Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Seasonality of parasitic and saprotrophic zoosporic fungi: linking sequence data to ecological traits

List of AuthorsVan den Wyngaert Silke, Ganzert Lars, Seto Kensuke, Rojas-Jimenez Keilor, Agha Ramsy, Berger Stella A., Woodhouse Jason, Padisak Judit, Wurzbacher Christian, Kagami Maiko, Grossart Hans-Peter


Publication year2022

JournalISME Journal

Journal acronymISME J

Number of pages13





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Zoosporic fungi of the phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrids) regularly dominate pelagic fungal communities in freshwater and marine environments. Their lifestyles range from obligate parasites to saprophytes. Yet, linking the scarce available sequence data to specific ecological traits or their host ranges constitutes currently a major challenge. We combined 28 S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing with targeted isolation and sequencing approaches, along with cross-infection assays and analysis of chytrid infection prevalence to obtain new insights into chytrid diversity, ecology, and seasonal dynamics in a temperate lake. Parasitic phytoplankton-chytrid and saprotrophic pollen-chytrid interactions made up the majority of zoosporic fungal reads. We explicitly demonstrate the recurrent dominance of parasitic chytrids during frequent diatom blooms and saprotrophic chytrids during pollen rains. Distinct temporal dynamics of diatom-specific parasitic clades suggest mechanisms of coexistence based on niche differentiation and competitive strategies. The molecular and ecological information on chytrids generated in this study will aid further exploration of their spatial and temporal distribution patterns worldwide. To fully exploit the power of environmental sequencing for studies on chytrid ecology and evolution, we emphasize the need to intensify current isolation efforts of chytrids and integrate taxonomic and autecological data into long-term studies and experiments.

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Last updated on 2022-11-08 at 07:57