Penicillium mycobiota in Arctic subglacial ice

S. Sonjak, Jens Christian Frisvad, N. Gunde-Cimerman

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Fungi have been only rarely isolated from glacial ice in extremely cold polar regions and were in these cases considered as random, long-term preserved Aeolian deposits. Fungal presence has so far not been investigated in polar subglacial ice, a recently discovered extreme habitat reported to be inhabited exclusively by heterotrophic bacteria. In this study we report on the very high occurrence (up to 9000 CFU L-1) and diversity of filamentous Penicillium spp. in the sediment-rich subglacial ice of three different polythermal Arctic glaciers (Svalbard, Norway). The dominant species was P. crustosum, representing on the average half of all isolated strains from all three glaciers. The other most frequently isolated species were P. bialowiezense, P. chrysogenum, P. thomii, P. solitum, P. palitans, P. echinulatum, P. polonicum, P. commune, P. discolor, P. expansum, and new Penicillium species (sp. 1). Twelve more Penicillium species were occasionally isolated. The fungi isolated produced consistent profiles of secondary metabolites, not different from the same Penicillium species from other habitats. This is the first report on the presence of large populations of Penicillium spp. in subglacial sediment-rich ice.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMicrobial Ecology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)207-216
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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