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Abstract Detail


Brown, Shawn [1], Olson, Bradley [1], Jumpponen, Ari [1].

Snow Algae Occurrence Elicits an Enrichment of Saprobic and Pathogenic Fungi.

Late season snows are often colonized by psychrophilic snow algae that may provide a source of resources for heterotrophic microbes, including fungi. These late season snows are a harsh environment, but house a diverse and complex fungal community. We used culture independent methods (MiSeq amplicon sequencing) to test if the presence of snow algae influences fungal communities. We compared algae-colonized snows to adjacent (3 m distant) non-colonized snows in a paired design. Comparisons between the algae-colonized and non-colonized snow indicate that the snow algae act as a strong environmental filter locally and enrich fungal communities with putative saprobes and algal pathogens. The most striking observation in our study was the high abundance of novel Chytridiomycetes with uncertain taxonomic placements and unknown ecologies. Many of these fungi were enriched in the algae-colonized snows, suggesting their dependence on algal metabolites or algal cells as prey. We suggest that these snow Chytridiomycetes are likely important components of the cryosphere ecosystems. Further, our observations highlight the paucity of information on the diversity and function of fungi within this phylum.

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1 - Kansas State University, Division of Biology, 421 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA

Snow Fungi
Snow Algae
Snow Chytrids.

Presentation Type: Offered Paper - Paper
Session: 9
Location: Room 104 AB/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 9003
Abstract ID:20
Candidate for Awards:Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award

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