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Diversity Patterns, Ecology and Biological Activities of Fungal Communities Associated with the Endemic Macroalgae Across the Antarctic Peninsula

Laura E. Furbino, Valéria M. Godinho, Iara F. Santiago, Franciane M. Pellizari, Tânia M. A. Alves, Carlos L. Zani, Policarpo A. S. Junior, Alvaro J. Romanha, Amanda G. O. Carvalho, Laura H. V. G. Gil, Carlos A. Rosa, Andrew M. Minnis, Luiz H. Rosa
Microbial ecology 2014 v.67 no.4 pp. 775-787
Monostroma, bioactive properties, climate change, drugs, fungal communities, fungi, macroalgae, models, niches, Antarctic region, Antarctica
We surveyed diversity patterns and engaged in bioprospecting for bioactive compounds of fungi associated with the endemic macroalgae, Monostroma hariotii and Pyropia endiviifolia, in Antarctica. A total of 239 fungal isolates were obtained, which were identified to represent 48 taxa and 18 genera using molecular methods. The fungal communities consisted of endemic, indigenous and cold-adapted cosmopolitan taxa, which displayed high diversity and richness, but low dominance indices. The extracts of endemic and cold-adapted fungi displayed biological activities and may represent sources of promising prototype molecules to develop drugs. Our results suggest that macroalgae along the marine Antarctic Peninsula provide additional niches where fungal taxa can survive and coexist with their host in the extreme conditions. We hypothesise that the dynamics of richness and dominance among endemic, indigenous and cold-adapted cosmopolitan fungal taxa might be used to understand and model the influence of climate change on the maritime Antarctic mycota.