Communities of culturable freshwater fungi present in Antarctic lakes and detection of their low-temperature-active enzymes
We evaluated the diversity and enzymatic activities of culturable fungi recovered from cotton baits submerged for 2 years in Hennequin Lake, King George Island, and from benthic biofilms in Kroner Lake, Deception Island, South Shetland Islands, maritime Antarctica. A total of 154 fungal isolates were obtained, representing in rank abundance the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Mortierellomycota. Thelebolus globosus, Goffeauzyma sp., Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus and Metschnikowia australis were the most abundant taxa. The fungal community obtained from the biofilm was more diverse and richer than that recovered from the cotton baits. However, diversity indices suggested that the lakes may harbour further fungal diversity. The capabilities of all cultured fungi to produce the extracellular enzymes cellulase, protease, lipase, agarase, carrageenase, invertase, amylase, esterase, pectinase, inulinase and gelatinase at low temperature were evaluated. All enzymes were detected, but the most widely produced were protease and pectinase. The best enzymatic indices were obtained from Holtermanniella wattica (for invertase, esterase), Goffeauzyma sp. (amylase), Metschnikowia australis (protease), Mrakia blollopis (cellulase, pectinase), Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus (agarase, carrageenase) and Leucosporidium fragarium (inulinase). The detection of multiple enzymes reinforces the ecological role of fungi in nutrient cycling in Antarctic lakes, making nutrients available to the complex aquatic food web. Furthermore, such low-temperature-active enzymes may find application in different biotechnological processes, such as in the textile, pharmaceutical, food, detergent and paper industries, as well as environmental application in pollutant bioremediation processes.
Authors: de Souza, Láuren Machado Drumond, Ogaki, Mayara Bapstitucci, Teixeira, Elisa Amorim Amâncio, de Menezes, Graciéle Cunha Alves, Convey, Peter ORCID record for Peter Convey, Rosa, Carlos Augusto, Rosa, Luiz Henrique