Next Article in Journal
phylotaR: An Automated Pipeline for Retrieving Orthologous DNA Sequences from GenBank in R
Next Article in Special Issue
Big Sound and Extreme Fungi—Xerophilic, Halotolerant Aspergilli and Penicillia with Low Optimal Temperature as Invaders of Historic Pipe Organs
Previous Article in Journal
Data-Driven Astrochemistry: One Step Further within the Origin of Life Puzzle
Previous Article in Special Issue
Fungal Diversity in Lichens: From Extremotolerance to Interactions with Algae
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Sun Exposure Shapes Functional Grouping of Fungi in Cryptoendolithic Antarctic Communities

Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo 01100, Italy
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA), Mycological Section, Genoa 16166, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi from Extreme Environments)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2410 KB, uploaded 2 June 2018]   |  


Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial communities dominate ice-free areas of continental Antarctica, among the harshest environments on Earth. The endolithic lifestyle is a remarkable adaptation to the exceptional environmental extremes of this area, which is considered the closest terrestrial example to conditions on Mars. Recent efforts have attempted to elucidate composition of these extremely adapted communities, but the functionality of these microbes have remained unexplored. We have tested for interactions between measured environmental characteristics, fungal community membership, and inferred functional classification of the fungi present and found altitude and sun exposure were primary factors. Sandstone rocks were collected in Victoria Land, Antarctica along an altitudinal gradient from 834 to 3100 m a.s.l.; differently sun-exposed rocks were selected to test the influence of this parameter on endolithic settlement. Metabarcoding targeting the fungal internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1) was used to catalogue the species found in these communities. Functional profile of guilds found in the samples was associated to species using FUNGuild and variation in functional groups compared across sunlight exposure and altitude. Results revealed clear dominance of lichenized and stress-tolerant fungi in endolithic communities. The main variations in composition and abundance of functional groups among sites correlated to sun exposure, but not to altitude. View Full-Text
Keywords: Antarctica; endolithic communities; fungal ecology; FUNGuild; ITS metabarcoding Antarctica; endolithic communities; fungal ecology; FUNGuild; ITS metabarcoding

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Coleine, C.; Zucconi, L.; Onofri, S.; Pombubpa, N.; Stajich, J.E.; Selbmann, L. Sun Exposure Shapes Functional Grouping of Fungi in Cryptoendolithic Antarctic Communities. Life 2018, 8, 19.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Life EISSN 2075-1729 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top