|Title||Fungal molecular diversity of a Puerto Rican subtropical hypersaline microbial mat|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Cantrell, SA, Baez-Felix, C|
|Keywords||Acremonium, Biodiversity, Caribbean, Cladosporium, Greater Antilles, Halophilic fungi, ITS, Salterns, TRFLP|
Fungi have gone unnoticed in many prokaryote-dominated ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents and microbial mats. The objectives of this study were to document the diversity of fungi in a subtropical hypersaline microbial mat located at Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and to determine the influence of different seasons on fungal community composition. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) results suggest that when compared to the dry season, the total abundance and richness of phylotypes are higher during the wet season. Moreover, TRFLP data demonstrate that the diversity of fungal phylotypes decreased from the first layer (at a depth of 0–1 mm) to the third layer (at a depth of 2–20 mm). A total of 131 clones from the mat were sequenced. Cloned sequences were identified as species of Acremonium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium. The accumulated data suggest that fungi thrive within this hypersaline environment.