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      Distributional records of Antarctic fungi based on strains preserved in the Culture Collection of Fungi from Extreme Environments (CCFEE) Mycological Section associated with the Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA)

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          Abstract

          This dataset includes information regarding fungal strains collected during several Antarctic expeditions: the Italian National Antarctic Research program (PNRA) expeditions “X” (1994/1995), “XII” (1996/1997), “XVII” (2001/2002), “XIX” (2003/2004), “XXVI” (2010/2011), the Czech “IPY Expedition” (2007–2009) and a number of strains donated by E. Imre Friedmann (Florida State University) in 2001, isolated from samples collected during the U.S.A. Antarctic Expeditions of 1980-1982. Samples, consisting of colonized rocks, mosses, lichens, sediments and soils, were collected in Southern and Northern Victoria Land of the continental Antarctica and in the Antarctic Peninsula. A total of 259 different strains were isolated, belonging to 32 genera and 38 species, out of which 12 represented new taxa. These strains are preserved in the Antarctic section of the Culture Collection of Fungi from Extreme Environments (CCFEE), which represents one of the collections associated with the Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA, Section of Genoa, Italy), located at the Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Mycology, Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy). The CCFEE hosts a total of 486 Antarctic fungal strains from worldwide extreme environments. Distributional records are reported here for 259 of these strains. The holotypes of the 12 new species included in this dataset are maintained at CCFEE and in other international collections: CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre (Utrecht, Netherlands); DBVPG, Industrial Yeasts Collection (University of Perugia, Italy); DSMZ, German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (Brunswick, Germany); IMI, International Mycological Institute (London, U.K.).

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          Survival of rock-colonizing organisms after 1.5 years in outer space.

          Cryptoendolithic microbial communities and epilithic lichens have been considered as appropriate candidates for the scenario of lithopanspermia, which proposes a natural interplanetary exchange of organisms by means of rocks that have been impact ejected from their planet of origin. So far, the hardiness of these terrestrial organisms in the severe and hostile conditions of space has not been tested over extended periods of time. A first long-term (1.5 years) exposure experiment in space was performed with a variety of rock-colonizing eukaryotic organisms at the International Space Station on board the European EXPOSE-E facility. Organisms were selected that are especially adapted to cope with the environmental extremes of their natural habitats. It was found that some-but not all-of those most robust microbial communities from extremely hostile regions on Earth are also partially resistant to the even more hostile environment of outer space, including high vacuum, temperature fluctuation, the full spectrum of extraterrestrial solar electromagnetic radiation, and cosmic ionizing radiation. Although the reported experimental period of 1.5 years in space is not comparable with the time spans of thousands or millions of years believed to be required for lithopanspermia, our data provide first evidence of the differential hardiness of cryptoendolithic communities in space.
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            Phylogeny of rock-inhabiting fungi related to Dothideomycetes

            The class Dothideomycetes (along with Eurotiomycetes) includes numerous rock-inhabiting fungi (RIF), a group of ascomycetes that tolerates surprisingly well harsh conditions prevailing on rock surfaces. Despite their convergent morphology and physiology, RIF are phylogenetically highly diverse in Dothideomycetes. However, the positions of main groups of RIF in this class remain unclear due to the lack of a strong phylogenetic framework. Moreover, connections between rock-dwelling habit and other lifestyles found in Dothideomycetes such as plant pathogens, saprobes and lichen-forming fungi are still unexplored. Based on multigene phylogenetic analyses, we report that RIF belong to Capnodiales (particularly to the family Teratosphaeriaceae s.l.), Dothideales, Pleosporales, and Myriangiales, as well as some uncharacterised groups with affinities to Dothideomycetes. Moreover, one lineage consisting exclusively of RIF proved to be closely related to Arthoniomycetes, the sister class of Dothideomycetes. The broad phylogenetic amplitude of RIF in Dothideomycetes suggests that total species richness in this class remains underestimated. Composition of some RIF-rich lineages suggests that rock surfaces are reservoirs for plant-associated fungi or saprobes, although other data also agree with rocks as a primary substrate for ancient fungal lineages. According to the current sampling, long distance dispersal seems to be common for RIF. Dothideomycetes lineages comprising lichens also include RIF, suggesting a possible link between rock-dwelling habit and lichenisation.
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              Phylogeny and taxonomy of meristematic rock-inhabiting black fungi in the Dothideomycetes based on multi-locus phylogenies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                MycoKeys
                MC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-4049
                1314-4057
                July 16 2015
                July 16 2015
                : 10
                : 57-71
                Article
                10.3897/mycokeys.10.5343
                © 2015
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