yeast extract sucrose agar (YES), oatmeal agar (OA), and creatine sucrose agar (CREA). Bacto malt extract was used for MEAbl. Media preparation, inoculations, incubation conditions, and microscopic preparations followed the recommendations by Visagie et al. (2014). Colour codes and names used in descriptions are from Kornerup and Wanscher (1967). Microscopic observations were made with an Olympus (Model CX-41, Japan) dissecting microscope and Zeiss (AXIO Imager 2, Germany) compound microscope equipped with Nikon Digital sight DS-Fi1 and AxioCam MRc5 cameras driven by AxioVision Rel 4.8 software (AXIO Imager 2, Germany).

DNA extraction, amplification, and phylogenetic analyses

Colonies were grown on MEAbl plates, and genomic DNA was extracted following the rapid salt extraction method of Aljanabi and Martinez (1997). The ITS regions was amplified using primer pairs ITS5 and ITS4 (White et al. 1990). For the amplification of RPB2 gene region, primer pairs RPB2-5F and RPB2-7cR (Liu et al. 1999) were used with touch-up PCR conditions: 5 cycles with annealing temperature 48 °C followed by 5 cycles at 50 °C and final 25 cycles at 52 °C. The partial BenA gene was amplified with primer pair Bt2a and Bt2b (Glass and Donaldson 1995) with 50 °C as annealing temperature. The partial CaM gene was amplified using primer pair CF1M and CF4 (Hubka et al. 2014) subjected to 32 cycles under the following temperature regime: first cycle at 95 °C for 3 min, 55 °C for 30 seconds, and 72 °C for 1 min; followed by 30 cycles at 95 °C for 30 seconds, 55 °C for 30 seconds, 72 °C for 1 min; and a final cycle at 95 °C for 30 seconds, 55 °C for 30 seconds, and 72 °C for 10 min. PCR products were purified with StrataPrep PCR Purification Kit (Agilent Technologies, TX, USA) and sequenced using the BigDye Terminator v. 3.1 Cycle Sequencing Kit (Applied Biosystems, USA). Sequencing reactions were run on a ABI PRISM® 3100 Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems, USA).

Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis

Reference sequences of Talaromyces section Trachyspermi were downloaded from GenBank and aligned in MAFFT v. 7.305b (Katoh and Standley 2013) with the newly generated sequences. Alignments were manually adjusted in Geneious as needed. A Maximum Likelihood analysis was done in IQtree v. 1.6 (Nguyen et al. 2015) after selecting the most suitable substitution model with the Modelfinder (Kalyaanamoorthy) algorithm built into the software. The trees were visualized in Figtree v. 1.4.3 (( and edited for publication in Affinity Designer v. 1.6.1 (Serif Europe Ltd, UK). The new DNA sequences were deposited in GenBank (Table 1).


Phylogenetic analyses

The phylogenetic analysis showed that the new species described below as Talaromyces amyrossmaniae belongs to section Trachyspermi. The relationships of the new species with accepted species and its genetic coherence and phylogenetic consistency were analysed with single concatenated sequence datasets based on four loci (ITS, BenA, CaM and RPB2). The length of the data sets were 540 bp for ITS, 379 bp for BenA, 550 bp for CaM, and 851 bp for RPB2 loci. The best fitting models for the ITS analysis were TPM2u+F+I+G4 for ITS, TIM2e+G4 for BenA, K2P+I+G4 for CaM, and K2P+I+G4 for RPB2. All trees were rooted with T. pinophilus (CBS 631.66). The single gene trees and the multigene phylogram are shown in Figures 1, 2.

Figure 1. 

Maximum likelihood (ITS) phylogenetic trees of ITS region, BenA, CaM and RPB2 genes of strains belong Talaromyces section Trachyspermi. Talaromyces pinophilus (CBS 631.66T) was chosen as outgroup. Bootstrap values above 70% are indicated. Purple names indicate T. amyrossmaniae strains. T: ex-type.

Figure 2. 

Maximum likelihood (ITS) combined phylogenetic trees using ITS region, BenA, CaM and RPB2 genes of strains belong Talaromyces section Trachyspermi. Talaromyces pinophilus (CBS 631.66T) was chosen as outgroup. Bootstrap values above 70% are indicated. Purple names indicate T. amyrossmaniae strains. T: ex-type.

Because of the limited resolution of the official fungal DNA barcode, the ITS (Schoch et al. 2012), in the Trichocomaceae, BenA was proposed as the secondary DNA barcode for Talaromyces (Yilmaz et al. 2014). The overall tree topologies of ITS and BenA phylogenies had relatively consistent association of species. However, the type species of section Trachyspermi, T. trachyspermus was well separated from T. assiutensis in the BenA analysis whereas strains of the two species were intermixed in the ITS analysis. Talaromyces ucraicinus was consistently a sister clade to T. trachyspermus and T. assiutensis. Our proposed new species, T. amyrossmaniae, was distinguished from other species both by ITS and other markers (Figs 1, 2). It is consistently included in a major clade along with T. aerius, T. albobiverticillius, T. erythromellis, T. heiheensis, and T. solicola in the ITS analysis. As with the ITS, in the concatenated phylogeny and RPB2 analyses, T. amyrossmaniae clustered with T. albobiverticillius, T. heiheensis, T. erythromellis, T. aerius, and T. solicola (Figs 1, 2). However, in the BenA phylogeny, T. amyrossmaniae was segregated from that major-clade. Talaromyces amyrossmaniae is clustered with T. austrocalifornicus in the CaM analyses (Fig. 1). Yilmaz et al. (2014) mentioned that amplification of CaM is difficult in section Trachyspermi. CaM data could not be analyzed critically because the new sequences generated through Sanger sequencing (ABI PRISM 3100 Genetic Analyzer) contained a homopolymer stretch of around 30 bp after base 320, resulting in poor quality and short sequences, even after many attempts using modified PCR conditions and primers.


In this study, we introduce one new species, Talaromyces amyrossmaniae belonging to section Trachyspermi. Strains conform with the general morphological characters of this section. Talaromyces amyrossmaniae was compared with its close relatives, with the distinguishing characters mentioned in the note after the species description. Also, Table 2 compares the new species with the closely allied species in section Trachyspermi. The main character that differentiates T. amyrossmaniae from other synnemata-producing species in the genus Talaromyces is the length of the synnemata. Talaromyces amyrossmaniae has the shortest synnemata (up to 150 µm). A synopsis of comparative morphology and growth rate of synnema producing species of Talaromyces is given in Table 3.

Comparative morphology of Talaromyces section Trachyspermi.

Species Conidiophore branching Conidia ornamentation Conidial shape Conidial size (µm)
T. aerius Biverticillate, minor proportion with subterminal branches Smooth Ellipsoidal 2–3.5 (–4.5) × 2–3
T. albobiverticillius Biverticillate, minor proportion with subterminal branches Smooth to finely roughened Globose to subglobose 2–3.5 (–4) × 1.5–2.5
T. amyrossmaniae Biverticillate, minor proportion with subterminal branches Smooth to finely roughened Globose or subglobose 2.5–4 (–6) × 2.5–3.5 (–8)
T. assiutensis Mono to biverticillate Smooth Ovoidal to ellipsoidal 2–4 × 1.5–2.5
T. atroroseus Biverticillate, minor proportion with subterminal branches Finely roughened to rough Ellipsoidal 2–3.5 × 1.5–2.5
T. austrocalifornicus Biverticillate Smooth Subglobose 1.5–3 × 1.5–2.5
T. brasiliensis Biverticillate Finely roughened Globose 2 × 3
T. convolutus Mono to biverticillate Smooth Ellipsoidal (2–) 3–4 × 1.5–2 (–3)
T. diversus Biverticillate, minor proportion with subterminal branches Smooth to finely roughened Subglobose to ellipsoidal 2–3 (–5) × 2–3 (–3.5)
T. erythromellis Biverticillate having symmetrical subterminal branches, Smooth Subglobose to ellipsoidal 2–3.5 × 1.5–2.5
T. heiheensis Biverticillate with subterminal branches, minor proportionquaterverticillate Smooth Subglobose to ellipsoidal 2.5–3 × 2–2.5
T. minioluteus Biverticillate Smooth Ellipsoidal 2.5–4 × 1.5–2.5
T. minnesotensis Biverticillate Smooth Ellipsoidal 2.5–3.5 × 2–3
T. solicola Biverticillate Rough Globose to subglobose 2–3.5 × 2–2.5
T. systylus Biverticillate Rough Globose 3.5 × 4
T. trachyspermus Mono to biverticillate Smooth Ellipsoidal 2–3.5 (–5) × 1.5–2.5
T. ucrainicus Mono to biverticillate Smooth Broadly ellipsoidal to ovoidal 2–4 (–5) × 1.5–2.5 (–3)
T. udagawae Biverticillate Smooth Subglobose to ellipsoidal 3–4 × 2–3

Synopsis of comparative morphology and growth rate of synnema producing species of Talaromyces.

Species Section Synnemata Growth rates (mm)
Shape Time of production Height (µm) Acid production on CREA CYA 25 °C CYA 37 °C MEA 25 °C
T. amyrossmaniaea Trachyspermi Determinate Prolonged Up to 150 Absent 4–6 No growth 12–14
T. calidicaniusb Talaromyces Determinate Prolonged Up to 6000 Moderate 27–30 No growth 47–48
T. cecidicolab Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 1250 Absent 33–34 No growth 37–38
T. cholorolomab Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 1200 Weak to moderate 40–45 No growth 45–48
T. coalescensb Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 1200 Very weak 32–34 2–4 43–45
T. dendriticusb Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 5000 Absent 23–26 5–6 35–36
T. duclauxiib Talaromyces Indeterminate After 7d Up to 5000 Weak 25–27 3–4 48–50
T. flavovirensb Talaromyces Determinate, covered or masked by yellow mycelial covering Prolonged Up to 750 Absent 19–20 5–6 37–38
T. palmaeb Subinflati Indeterminate Prolonged Up to 8000 Weak 20–25 No growth 22–26
T. panamensisb Talaromyces Determinate, cone shaped and often sterile After 7d Up to 6800 Strong 23–24 No growth 28–30
T. pittiib Purpurei Determinate, phototropic Prolonged Up to 1000 Absent 34–36 No growth 42–44
T. pseudostromaticusb Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 8000 Absent 25–34 No growth 38–43
T. ramulosusb Purpurei Determinate Prolonged Up to 500 Absent 32–40 5–8 45–48
T. systylusc Trachyspermi Indeterminate Prolonged Up to 4000 Good 14–18 16–19 18–21


Talaromyces amyrossmaniae Rajeshkumar, Yilmaz & Seifert, sp. nov.

MycoBank No: 518601
Figure 3


Latin, named after Dr Amy Y. Rossman, in honour of her career as a research leader in Systematic Mycology and Microbiology, USDA ARS, Beltsville, Maryland, USA.


Synnemata abundant in nature, determinate, 90–120 µm tall, with an unbranched stalk 10–35 µm wide, base wider, up to 50–60 µm. Synnema stipe orange red or vivid orange red, capitulum terminal, compact, globose with conidiophores and a powdery grey-green conidial mass in closely packed, split columns. On MEAbl synnemata produced after 2 weeks incubation, up to 120 µm long. Conidiophores biverticillate, with sometime terverticilate sub-branches. Acerose phialides producing smooth to slightly roughened globose to subglobose conidia. Restricted growth on all media, acid production absent on CREA.

In: Talaromyces section Trachyspermi.


INDIA, Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar, Lingmala falls; isolated from fallen decaying fruits and litter of Terminalia bellerica (Combretaceae), 9 June 2009, isolated by K.C.Rajeshkumar, holotype: AMH 9330, extype: NFCCI 1919, other culture NFCCI 2351.

Gene sequences: ex-holotype MH909062(ITS), MH909064(BenA), MH909068(CaM), MH909066(RPB2).


Colony diameter, 7 d (mm): CYA 4–6; CYA 37 °C no growth; MEAbl 12–14; YES 5–7; DG18 4–5; OA 10–13; CREA 3–5.

Colony characters: CYA 25 °C, 7 d: colonies low, plane; margins low, entire (< 1 mm); mycelia white; no germination; sporulation absent; soluble pigmentation absent; exudates absent; reverse Yellowish white (4A2). MEAbl 25 °C, 7 d: colonies low, slightly raised, synnemata present; margins low, entire (1 mm); mycelia white; texture velvety; sporulation dense (except margins); conidia en masse Dull green (27D4–27E4); soluble pigmentation yellow; exudates orange to reddish orange small droplets; reverse Hazel brown (6E6) at center fading into Light brown (6D8) to Light yellow (3A5). YES 25 °C, 7 d: colonies slightly raised, sulcate, sunken at center; margins low, entire (< 1 mm); mycelia pale pinkish red, with and appearance of Pastel red (7A4–7A5); texture floccose; sporulation absent; soluble pigmentation absent; exudates absent; reverse Light brown (7D6). DG18 25 °C, 7 d: colonies slightly raised, sulcate, sunken at center; margins low, entire (1 mm); mycelia pale yellow; texture floccose; sporulation moderately dense at center, margins absent; conidia en masse Greyish green to Dull green (26C4–26D4); soluble pigmentation absent; exudates absent; reverse Brownish orange to Brownish yellow (5C6) in the center, fading into Light yellow (4A5). OA 25 °C, 7 d: colonies low, plane; margins low, entire (< 1 mm); mycelia white; texture velvety; sporulation moderately dense at center, margins absent; conidia en masse Greyish green (27C4–27D4); soluble pigmentation dark red; exudates absent; reverse Brown (7E8) in the centre, fading into Copper red (7C8). CREA 25 °C, 7 d: acid production absent.

Figure 3. 

Talaromyces amyrossmaniae (NFCCI 1919) A Colonies on CYA, MEAbl (obverse and reverse), Colonies obverse on YES, OA, DG18, CREA B Synnemata on Terminalia bellerica fruit in nature C Synnema formation on MEAbl after 14 d at 25 °C D–F Biverticillate penicilli G Biverticillate penicilli with subterminal branches H Conidia. Scale bar: 10 µm.


Determinate synnemata formed after 2 weeks on MEAbl up to 80–150 µm long. Conidiophores biverticillate with a minor proportion having subterminal branches; stipes smooth walled 80–120 × 3–4 µm; extra branches up to 30 µm long; metulae three to six, divergent, 10–13 × 2.5–3 µm; phialides acerose, three to six per metulae, 12–15 (–18) × 2–3 µm; conidia smooth, globose to subglobose, 2.5–4 × 2.5–3.5 µm. Sometimes it produces large-sized conidia up to 6–8 µm. Ascomata not observed.


In our study, a novel Talaromyces species, T. amyrossmaniae is described based on two isolates from decaying fruits and litter of Terminalia bellerica (Combretaceae). We used ITS, BenA, CaM and RPB2 sequences to apply genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR; Taylor et al. 2000) to delineate the species, and a multigene phylogenetic analysis to place T. amyrossmaniae in Talaromyces section Trachyspermi. Talaromyces section Trachyspermi (as ‘trachyspermus’) was introduced by Yaguchi et al. (1996) based on ubiquinone systems, overriding the traditional morphology based classification of Talaromyces. Yilmaz et al. (2014) applied multigene phylogenies and morphology to redefine classification of Talaromyces and divided the genus into seven sections. They noted that Talaromyces section Trachyspermi includes species with generally biverticillate penicilli with acerose phialides and when ascomata are produced, they are creamish white or yellow. Colonies generally grow restrictedly on CYA, YES, CREA and DG18; some species have colonies with abundant red pigments.

Morphologically, T. amyrossmaniae resembles the other species of section Trachyspermi and produces dark orange to red pigmentation on MEAbl, restricted growth on MEAbl, CYA, DG18, YES and CREA, symmetrical biverticillate penicilli with a minor proportion having sub-terminal branches, and acerose phialides that form globose to subglobose, smooth to slightly roughened conidia. Although, synnematous Talaromyces species also are found in section Purpurei, section Talaromyces, section Trachyspermi, and section Subinflati, T. amyrossmaniae is the first species in section Trachyspermi with determinate synnemata that are seen on fallen decaying fruits in nature and also on MEAbl after 7–14 d of incubation at 25 °C. Talaromyces systylus is another synnema producer in section Trachyspermi, but it produces indeterminate synnemata up to 4000 µm and grows at 37 °C (Romero et al. 2016). Talaromyces amyrossmaniae has the shortest synnemata in Talaromyces and it grows very restrictedly compared to the other synnema producing species on CYA and MEAbl. With these key characters, it is easy to distinguish the new species from the other synnemata producing species of Talaromyces.

Based on ITS, BenA, CaM, and RPB2 phylogenies, T. amyrossmaniae is part of the same clade as T. austrocalifornicus, T. convolutus, T. heiheensis, T. aerius, T. solicola, T. albobiverticillius, and T. erythromellis; however, it can be distinguished from all of these species by having determinate synnemata in nature and by differences in colony growth characteristics. Also, T. amyrossmaniae forms predominant concentric rings of synnemata on the different media used in our studies and even forms synnemata in vitro on MEAbl.

Many species of Talaromyces have been recorded as saprophytes, endophytes, and human pathogens from different geoclimatic regions and microhabitats across India. Most importantly, Talaromyces marneffei is a potentially pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungus causing systemic mycosis in HIV-infected patients; its dissemination was thoroughly studied from Manipur state of India (Singh et al. 1999; Ranjana et al. 2002). Recent studies on endophytic T. pinophilus isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma amada from Karnataka revealed the production and partial characterization of L-asparaginase (Krishnapura and Belur 2016). Likewise, endophytic T. radicus, isolated from Catharanthus roseus, produces vincristine and vinblastine and was studied for induce apoptotic cell death (Palem et al. 2015). Talaromyces flavus is also recorded as an endophytic fungi isolated from ethno-medicinal plants in the sacred forests of Meghalaya having antimicrobial and antioxidant activity (Bhagobaty and Joshi 2012). Devi et al. (2014) reported a marine strain of T. verruculosus, from Andhra Pradesh, as a potent polyhydroxybutyrate degrader. Similarly, the stress-tolerant soil fungus T. funiculosus, isolated from the neem rhizosphere, was identified as a potential strain for phosphate solubilization (Kanseet al. 2015). Talaromyces flavus isolated from paddy rhizosphere of Darjeeling Hills exhibited phosphate solubilizing activity in vitro and positively influenced the growth of Oryza sativa, Cicer arietinum, and Vigna radiata under greenhouse conditions (Chakraborty et al. 2011). A keratin degrading strain of T. trachyspermus was isolated from the grounds of a gelatin factory in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, and digested human hair in stationary culture (Rajak et al. 1991). Talaromyces trachyspermus was reported as a soil saprophyte in paddy fields of Orissa (Dutta and Ghosh 1965). Species identifications of these Talaromyces strains were mostly based on micro- and macro morphological characters in these studies. Because such approaches often underestimate species diversity, adoption of a polyphasic approach to authenticate such identifications will increase the number of Talaromyces species known from different eco-geographic zones of India. Further investigation is also needed to study the ecological importance of these species.


KC Rajeshkumar thanks SERB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for providing financial support under the project YSS/2015/001590; Dr Amy Y. Rossman for invaluable support and guidance in mycology and Dr K.M. Paknikar (Director, ARI) provided facilities and motivation in our work.


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