Fungal diversity in maritime Antarctic soils determined using a combination of culture isolation, molecular fingerprinting and cloning techniques

E. Malosso, I.S. Waite, L. English, D.W. Hopkins, A.G. O'Donnell

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The diversity and phylogenetic relationships of fungi obtained from Antarctic soils were analysed using molecular techniques. Direct extraction of soil community DNA from two locations, Fossil Bluff (FB) and Jane Col (JC), was supplemented with isolation studies. Nucleic acids from both the community DNA and the colony extracts were PCR amplified using primers specific for the 18S rRNA gene (18S rDNA). Amplicons were separated in denaturant gels (DGGE) or following endonuclease digestion (ARDRA). Clones presenting unique ARDRA banding patterns and unique DGGE bands were sequenced. Comparison of the experimental sequences from the different techniques employed with those held online resulted in the repeated recovery of a limited range of related organisms indicating low species diversity of microfungi in these soils. A total of 102 fungal sequences were obtained from FB (37 sequences) and JC (65 sequences) that together were distributed among the Basidiomycota (48 sequences), Ascomycota (48 sequences) and Zygomycota (6 sequences). Sequences of the latter were only recovered from the JC soils. Phylogenetic comparisons of the experimental sequences with those held online have shown high rRNA gene relatedness with those obtained from other, less extreme, environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-561
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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