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), pp. 3069-3077. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1067). (PMID:17939990).


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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
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1067
ISSNs: 1471-2954 (print)
Organisations: Environmental
ePrint ID: 342536
Date :
Date Event
December 2007Published
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2012 13:56
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 16:39
Further Information:Google Scholar

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