Yeast forms dominate fungal diversity in the deep oceans


Bass, David, Howe, Alexis, Brown, Nick, Barton, Hannah, Demidova, Maria, Michelle, Harlan, Li, Lily, Sanders, Holly, Watkinson, Sarah C , Willcock, Simon and Richards, Thomas A. (2007) Yeast forms dominate fungal diversity in the deep oceans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274, (1629), 3069-3077. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1067). (PMID:17939990).

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Description/Abstract

Fungi are the principal degraders of biomass in most terrestrial ecosystems. In contrast to surface environments, deep-sea environmental gene libraries have suggested that fungi are rare and non-diverse in high-pressure marine environments. Here, we report the diversity of fungi from 11 deep-sea samples from around the world representing depths from 1500 to 4000 m (146–388 atm) and two shallower water column samples (250 and 500 m). We sequenced 239 clones from 10 fungal-specific 18S rRNA gene libraries constructed from these samples, from which we detected only 18 fungal 18S-types in deep-sea samples. Our phylogenetic analyses show that a total of only 32 fungal 18S-types have so far been recovered from deep-sea habitats, and our results suggest that fungi, in general, are relatively rare in the deep-sea habitats we sampled. The fungal diversity detected suggests that deep-sea environments host an evolutionarily diverse array of fungi dominated by groups of distantly related yeasts, although four putative filamentous fungal 18S-types were detected. The majority of our new sequences branch close to known fungi found in surface environments. This pattern contradicts the proposal that deep-sea and hydrothermal vent habitats represent ancient ecosystems, and demonstrates a history of frequent dispersal between terrestrial and deep-sea habitats

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0962-8452 (print)
1471-2954 (electronic)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Biological Sciences > Environmental
ePrint ID: 342536
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2012 13:56
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:25
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/342536

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