Diversity, distribution and ecology of fungal community present in Antarctic lake sediments uncovered by DNA metabarcoding
We assessed fungal diversity in sediments obtained from four lakes in the South Shetland Islands and James Ross Island, Antarctica, using DNA metabarcoding. We detected 218 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) dominated by the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, Mucoromycota and Chytridiomycota. In addition, the rare phyla Aphelidiomycota, Basidiobolomycota, Blastocladiomycota, Monoblepharomycota, Rozellomycota and Zoopagomycota as well as fungal-like Straminopila belonging to the phyla Bacillariophyta and Oomycota were detected. The fungal assemblages were dominated by unknown fungal taxa (Fungal sp. 1 and Fungal sp. 2), followed by Talaromyces rubicundus and Dactylonectria anthuriicola. In general, they displayed high diversity, richness and moderate dominance. Sequences representing saprophytic, pathogenic and symbiotic fungi were detected, including the phytopathogenic fungus D. anthuriicola that was abundant, in the relatively young Soto Lake on Deception Island. The lake sediments studied contained the DNA of rich, diverse and complex fungal communities, including both fungi commonly reported in Antarctica and other taxa considered to be rare. However, as the study was based on the use of environmental DNA, which does not unequivocally confirm the presence of active or viable organisms, further studies using other approaches such as shotgun sequencing are required to elucidate the ecology of fungi in these Antarctic lake sediments.
Authors: de Souza, Láuren Machado Drumond, Lirio, Juan Manuel, Coria, Silvia H., Lopes, Fabyano Alvares Cardoso, Convey, Peter ORCID record for Peter Convey, Carvalho-Silva, Micheline, de Oliveira, Fábio Soares, Rosa, Carlos Augusto, Câmara, Paulo E.A.S., Rosa, Luiz Henrique