The Mycobiota of the Salterns

  • Janja Zajc
  • Polona Zalar
  • Ana Plemenitaš
  • Nina Gunde-Cimerman
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 53)


Solar salterns are constructed as shallow multi-pond systems for the production of halite through evaporation of seawater. The main feature of salterns is the discontinuous salinity gradient that provides a range of well-defined habitats with increasing salinities, from moderate to hypersaline. These present one of the most extreme environments, because of the low levels of biologically available water and the toxic concentrations of ions. Up to the year 2000, hypersaline environments were considered to be populated almost exclusively by prokaryotic microorganisms till fungi were reported to be active inhabitants of solar salterns. Since then, numerous fungal species have been described in hypersaline waters around the world. The mycobiota of salterns is represented by different species of the genus Cladosporium and the related meristematic melanized black yeasts, of non-melanized yeasts, of the filamentous genera Penicillium and Aspergillus and their teleomorphic forms (Eurotium and Emericella), and of the basidiomycetous genus Wallemia. Among these, two species became new model organisms for studying the mechanisms of extreme salt tolerance: the extremely halotolerant ascomycetous black yeast Hortaea werneckii and the obligate halophilic basidiomycete Wallemia ichthyophaga.


Dominican Republic Hypersaline Environment Hypersaline Water Black Yeast Pichia Guilliermondii 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The scientific studies integral to this report were financed partly through the “Centre of Excellence for Integrated Approaches in Chemistry and Biology of Proteins” (No. OP13. of the European Regional Development (30%), partly by the Slovenian Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (35%), and partly by the Slovenian Research Agency (35%).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janja Zajc
    • 1
  • Polona Zalar
    • 1
  • Ana Plemenitaš
    • 2
  • Nina Gunde-Cimerman
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Centre of Excellence for Integrated Approaches in Chemistry and Biology of Proteins (CIPKeBiP)LjubljanaSlovenia

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