Mycological Progress

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 3–17 | Cite as

Chaunopycnis pustulata sp. nov., a new clavicipitalean anamorph producing metabolites that modulate potassium ion channels

  • Gerald F. Bills
  • Jon D. Polishook
  • Michael A. Goetz
  • Raymond F. Sullivan
  • James F. WhiteJr.


Two morphologically similar strains of hyphomycetous fungi, MF5785 and MF5638, produced potent indole diterpene antagonists of the calcium-gated potassium ion channel, Maxi-K, and a diterpene blocker (nalanthalide) of the voltage-gated potassium channel, Kv 1.3, respectively. The two strains were tentatively identified in the literature as Nalanthamala species. Analyses of their secondary metabolite profiles by HPLC and mass spectroscopy demonstrated that both produced a series of indole diterpenes, of which at least one was produced by both strains. Another strain, Chaunopycnis alba (MF6799), that produced the diterpene, nalanthalide, also produced indole diterpene metabolites. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic studies based on 28S and ITS rDNA sequences indicated that MF5785 and MF5368, and another soil-derived strain GB6597, belonged to a monophyletic clade of the Clavicipitaceae that included the anamorph Chaunopycnis alba and several Cordyceps and Tolypocladium species. A new species of Chaunopycnis is therefore proposed to accommodate MF5785, MF5368, and GB6597. The possible synonymy of Albophoma yamanashiensis with C. alba also is discussed. Within the Clavicipitaceae, indole diterpenoid compounds have only been known from the graminicolous species (subfamily Clavicipitoideae); therefore delineation of a Chaunopycnis clade has revealed a previously unrecognized lineage of indole diterpene-producing fungi among the subfamily Cordycipitoideae.


Internal Transcribe Space Alba Paxilline Diterpene Conidiogenous Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© DGfM 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald F. Bills
    • 1
  • Jon D. Polishook
    • 2
  • Michael A. Goetz
    • 2
  • Raymond F. Sullivan
    • 3
  • James F. WhiteJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación BásicaMerck Sharp & Dohme de España S.A.MadridSpain
  2. 2.Merck Research LaboratoriesRahwayUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant Pathology, Cook CollegeRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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