Taxonomy, comparative genomics and evolutionary insights of Penicillium ucsense: a novel species in series Oxalica

Alexandre Rafael Lenz, Eduardo Balbinot, Fernanda Pessi de Abreu, Nikael Souza de Oliveira, Roselei Claudete Fontana, Scheila de Avila E Silva, Myung Soo Park, Young Woon Lim, Jos Houbraken, Marli Camassola, Aldo José Pinheiro Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


The genomes of two Penicillium strains were sequenced and studied in this study: strain 2HH was isolated from the digestive tract of Anobium punctatum beetle larva in 1979 and the cellulase hypersecretory strain S1M29, derived from strain 2HH by a long-term mutagenesis process. With these data, the strains were reclassified and insight is obtained on molecular features related to cellulase hyperproduction and the albino phenotype of the mutant. Both strains were previously identified as Penicillium echinulatum and this investigation indicated that these should be reclassified. Phylogenetic and phenotype data showed that these strains represent a new Penicillium species in series Oxalica, for which the name Penicillium ucsense is proposed here. Six additional strains (SFC101850, SFCP10873, SFCP10886, SFCP10931, SFCP10932 and SFCP10933) collected from the marine environment in the Republic of Korea were also classified as this species, indicating a worldwide distribution of this new taxon. Compared to the closely related strain Penicillium oxalicum 114-2, the composition of cell wall-associated proteins of P. ucsense 2HH shows five fewer chitinases, considerable differences in the number of proteins related to β-D-glucan metabolism. The genomic comparison of 2HH and S1M29 highlighted single amino-acid substitutions in two major proteins (BGL2 and FlbA) that can be associated with the hyperproduction of cellulases. The study of melanin pathways shows that the S1M29 albino phenotype resulted from a single amino-acid substitution in the enzyme ALB1, a precursor of the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis. Our study provides important knowledge towards understanding species distribution, molecular mechanisms, melanin production and cell wall biosynthesis of this new Penicillium species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1029
Number of pages21
JournalAntonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Cellulase/genetics
  • Genomics
  • Melanins/metabolism
  • Penicillium/genetics
  • Phylogeny


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