|Title||Unusual fungal niches.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Cantrell, SA, Dianese, JC, Fell, J, Gunde-Cimerman, N, Zalar, P|
|Keywords||dry valleys, glaciers, microbial mats, plant trichomes, salt flats, Salterns|
Fungi are found in all aerobic ecosystems, colonizing a diversity of substrates and performing a wide diversity of functions, some of which are not well understood. Many spices of fungi are cosmopolitan and generalists or habitats. Unusual fungal niches are habitats where extreme conditions would be expected to prevent the development of a mycobiota. In this review we describe five unusual fungal habitats in which fungi occupy poorly understood niches: Antarctic dry valleys, high Arctic glaciers, salt flats and salterns, hypersaline microbial mats and plant trichomes. Yeasts, black yeast-like fungi, melanized filamentous species as well as representatives of Aspergillus and Penicillium seem to be dominant among the mycobiota adapted to cold and saline niches. Plant trichomes appear to be a taxa. The advent of new sequencing technologies is helping to elucidate the microbial diversity in many ecosystems, but more studies are needed to document the functional role of fungi in the microbial communities thriving in these unusual environments.