Unusual fungal niches
Cantrell, Sharon A. , Acevedo, Manuel , Duval, Lisabeth , Gunde-Cimerman, Nina , Soler, Manuel , Tkavc, Rok .
Fungal signatures from hypersaline microbial mats.
Microbial mats are a laminated organo-sedimentary ecosystem, found in a wide range of habitats. Fluctuating diel and seasonal physicochemical gradients characterize these ecosystems, resulting in both strata and microenvironments that harbor specific microbial communities. We have used traditional and molecular techniques (TRFLP, TTGE and cloning) to document the presence of fungi within tropical and temperate hypersaline microbial mats. In this study we evaluate how the fungal community changes through time and space, and its possible role in the degradation of complex carbohydrates (EPS). Microbial mat samples were taken from April 2006 to January 2008 in two natural lagoons in Puerto Rico, and in Slovenia from May to September 2008. Traditional and molecular techniques show strong spatial and temporal heterogeneities. Higher abundance of isolates and phylotypes are observed during the wet season and diversity decrease from the top (oxic) to the bottom (anoxic) layers. Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium are among the more common species detected with both traditional and molecular techniques, while Acremonium species have been detected only by cloning. Enrichments of mat slurries and xanthan (a model EPS) without antibiotics (full community), show faster degradation than enrichments with antibiotics (fungal community). This suggests that the degradation may be the result of the consortium of organisms (bacteria and fungi) that characterize these ecosystems. Our research suggests that fungi thrive in these hypersaline consortia and may participate in the carbon cycle through the degradation of complex carbohydrates.
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1 - Universidad del Turabo, Department of Biology, School of Science and Technology , P.O. Box 3030, Gurabo, PR, 00778, Puerto Rico
2 - University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Biology Department, Vecna pot 111, Ljubljana, SI-1000, Slovenia
3 - University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Biology Department, Vecna pot 111, Ljubljana, SI-1000, Slovenia
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom 1/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 3:00 PM