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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Nov;76(21):7259-67. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01184-10. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Clonal species Trichoderma parareesei sp. nov. likely resembles the ancestor of the cellulase producer Hypocrea jecorina/T. reesei.

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  • 1Research Area of Gene Technology and Applied Biochemistry, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Getreidemarkt 9/1665, A-1060 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

We have previously reported that the prominent industrial enzyme producer Trichoderma reesei (teleomorph Hypocrea jecorina; Hypocreales, Ascomycota, Dikarya) has a genetically isolated, sympatric sister species devoid of sexual reproduction and which is constituted by the majority of anamorphic strains previously attributed to H. jecorina/T. reesei. In this paper we present the formal taxonomic description of this new species, T. parareesei, complemented by multivariate phenotype profiling and molecular evolutionary examination. A phylogenetic analysis of relatively conserved loci, such as coding fragments of the RNA polymerase B subunit II (rpb2) and GH18 chitinase (chi18-5), showed that T. parareesei is genetically invariable and likely resembles the ancestor which gave raise to H. jecorina. This and the fact that at least one mating type gene of T. parareesei has previously been found to be essentially altered compared to the sequence of H. jecorina/T. reesei indicate that divergence probably occurred due to the impaired functionality of the mating system in the hypothetical ancestor of both species. In contrast, we show that the sexually reproducing and correspondingly more polymorphic H. jecorina/T. reesei is essentially evolutionarily derived. Phenotype microarray analyses performed at seven temperature regimens support our previous speculations that T. parareesei possesses a relatively high opportunistic potential, which probably ensured the survival of this species in ancient and sustainable environment such as tropical forests.

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