Early diverging lineages within Cryptomycota and Chytridiomycota dominate the fungal communities in ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
Rojas Jiménez, Keilor Osvaldo
Bourne, Elizabeth Charlotte
Priscu, John C.
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Antarctic ice-covered lakes are exceptional sites for studying the ecology of aquatic fungi under conditions of minimal human disturbance. In this study, we explored the diversity and community composition of fungi in five permanently covered lake basins located in the Taylor and Miers Valleys of Antarctica. Based on analysis of the 18S rRNA sequences, we showed that fungal taxa represented between 0.93% and 60.32% of the eukaryotic sequences. Cryptomycota and Chytridiomycota dominated the fungal communities in all lakes; however, members of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Zygomycota, and Blastocladiomycota were also present. Of the 1313 fungal OTUs identified, the two most abundant, belonging to LKM11 and Chytridiaceae, comprised 74% of the sequences. Significant differences in the community structure were determined among lakes, water depths, habitat features (i.e., brackish vs. freshwaters), and nucleic acids (DNA vs. RNA), suggesting niche differentiation. Network analysis suggested the existence of strong relationships among specific fungal phylotypes as well as between fungi and other eukaryotes. This study sheds light on the biology and ecology of basal fungi in aquatic systems. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the predominance of early diverging lineages of fungi in pristine limnetic ecosystems, particularly of the enigmatic phylum Cryptomycota.
External link to the item10.1038/s41598-017-15598-w
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