Diversity of culturable filamentous Ascomycetes in the eastern South Pacific Ocean off Chile
Our study reports the diversity of culturable mycoplankton in the eastern South Pacific Ocean off Chile to contribute with novel knowledge on taxonomy of filamentous fungi isolated from distinct physicochemical and biological marine environments. We characterized spatial distribution of isolates, evaluated their viability and assessed the influence of organic substrate availability on fungal development. Thirty-nine Operational Taxonomic Units were identified from 99 fungal strains isolated from coastal and oceanic waters by using Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery. All Operational Taxonomic Units belonged to phylum Ascomycota and orders Eurotiales, Dothideales, Sordariales and Hypocreales, mainly Penicillium sp. (82%); 11 sequences did not match existing species in GenBank, suggesting occurrence of novel fungal taxa. Our results suggest that fungal communities in the South Pacific Ocean off Chile appear to thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions in the ocean and that substrate availability may be a factor influencing fungal viability in the ocean.
KeywordsAscomycota Eastern South Pacific Ocean Marine fungi Mycoplankton Penicillium
This research was funded by COPAS Sur-Austral (CONICYT PIA PFB31). We are thankful to the Coastal Time Series Oceanographic Station (Station 18) of the Center for Oceanographic Research in the eastern South Pacific for sampling collection and ancillary data, to the Cruise BiG-RAPA 2010: The Biogeochemical Gradients-Role in Arranging Planktonic Assemblages and chief scientist Dan Repeta. We also wish to thank Lilian Nuñez and Eduardo Tejos from the Marine Organic Geochemistry laboratory, and the crew of R/V Kay–Kay II for their help in both laboratory and fieldwork. We acknowledge the valuable academic support of Professor Dr. Renato Quiñones as member of Ph.D. Committee Thesis of JV. SP acknowledges the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Studies), Delmenhorst, Germany, for a fellowship in support of this research.
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