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Fungal Life in the Extremely Hypersaline Water of the Dead Sea: First Records

Asya S. Buchalo, Eviatar Nevo, Solomon P. Wasser, Aharon Oren and Hans P. Molitoris
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 265, No. 1404 (Aug. 7, 1998), pp. 1461-1465
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/51315
Page Count: 5
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Fungal Life in the Extremely Hypersaline Water of the Dead Sea: First Records
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Abstract

The first report, to our knowledge, on the occurrence of filamentous fungi in the hypersaline (340 g salt l-1) Dead Seas is presented. Three species of filamentous fungi from surface water samples of the Dead Sea were isolated: Gymnascella marismortui (Ascomycota), which is described as a new species, Ulocladium chlamydosporum and Penicillium westlingii (Deuteromycota). G. marismortui and U. chlamydosporum grew on media containing up to 50% Dead Sea water. G. marismortui was found to be an obligate halophile growing optimally in the presence of 0.5-2 M NaCl or 10-30% (by volume) of Dead Sea water. Isolated cultures did not grow on agar media without salt, but grew on agar prepared with up to 50% Dead Sea water. This suggests that they may be adapted to life in the extremely stressful hypersaline Dead Sea.

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