Polar Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 749–757 | Cite as

Searching for eukaryotic life preserved in Antarctic permafrost

  • L. Zucconi
  • L. Selbmann
  • P. Buzzini
  • B. Turchetti
  • M. Guglielmin
  • J. C. Frisvad
  • S. Onofri
Original Paper


Fungi and yeasts isolated in pure culture from Antarctic permafrost collected at different depths in the McMurdo Dry Valleys were identified with cultural, physiological and molecular methods. Fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Eurotium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Engyodonthium, Aureobasidium, Cordyceps, Rhizopus and yeasts to the genera Cryptococcus and Sporidiobolus. All the strains can be defined as mesophilic psychrotolerant. The molecular analyses revealed that these fungal genotypes do not deviate from the global gene pool of fungi commonly spreading worldwide at present, but possible ancestral strains have been found on the base of metabolic profiles.


Antarctica Fungi Yeasts Metabolic profiles UV 



These studies were carried out within the framework of the Italian National Programme for Research in Antarctica (PNRA). Authors deeply thank Prof. Ann Vaughan-Martini for her precious scientific and technical skill in the course of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Zucconi
    • 1
  • L. Selbmann
    • 1
  • P. Buzzini
    • 2
  • B. Turchetti
    • 2
  • M. Guglielmin
    • 3
  • J. C. Frisvad
    • 4
  • S. Onofri
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Ecologiche e BiologicheUniversità degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università sncViterboItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biologia Applicata e Collezione Industriale dei Lieviti DBVPGUniversità di PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Biologia Funzionale e StrutturaleUniversità dell’InsubriaVareseItaly
  4. 4.Center for Microbial Biotechnology, Department of Systems BiologyTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark

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