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Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(3), 59; doi:10.3390/md14030059

Aspergillus Sydowii Marine Fungal Bloom in Australian Coastal Waters, Its Metabolites and Potential Impact on Symbiodinium Dinoflagellates

1
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7004, Australia
2
Microbial Screening Technologies, Building A, 28-54 Percival Rd, Smithfield NSW 2164, Australia
3
CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Ecosciences Precinct, Brisbane, Queensland 4102, Australia
4
Centre for Applications in Natural Resource Mathematics, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
5
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Samuel Bertrand and Olivier Grovel
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
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Abstract

Dust has been widely recognised as an important source of nutrients in the marine environment and as a vector for transporting pathogenic microorganisms. Disturbingly, in the wake of a dust storm event along the eastern Australian coast line in 2009, the Continuous Plankton Recorder collected masses of fungal spores and mycelia (~150,000 spores/m3) forming a floating raft that covered a coastal area equivalent to 25 times the surface of England. Cultured A. sydowii strains exhibited varying metabolite profiles, but all produced sydonic acid, a chemotaxonomic marker for A. sydowii. The Australian marine fungal strains share major metabolites and display comparable metabolic diversity to Australian terrestrial strains and to strains pathogenic to Caribbean coral. Secondary colonisation of the rafts by other fungi, including strains of Cladosporium, Penicillium and other Aspergillus species with distinct secondary metabolite profiles, was also encountered. Our bioassays revealed that the dust-derived marine fungal extracts and known A. sydowii metabolites such as sydowic acid, sydowinol and sydowinin A adversely affect photophysiological performance (Fv/Fm) of the coral reef dinoflagellate endosymbiont Symbiodinium. Different Symbiodinium clades exhibited varying sensitivities, mimicking sensitivity to coral bleaching phenomena. The detection of such large amounts of A. sydowii following this dust storm event has potential implications for the health of coral environments such as the Great Barrier Reef. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus sydowii; Symbiodinium; secondary metabolites; sydonic acid; sydowinin; sydowinol; sydonol; coral disease; maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) Aspergillus sydowii; Symbiodinium; secondary metabolites; sydonic acid; sydowinin; sydowinol; sydonol; coral disease; maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayashi, A.; Crombie, A.; Lacey, E.; Richardson, A.J.; Vuong, D.; Piggott, A.M.; Hallegraeff, G. Aspergillus Sydowii Marine Fungal Bloom in Australian Coastal Waters, Its Metabolites and Potential Impact on Symbiodinium Dinoflagellates. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 59.

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