, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 259-266
Date: 10 Feb 2012

Species diversity of keratinophilic fungi in various soil types

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Keratinophilic fungi are a highly specialized, keratin-degrading ecological group. They live in natural environments, mostly in the keratinrich remains of dead animal in the soil. We investigated species diversity in four types of soils with different physico-chemical properties. The strain material was identified based on morphological characters. Different representatives of Chrysosporium and geophilic dermatophytes dominated depending on soil pH. Geophilic dermatophytes were represented by one species, Trichophyton ajelloi, and the Chrysosporium group was represented by Chrysosporium keratinophilum. The frequency of Trichophyton ajelloi increased with an increase in pH, and it reached the maximum in strongly acidic soil (podzol), unlike the Chrysosporium group. The frequency of Chrysosporium keratinophilum was positively correlated with the content of humus, nitrogen, CaCO3 and phosphorus in the soils.