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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 15:153-163 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/ame015153

Barotolerance of fungi isolated from deep-sea sediments of the Indian Ocean

Chandralata Raghukumar*, S. Raghukumar

National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa 403 004, India

ABSTRACT: Two species of filamentous fungi, Aspergillus ustus (Bain.) Thom & Church and Graphium sp., were isolated from calcareous animal shells at depths of 860 m in the Arabian Sea and 965 m in the Bay of Bengal. Laboratory experiments showed germination of conidia, growth of hyphae and microconidiation in both the fungi at 100 bar pressure at 10 and 30°C, suggesting barotolerance. The fungi also secreted barotolerant protease under these conditions. Protease synthesised and secreted in cultures grown at 1 bar was also active under 100 bar pressure at 10 and 30°C. At 10°C, the fungi showed better conidial germination, growth and protease secretion when subjected to 100 bar than when grown at 1 atmosphere. The results indicate barotolerance of terrestrial species of fungi and suggest that they might be active under deep-sea conditions.

KEY WORDS: Barotolerance · Deep sea · Fungi · Enzymes · Protease

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