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Extremophiles. 2015 May;19(3):585-96. doi: 10.1007/s00792-015-0741-6. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Diversity and bioprospection of fungal community present in oligotrophic soil of continental Antarctica.

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Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, CEP 31270-901, Brazil.


We surveyed the diversity and capability of producing bioactive compounds from a cultivable fungal community isolated from oligotrophic soil of continental Antarctica. A total of 115 fungal isolates were obtained and identified in 11 taxa of Aspergillus, Debaryomyces, Cladosporium, Pseudogymnoascus, Penicillium and Hypocreales. The fungal community showed low diversity and richness, and high dominance indices. The extracts of Aspergillus sydowii, Penicillium allii-sativi, Penicillium brevicompactum, Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium rubens possess antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antitumoral, herbicidal and antiprotozoal activities. Bioactive extracts were examined using (1)H NMR spectroscopy and detected the presence of secondary metabolites with chemical shifts. Our results show that the fungi present in cold-oligotrophic soil from Antarctica included few dominant species, which may have important implications for understanding eukaryotic survival in cold-arid oligotrophic soils. We hypothesize that detailed further investigations may provide a greater understanding of the evolution of Antarctic fungi and their relationships with other organisms described in that region. Additionally, different wild pristine bioactive fungal isolates found in continental Antarctic soil may represent a unique source to discover prototype molecules for use in drug and biopesticide discovery studies.

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