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Title: Contamination by uranium mine drainages affects fungal growth and interactions between fungal species and strains
Authors: Ferreira, Verónica 
Gonçalves, Ana Lúcia 
Pratas, João 
Canhoto, Cristina 
Keywords: aquatic hyphomycetes; growth; interspecific interactions; intraspecific interactions; mine contamination; strains
Issue Date: 2010
Serial title, monograph or event: Mycologia
Volume: 102
Issue: 5
Abstract: The presence of aquatic hyphomycetes has been reported for several heavy metal-contaminated waters. Tolerance probably is one adaptation to coping with heavy metals. To help clarify this issue strains of two species of aquatic hyphomycetes (Tricladium splendens Ingold and Varicosporium elodeae Kegel) were isolated from a reference stream and a stream contaminated with heavy metals and grown on malt extract agar prepared with reference and contaminated water to characterize colony morphology, growth rate, growth inhibition and interaction among species and strains. In V. elodeae the morphology of colonies differed between strains. Colony diameter increased linearly over time with growth rates being lower for strains isolated from contaminated than from reference streams (mostly for V. elodeae). Strains from the contaminated stream grew faster in medium prepared with contaminated water than in medium prepared with reference water, while for strains from the reference stream there was no significant difference in growth rates on the two media. In interacting isolates radial growth toward the opposing colony was generally lower than toward the dish edge. Percentage growth inhibition was higher for isolates in intraspecific interactions (13–37%) than in interspecific interactions (3–27%). However differences in growth inhibition experienced by interacting isolates were observed only in three cases out of 16. The difference between the percentage inhibition caused and experienced by a given isolate was highest in interactions involving isolates with distinct growth rates. Our results suggest that strains from the reference stream tolerate heavy metals while strains from the contaminated stream seem to be adapted to contaminated waters. We hypothesize that in natural environments fungal species-specific limits of tolerance to metal contamination might determine an abrupt or gradual response of the original fungal community to mine pollution giving origin to a poorer fungal community dominated by adapted strains with distinct functional efficiency.
DOI: 10.3852/09-248
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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