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Article

Adapting an Ergosterol Extraction Method with Marine Yeasts for the Quantification of Oceanic Fungal Biomass

1
Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Microbial Oceanography Working Group, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Agrobiotechnology (IFA-Tulln), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), 3430 Tulln, Austria
3
Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), University of Utrecht, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wei Li
J. Fungi 2021, 7(9), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090690
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 23 August 2021 / Accepted: 24 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fungus)
Ergosterol has traditionally been used as a proxy to estimate fungal biomass as it is almost exclusively found in fungal lipid membranes. Ergosterol determination has been mostly used for fungal samples from terrestrial, freshwater, salt marsh- and mangrove-dominated environments or to describe fungal degradation of plant matter. In the open ocean, however, the expected concentrations of ergosterol are orders of magnitude lower than in terrestrial or macrophyte-dominated coastal systems. Consequently, the fungal biomass in the open ocean remains largely unknown. Recent evidence based on microscopy and -omics techniques suggests, however, that fungi contribute substantially to the microbial biomass in the oceanic water column, highlighting the need to accurately determine fungal biomass in the open ocean. We performed ergosterol extractions of an oceanic fungal isolate (Rhodotorula sphaerocarpa) with biomass concentrations varying over nine orders of magnitude. While after the initial chloroform-methanol extraction ~87% of the ergosterol was recovered, a second extraction recovered an additional ~10%. Testing this extraction method on samples collected from the open Atlantic Ocean, we successfully determined ergosterol concentrations as low as 0.12 pM. Thus, this highly sensitive method is well suited for measuring fungal biomass from open ocean waters, including deep-sea environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine fungi; chloroform-methanol extraction; HPLC-UV; LC-MS/MS; ergosterol; pelagic fungal biomass marine fungi; chloroform-methanol extraction; HPLC-UV; LC-MS/MS; ergosterol; pelagic fungal biomass
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salazar Alekseyeva, K.; Mähnert, B.; Berthiller, F.; Breyer, E.; Herndl, G.J.; Baltar, F. Adapting an Ergosterol Extraction Method with Marine Yeasts for the Quantification of Oceanic Fungal Biomass. J. Fungi 2021, 7, 690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090690

AMA Style

Salazar Alekseyeva K, Mähnert B, Berthiller F, Breyer E, Herndl GJ, Baltar F. Adapting an Ergosterol Extraction Method with Marine Yeasts for the Quantification of Oceanic Fungal Biomass. Journal of Fungi. 2021; 7(9):690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090690

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salazar Alekseyeva, Katherine, Barbara Mähnert, Franz Berthiller, Eva Breyer, Gerhard J. Herndl, and Federico Baltar. 2021. "Adapting an Ergosterol Extraction Method with Marine Yeasts for the Quantification of Oceanic Fungal Biomass" Journal of Fungi 7, no. 9: 690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090690

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