Miranda McCleaf Mycology 2 December 2013 * * Characteristics of the genus Ophiocordyceps * Taxonomic specifications * Life Cycle Characteristics * Three Prominent Species* O. sinensis * O. unilateralis * O. nutans * * Species are entomopathogenic fungi * Often to species specific hosts * Scientifically described by Tom Petch in 1931 * 140+ species defined * Similar life history to Cordyceps Fruiting bodies of Ophiocordyceps sp. Fruiting bodies of Ophiocordyceps dipterigena * * Division- Ascomycota * Correspond to Anamorphic genera such as Hirsutella, Hymenostilbe, Paraisaria, and Syngliocladium * Family- Ophiocordycipitaceae * Close relation to Cordyceps Anamorph type – Hirsutella neovolkiana Fruiting bodies of Cordyceps sp. * * Targets specific insect host * Co-evolution with life history traits of insect * High investment in producing multiple sporulation events * Increase the likelihood in infecting a new host * Manipulates host to behave ‘zombie-like’ and locate a location for optimal fungal growth * * O. sinensis * Parasitizes caterpillars of Ghost Moths * O. unilateralis * Parasitizes Carpenter Ants * O. nutans * Parasitizes Stinkbugs * * Formally Cordyceps sinensis * Native to Tibetan Plateau of Asia * Parasitizes on larval individuals of the genus Thitarodes * Traditionally called Summer-plant and Winter-worm * Mistakenly nicknamed ‘vegetable caterpillar’ * Medicinal Value: * Used to treat asthma and respiratory inflammation * Used as an aphrodisiac * May alleviate fatigue and symptoms associated with cancer * High economic value * Excessively harvested and in decline in natural populations * Listed as an endangered species in China * * Life Cycle: Parasitizes then Mummifies * Anamorphic Hirsutella sinensis becomes telomorphic when it infects the host * Infected caterpillar is positioned 2-5cm below soil surface with head facing upward * Stroma grows from the head of the deceased caterpillar and produces a fruiting body * Characteristics: * Ascospores are hyaline, filiform and multiseptate * * Formally Cordyceps unilateralis * Native to Thailand * Creates the ‘zombie ant’ extended phenotype * Targets species specific Camponotus leonardi * Ecological Interest: * Unique parasite to host co-evolution * Contributes to the study of microhabitat use * * Life Cycle: Expresses extended phenotype * Extended phenotype causes the ant to become displaced and clamp onto the underside of a leaf * The ant locks its mandibles and dies allowing the mycelium to fill the body cavity * Fruiting body emerges from the ants head and then releases ascospores in bouts to infect a new individual * Characteristics: * Ascus is perithecium shaped * * Formally Cordyceps nutans * Native to Japan, Taiwan, China and New Guinea * Targets several stinkbug species in Heteroptera * Pest Management Implications: * Stinkbugs cause agriculture and forest damage * Invasive pest species * Biological control agent instead of chemical control? * * Ophiocordyceps belongs to the Division Ascomycota * They share similar life histories to Cordyceps * Belong to very species specific parasite- host interactions * 140+ species * Some are significant in economical, medicinal, ecological and biological pest control uses * * Sung, G-H., Hywel-Jones, NL., Sung, J-M., Luangsa-ard, JJ., Shrestha, B., et al. (2007) Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi. Studies in Mycology 57: 5–59. * Sasaki, Fumito, Miyamoto, Toshizumi, Yamamoto, Aki, Tamai, Yutaka, and Yajima, Takashi. (2012) Relationship between intraspecific variations and host insects of Ophiocordyceps nutans collected in Japan. Mycoscience 53(2): 85-91. * Shresthaa, Bhushan, Zhangb, Weimin, Zhangc, Yongjie, and Liud, Xingzhong. (2010) What is the Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Ophiocordycipitaceae)? Mycology: An International Journal on Fungal Biology 1(4): 228-236. * Andersen, Sandra B., Gerritsma, Sylvia, Yusah, Kalsum M., Mayntz, David, Hywel‐Jones, Nigel L., Billen, Johan, Boomsma, Jacobus J. and Hughes, David P. (2009) The Life of a Dead Ant: The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype. The American Naturalist 174(3): 424-433. * Sung, G-H., Hywel-Jones, NL., Sung, J-M., Luangsa-ard, JJ., Shrestha, B., et al. (2007) Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi. Studies in Mycology 57: 5–59. * Kendrick, Bryce. (1985) The Fifth Kingdom. 3rd ed. Waterloo, Ont., Canada: Mycologue Publications. 66-67. Print.