Duncan, S.M., Minasaki, R., Farrell, R.L., Thwaites, J.M., Held, B.W., Arenz, B.E., Jurgens, J.A. & Blanchette, R.A. (2008). Screening fungi isolated from historic Discovery Hut on Ross Island, Antarctica for cellulose degradation. Antarctic Science, 20(5), 463-470.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3528
To survive in Antarctica, early explorers of Antarctica's Heroic Age erected wooden buildings and brought in large quantities of supplies. The introduction of wood and other organic materials may have provided new nutrient sources for fungi that were indigenous to Antarctica or were brought in with the materials. From 30 samples taken from Discovery Hut, 156 filamentous fungi were isolated on selective media. Of these, 108 were screened for hydrolytic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose, of which 29 demonstrated activities. Endo-1, 4-β-glucanase activity was confirmed in the extracellular supernatant from seven isolates when grown at 4°C, and also when they were grown at 15°C. Cladosporium oxysporum and Geomyces sp. were shown to grow on a variety of synthetic cellulose substrates and to use cellulose as a nutrient source at temperate and cold temperatures. The research findings from the present study demonstrate that Antarctic filamentous fungi isolated from a variety of substrates (wood, straw, and food stuffs) are capable of cellulose degradation and can grow well at low temperatures.
Cambridge University Press