Fungi present in Antarctic deep-sea sediments assessed using DNA metabarcoding

We assessed fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments obtained from different depths in the Southern Ocean using the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA bymetabarcoding through high-throughput sequencing (HTS). We detected 655,991 DNA reads representing 263 fungal amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), dominated by Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, Mucoromycota, Chytridiomycota and Rozellomycota, confirming that deep-sea sediments can represent a hotspot of fungal diversity in Antarctica. The community diversity detected included 17 dominant fungal ASVs, 62 intermediate and 213 rare. The dominant fungi included taxa of Mortierella, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Pseudogymnoascus, Phaeosphaeria and Torula. Despite the extreme conditions of the Southern Ocean benthos, the total fungal community detected in these marine sediments displayed high indices of diversity and richness, and moderate dominance, which varied between the different depths sampled. The highest diversity indices were obtained in sediments from 550 m and 250 m depths. Only 49 ASVs (18.63%) were detected at all the depths sampled, while 16 ASVs were detected only in the deepest sediment sampled at 1463 m. Based on sequence identities, the fungal community included some globally distributed taxa, primarily recorded otherwise from terrestrial environments, suggesting transport from these to deep marine sediments. The assigned taxa included symbionts, decomposers and plant-, animal- and human-pathogenic fungi, suggesting that deep-sea sediments host a complex fungal diversity, although metabarcoding does not itself confirm that living or viable organisms are present.


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Authors: Ogaki, Mayara Baptistucci, Pinto, Otávio Henrique Bezerra, Vieira, Rosemary, Neto, Arthur Ayres, Convey, Peter ORCIDORCID record for Peter Convey, Carvalho-Silva, Micheline, Rosa, Carlos Augusto, Câmara, Paulo E.A.S., Rosa, Luiz Henrique

On this site: Peter Convey
6 January, 2021
Microbial Ecology / 82
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