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Botanica Marina

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Volume 59, Issue 4 (Aug 2016)


First evidence of the deep-sea fungus Oceanitis scuticella Kohlmeyer (Halosphaeriaceae, Ascomycota) from the Northern Hemisphere

Joëlle Dupont
  • Institut de Systématique, Evolution et Biodiversité, ISYEB – UMR 7205 – CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités, 57 rue Cuvier, CP39, 75005 Paris, France
/ Enrico SchwabeORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1937-7564
Published Online: 2016-07-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2016-0030


We report on a collection of the deep-sea fungus Oceanitis scuticella from recently sunken wood at abyssal depth in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. The fungus was originally described as wood-associated from the Angola Basin. Subsequently, it was also found on sunken wood in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Ascomata and ascospores of O. scuticella were examined by scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. The phylogenetic affiliation of the fungus within the Halosphaeriaceae was demonstrated using partial nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and large subunit (LSU) rDNA sequencing. Slight morphological differences between this collection and previously described material were observed concerning ascomata shape, namely the drop-shaped cavity, the form of the hypostroma and the thickness of the peridium. In addition, the ascospores were smaller than those reported in previous collections. LSU rDNA phylogeny provided a good support for the placement of the NW Pacific Ocean sample within O. scuticella. The ITS rDNA sequence of the present collection differed from those of the earlier collections by 2.5–3%, a value accepted for intraspecific variation in fungi. Based on the present material, some factors interpreted as indicators for true deep-sea fungi, such as the absence of bark or co-existing xylophagic bivalves in sunken wood, are discussed and their importance is considered as limited.

Keywords: deep sea; distribution; genetics; Halosphaeriaceae; morphology


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About the article

Joëlle Dupont

Joëlle Dupont’s main research fields are fungal diversity and taxonomy. Her research uses molecular tools and multiple gene phylogenies for systematic and to describe the diversity of fungi from various habitats, particularly food such as cheeses, or fungi associated to plants such as endophytes from conifers or wheat and some plant pathogens, more rarely fungi from extreme environments such as rocks and the deep sea. Recently Joëlle and her group developed research about sexual reproduction of Penicillium and about their domestication to produce cheese. As an expert in microscopic fungi, Joëlle Dupont is involved in applied mycology in collaboration with the food industry.

Enrico Schwabe

For about 20 years Enrico Schwabe has specialized on the molluscan class Polyplacophora with a focus on the taxonomy and biogeography of this group. His more recent research includes biological interactions of marine animals, especially parasitism of Copepods with other invertebrates. Being involved in several deep-sea programs he also concentrates on the interaction among benthic organisms via isolated basins and the question of how far environmental parameters may influence biogeography, biodiversity and abundance of organisms.

Received: 2016-04-06

Accepted: 2016-06-28

Published Online: 2016-07-22

Published in Print: 2016-08-01

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2016-0030. Export Citation

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