AME - Vol. 67 No. 2 - Feature article

The meso-eutrophic Lake Lurleen (top) and humic oligotro- phic Lake Tuscaloosa (bottom) harbor a high diversity of planktonic zoosporic fungi, such as the saprobe Rhizoclosmatium aurantiacum (right: young sporangia in culture) and the unidentified parasite (arrows) on the alga Straurastrum rotula (left: individual in environmental sample). Photos: MJ Powell, PM Letcher, E Lefèvre

Lefèvre E, Letcher PM, Powell MJ


Temporal variation of the small eukaryotic community in two freshwater lakes: emphasis on zoosporic fungi


Application of molecular approaches to the study of planktonic eukaryotes in freshwater lakes has revealed that zoosporic fungi dominate the fungal diversity. However, their roles, diversity and temporal variation remain largely unknown. In this study, two freshwater lakes differing in their trophic status were sampled during the thermally stratified and mixing seasons. Analyses of 28S rDNA clone libraries showed that zoosporic fungi were more diverse in the meso-eutrophic lake and during the stratified season. A majority of the recovered zoosporic fungi either affiliated with Rhizophidiales and Chytridiales but were not closely related to previously known species, or formed completely novel clades. Zoosporic fungal parasites were rarely observed on planktonic algae, suggesting that the detected zoosporic fungi were mostly saprobes.


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