Biology 2014, 3(3), 466-483; doi:10.3390/biology3030466
Article

The Distribution and Identity of Edaphic Fungi in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

1email, 1email and 1,2,* email
Received: 23 May 2014; in revised form: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Microbiology: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives)
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Abstract: Contrary to earlier assumptions, molecular evidence has demonstrated the presence of diverse and localized soil bacterial communities in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether fungal signals so far detected in Dry Valley soils using both culture-based and molecular techniques represent adapted and ecologically active biomass or spores transported by wind. Through a systematic and quantitative molecular survey, we identified significant heterogeneities in soil fungal communities across the Dry Valleys that robustly correlate with heterogeneities in soil physicochemical properties. Community fingerprinting analysis and 454 pyrosequencing of the fungal ribosomal intergenic spacer region revealed different levels of heterogeneity in fungal diversity within individual Dry Valleys and a surprising abundance of Chytridiomycota species, whereas previous studies suggested that Dry Valley soils were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Critically, we identified significant differences in fungal community composition and structure of adjacent sites with no obvious barrier to aeolian transport between them. These findings suggest that edaphic fungi of the Antarctic Dry Valleys are adapted to local environments and represent an ecologically relevant (and possibly important) heterotrophic component of the ecosystem.
Keywords: Antarctica; fungi; Dry Valleys; soil; biogeography; microbial ecology
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dreesens, L.L.; Lee, C.K.; Cary, S.C. The Distribution and Identity of Edaphic Fungi in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Biology 2014, 3, 466-483.

AMA Style

Dreesens LL, Lee CK, Cary SC. The Distribution and Identity of Edaphic Fungi in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Biology. 2014; 3(3):466-483.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dreesens, Lisa L.; Lee, Charles K.; Cary, S. C. 2014. "The Distribution and Identity of Edaphic Fungi in the McMurdo Dry Valleys." Biology 3, no. 3: 466-483.


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