Marine Fungi for Sustainable Development

  • V. Venkateswara Sarma


Marine fungi are an ecologically unified group but are taxonomically diverse. They occur on wood, sediments, algae (seaweeds), dead corals, calcareous tubes of mollusks, decaying leaves, seedlings, prop roots and pneumatophores of mangroves, intertidal grasses, and living animals. Fungi that develop reproductive propagules on natural substrata (plant or animal) are considered as obligate marine fungi, and those that are isolated from soil or water samples of marine environments which sprout in the agar plates under artificial conditions are considered as facultative marine fungi. Many in the first group have special structures such as sheaths and appendages on their propagules (spores and conidia) which help them in attaching to different substrata. The fungi of the second group are predominantly comprised of aspergilli/penicilli. Marine fungi play an important role in the nutrient regeneration cycles by degrading and decaying the dead organic matter; thus they are involved in the production of organic detritus that supports a large animal community. Besides the wood borers and bacteria, the fungi are major decomposers of woody and herbaceous substrata that enter into the marine ecosystems. These aspects have been reviewed in this chapter. Also in recent times various biotechnological applications of marine fungi have been studied including their enzymatic potential and secondary metabolite production, which also have been discussed. Finally, recommendations have been provided for future research.


Decomposition Enzymes Mangroves Nutrient recycling Secondary metabolites 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Venkateswara Sarma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyPondicherry UniversityPondicherryIndia

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