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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Picard, Kathryn T. [1], Pryer, Kathleen M. [1].

Fungal diversity and community composition of coastal marine habitats in North Carolina.

Culture-independent, molecular-cloning studies of extreme marine habitats (deep-sea hydrothermal vents, methane seeps) have revealed novel fungal phylotypes from across the fungal kingdom. Yet, environmental cloning studies frequently fail to capture much of the diversity within a given sample, thereby limiting our understanding of both the breadth of marine fungal diversity and the phylogenetic placement of marine phylotypes. Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) of environmental samples is a promising new technique for characterizing microbial diversity, NGS surveys of marine fungi are rare. Here, we extracted total genomic DNA from 16 sediment cores or tissue samples collected from four coastal North Carolina habitats (intertidal persistent wetland sediment, intertidal sand, plankton tows, and shallow marine sediment) at four seasonal timepoints. Using fungal-affinity fusion primers, 330bp nrLSU libraries were prepared for each sample and multiplexed on the Ion Torrent sequencing platform, resulting in ~750,000 reads that were quality filtered, clustered at 95% sequence similarity, and provisionally identified using three taxonomic assignment pipelines (MEGAN, RDP Classifier, and SILVAngs). Although Ascomycota and Basidiomycota exhibited the highest levels of taxonomic diversity, most of these were rare comprising only a fraction of the total fungal community observed. Zoosporic and other early-diverging fungal groups, on the other hand, not only constituted the bulk of the total fungal community at our sites, but also displayed seasonal variation. Our findings suggest that coastal marine fungi are not only considerably more diverse than previously thought, but that early-diverging fungi, which are especially poorly characterized from marine habitats, may play significant roles in coastal marine systems.

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1 - Duke University, Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708-0338, USA
2 - Duke University, Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708-0338, USA

marine fungi
Ion Torrent
fungal diversity
phylogenetic diversity
microbial ecology.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 29
Location: Salon 1/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 29001
Abstract ID:1313
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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