Wainwright et al. 2017

scientific article | PeerJ | open access Open access

Fungi associated with mesophotic macroalgae from the ‘Au‘au Channel, west Maui are differentiated by host and overlap terrestrial communities

Wainwright BJ, Zahn GL, Spalding HL, Sherwood AR, Smith CM, Amend AS

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Mesophotic coral ecosystems are an almost entirely unexplored and undocumented environment that likely contains vast reservoirs of undescribed biodiversity. Twenty-four macroalgae samples, representing four genera, were collected from a Hawaiian mesophotic reef at water depths between 65 and 86 m in the ‘Au‘au Channel, Maui, Hawai‘i. Algal tissues were surveyed for the presence and diversity of fungi by sequencing the ITS1 gene using Illumina technology. Fungi from these algae were then compared to previous fungal surveys conducted in Hawaiian terrestrial ecosystems. Twenty-seven percent of the OTUs present on the mesophotic coral ecosystem samples were shared between the marine and terrestrial environment. Subsequent analyses indicated that host species of algae significantly differentiate fungal community composition. This work demonstrates yet another understudied habitat with a moderate diversity of fungi that should be considered when estimating global fungal diversity.

Behind the science
Piscesv 02.halimeda distorta copy 03.peerj 15869 fig2
04.presses 05.lab sampling 06 lab sorting
10.7717 peerj.3532
Depth range
65- 86 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
51 x (total of 4047 words)

Molecular ecology

Algae (Macro, Turf and Crustose Coralline)
Other endosymbionts (non-Symbiodinium)

USA - Hawaii

Manned Submersible

Author profiles
Heather Spalding ( 13 pubs)
Tyler Smith ( 20 pubs)