MSA - Ecology/Pathology
Tkavc, Rok , Zalar, Polona , Cantrell, Sharon A. , Gunde-Cimerman, Nina .
Fungal communities in microbial mats in Adriatic Sečovlje salterns (Slovenia).
Sečovlje salterns (Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic sea, Slovenia) are traditional, man-made eutrophic solar salterns originating from the 13th century. In this system of ponds sea water gradually evaporates and different salts concentrate and precipitate. When NaCl concentration reaches the point of saturation (above 25%), it begins to crystallize. This environment is extreme on account of several abiotic factors: high salinity, high exposure to UV-light and changing temperatures that can reach 40 °C and more. The bottom of the evaporation ponds is covered with microbial mats. The most famous one, which covers the bottom of the crystallizers in Sečovlje salterns, called "petola", has been continously cultivated since 14th century. Till recently it was widely accepted that in this extreme environment only Bacteria and Archaea can survive. Over the last 10 years we have been investigating extremely halotolerant mycobiota in hypersaline water. Recently we focused on fungi inhabiting "petola" and other microbial mats in this hypersaline environment. Results from temperate salterns in Sečovlje were compared with data obtained from tropical mats in natural salt flats in Puerto Rico (Fraternidad, Candelaria and Combate) and oligotrophic salterns on the Red sea in Israel (Eilat). In all cases we used classical (cultivation) and molecuar approach (TTGE, amplification and sequencing of phylogenetic markers, clone libraries). By aerobic and microaerophilic cultivation we isolated different filamentous ascomycetes, mainly belonging to the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Cladosporium. Profiling of microbial communities using TTGE showed distinctive clustering regarding the type of salterns and location. Since extremophilic fungi as well as their role in microbial mats were overlooked till recently, these data represent an important contribution to fungal ecology.
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1 - University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Biology Department, Vecna pot 111, Ljubljana, SI-1000, Slovenia
2 - University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Biology Department, Vecna pot 111, Ljubljana, SI-1000, Slovenia
3 - Universidad del Turabo, Department of Biology, School of Science and Technology , P.O. Box 3030, Gurabo, PR, 00778, Puerto Rico
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM