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Steinbach, Ronja [1], El Baidouri, Fouad [2], Amend, Anthony [2].

Malassezia is Widespread, Highly Generalist, and Has Undescribed Diversity in Our Oceans.

There is limited information on marine fungi, but we suspect that there is substantial uncharacterized diversity. One such example is Malassezia, a genus of fungus generally associated with mammalian skins. This fungus has recently been found widespread in the ocean, where its distribution, diversity, and host-specificity are still largely unknown. To address these gaps in our knowledge, we analyzed marine samples from Waimea Bay, O Ľahu, and others provided by collaborators in Washington and Massachusetts. Using polymerase chain reactions with Malassezia-specific primers, we sequenced our samples using Illumina high-throughput sequencing technology. Based on those results, we created a new phylogeny. We then analyzed the diversity, host-specificity, and location-specificity of marine Malassezia using community ecology statistics implemented in R. Our PERMANOVA indicated that there was no significant difference in Malassezia diversity across the three study locations. Furthermore, our analysis showed that this genus exhibits non-significant host-specificity at broad taxonomic ranks. Our findings are consistent with Malassezia being a generalist, in addition to adding further support for its prevalence in the ocean. Additionally, we identified 20 putative new species. Our enhanced understanding of the biogeographical distribution of marine Malassezia was an important preliminary step to understanding the role of these fungi in marine ecosystems. Furthermore, our results open the door for the description of new species.

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1 - 4713 Robin Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87110, USA
2 - University of Hawaii at Manoa, Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA

marine fungi
Biogeographical pattern

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: MY5, Mycology: Systematics, Biodiversity, and Evolution
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MY5005
Abstract ID:820
Candidate for Awards:None

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