Genomic Characterization of Parengyodontium torokii sp. nov., a Biofilm-Forming Fungus Isolated from Mars 2020 Assembly Facility

Ceth W. Parker, Marcus de Melo Teixeira, Nitin K. Singh, Huzefa A. Raja, Kristof B. Cank, Giada Spigolon, Nicholas H. Oberlies, Bridget M. Barker, Jason E. Stajich, Christopher E. Mason, Kasthuri Venkateswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A fungal strain (FJII-L10-SW-P1) was isolated from the Mars 2020 spacecraft assembly facility and exhibited biofilm formation on spacecraft-qualified Teflon surfaces. The reconstruction of a six-loci gene tree (ITS, LSU, SSU, RPB1 and RPB2, and TEF1) using multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analyses of the strain FJII-L10-SW-P1 supported a close relationship to other known Parengyodontium album subclade 3 isolates while being phylogenetically distinct from subclade 1 strains. The zig-zag rachides morphology of the conidiogenous cells and spindle-shaped conidia were the distinct morphological characteristics of the P. album subclade 3 strains. The MLST data and morphological analysis supported the conclusion that the P. album subclade 3 strains could be classified as a new species of the genus Parengyodontium and placed in the family Cordycipitaceae. The name Parengyodontium torokii sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate the strain, with FJII-L10-SW-P1 as the holotype. The genome of the FJII-L10-SW-P1 strain was sequenced, annotated, and the secondary metabolite clusters were identified. Genes predicted to be responsible for biofilm formation and adhesion to surfaces were identified. Homology-based assignment of gene ontologies to the predicted proteome of P. torokii revealed the presence of gene clusters responsible for synthesizing several metabolic compounds, including a cytochalasin that was also verified using traditional metabolomic analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Biofilm
  • Fungi
  • Genomics
  • Mars 2020 mission
  • Metabolomics
  • Morphological analysis
  • Phylogenetic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Microbiology (medical)


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