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MBio. 2019 Mar 5;10(2). pii: e01189-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01189-18.

Fungi in the Marine Environment: Open Questions and Unsolved Problems.

Author information

1
Department of Botany, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
2
Université de Brest, EA 3882, Laboratoire Universitaire de Biodiversité et Ecologie Microbienne, ESIAB, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Plouzané, France.
3
Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
5
Genome Center, University of California, Davis, California, USA.
6
Departamento de Oceanografía, Centro de Investigación Oceanográfica COPAS Sur-Austral, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.
7
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
8
Department of Biology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA.
9
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, California, USA.
10
Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan.
11
Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA.
12
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
13
National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India.
14
Department of Microbiology, Centro de Investigación Científica y Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
15
Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology and Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California, USA.
16
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
17
Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
18
Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
19
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA amyglad@unc.edu.
20
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Terrestrial fungi play critical roles in nutrient cycling and food webs and can shape macroorganism communities as parasites and mutualists. Although estimates for the number of fungal species on the planet range from 1.5 to over 5 million, likely fewer than 10% of fungi have been identified so far. To date, a relatively small percentage of described species are associated with marine environments, with ∼1,100 species retrieved exclusively from the marine environment. Nevertheless, fungi have been found in nearly every marine habitat explored, from the surface of the ocean to kilometers below ocean sediments. Fungi are hypothesized to contribute to phytoplankton population cycles and the biological carbon pump and are active in the chemistry of marine sediments. Many fungi have been identified as commensals or pathogens of marine animals (e.g., corals and sponges), plants, and algae. Despite their varied roles, remarkably little is known about the diversity of this major branch of eukaryotic life in marine ecosystems or their ecological functions. This perspective emerges from a Marine Fungi Workshop held in May 2018 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. We present the state of knowledge as well as the multitude of open questions regarding the diversity and function of fungi in the marine biosphere and geochemical cycles.

KEYWORDS:

chytrid; marine fungi; marine microbiology; mycology

PMID:
30837337
PMCID:
PMC6401481
DOI:
10.1128/mBio.01189-18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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