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Roof-Inhabiting Cousins of Rock-Inhabiting Fungi: Novel Melanized Microcolonial Fungal Species from Photocatalytically Reactive Subaerial Surfaces

1
Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, and Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
3
Italian National Antarctic Museum, Mycological Section, 16128 Genoa, Italy
4
Department 4 Materials and Environment, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), 12205 Berlin, Germany
5
Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology (EVOGENE), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, 0371 Oslo, Norway
6
Department of Earth Sciences & Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi from Extreme Environments)
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Abstract

Subaerial biofilms (SAB) are an important factor in weathering, biofouling, and biodeterioration of bare rocks, building materials, and solar panel surfaces. The realm of SAB is continually widened by modern materials, and the settlers on these exposed solid surfaces always include melanized, stress-tolerant microcolonial ascomycetes. After their first discovery on desert rock surfaces, these melanized chaetothyrialean and dothidealean ascomycetes have been found on Mediterranean monuments after biocidal treatments, Antarctic rocks and solar panels. New man-made modifications of surfaces (e.g., treatment with biocides or photocatalytically active layers) accommodate the exceptional stress-tolerance of microcolonial fungi and thus further select for this well-protected ecological group. Melanized fungal strains were isolated from a microbial community that developed on highly photocatalytic roof tiles after a long-term environmental exposure in a maritime-influenced region in northwestern Germany. Four of the isolated strains are described here as a novel species, Constantinomyces oldenburgensis, based on multilocus ITS, LSU, RPB2 gene phylogeny. Their closest relative is a still-unnamed rock-inhabiting strain TRN431, here described as C. patonensis. Both species cluster in Capnodiales, among typical melanized microcolonial rock fungi from different stress habitats, including Antarctica. These novel strains flourish in hostile conditions of highly oxidizing material surfaces, and shall be used in reference procedures in material testing. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcolonial fungi; multilocus phylogeny; photocatalytic surfaces; subaerial biofilms; stress tolerance; Constantinomyces microcolonial fungi; multilocus phylogeny; photocatalytic surfaces; subaerial biofilms; stress tolerance; Constantinomyces
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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

Ruibal, C.; Selbmann, L.; Avci, S.; Martin-Sanchez, P.M.; Gorbushina, A.A. Roof-Inhabiting Cousins of Rock-Inhabiting Fungi: Novel Melanized Microcolonial Fungal Species from Photocatalytically Reactive Subaerial Surfaces. Life 2018, 8, 30.

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