Pestalotiopsis microspora

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Pestalotiopsis microspora
Conidia of Pestalotiopsis microspora
Conidia of Pestalotiopsis microspora
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Xylariales
Family: Sporocadaceae
Genus: Pestalotiopsis
P. microspora
Binomial name
Pestalotiopsis microspora
Pestalotiopsis microspora
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
hymenium attachment is not applicable
lacks a stipe
spore print is blackish-brown
ecology is parasitic
edibility: unknown

Pestalotiopsis microspora is a species of endophytic fungus capable of breaking down and digesting polyurethane.[1] Originally identified in 1880 in fallen foliage of common ivy (Hedera helix) in Buenos Aires,[2] it also causes leaf spot in Hypericum 'Hidcote' (Hypericum patulum) shrubs in Japan.[3]

However, its polyurethane degradation activity was discovered only in the 2010s in two distinct P. microspora strains isolated from plant stems in the Yasuni National Forest within the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest by a group of student researchers led by molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel as part of Yale's annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory. It is the first fungus species found to be able to subsist on polyurethane in anaerobic conditions. This makes the fungus a potential candidate for bioremediation projects involving large quantities of plastic.[4]

Pestalotiopsis microspora was originally described from Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1880 by mycologist Carlo Luigi Spegazzini, who named it Pestalotia microspora.[5]

In 1996 Julie C. Lee first isolated Torreyanic acid, a dimeric quinone, from P. microspora, and noted that the species is likely the cause of the decline of Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia), an endangered species of a tree that is related to the paclitaxel-producing yew tree Taxus brevifolia.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonathan R. Russell; Jeffrey Huang; Pria Anand; Kaury Kucera; Amanda G. Sandoval; Kathleen W. Dantzler; DaShawn Hickman; Justin Jee; Farrah M. Kimovec; David Koppstein; Daniel H. Marks; Paul A. Mittermiller; Salvador Joel Núñez; Marina Santiago; Maria A. Townes; Michael Vishnevetsky; Neely E. Williams; Mario Percy Núñez Vargas; Lori-Ann Boulanger; Carol Bascom-Slack & Scott A. Strobel (15 July 2011). "Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77 (17): 6076–6084. Bibcode:2011ApEnM..77.6076R. doi:10.1128/AEM.00521-11. ISSN 1098-5336. PMC 3165411. PMID 21764951.
  2. ^ Saccardo, Pier Andrea (1882–1931). Sylloge fungorum omnium hucusque cognitorum (in Latin). Vol. 3. Patavii, sumptibus auctoris. p. 789. OL 7025165M.
  3. ^ Zhang, M.; Wu, H.Y.; Tsukiboshi, T.; Okabe, I. (August 2010). "First Report of Pestalotiopsis microspora Causing Leaf Spot of Hidcote (Hypericum patulum) in Japan". Plant Disease. 94 (8): 1064. doi:10.1094/PDIS-94-8-1064B. PMID 30743469.
  4. ^ Anderson, Stacey (December 15, 2014). "The Plastic-Eating Fungi That Could Solve Our Garbage Problem". Newsweek. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  5. ^ Spegazzini, C.L. (1880). "Fungi argentini. Pugillus secundus (Continuacion)". Anales de la Sociedad Científica Argentina (in Latin). 10: 5–33.
  6. ^ Lee, Julie C.; et al. (1996). "Torreyanic Acid: A Selectively Cytotoxic Quinone Dimer from the Endophytic Fungus Pestalotiopsis microspora". The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 61 (10): 3232–3233. doi:10.1021/jo960471x.

External links[edit]