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Title:What lies beneath? Fungal diversity at the bottom of the Great Lakes
Author(s):Wahl, Hannah E
Advisor(s):Miller, Andrew N.
Contributor(s):Yannarell, Anthony; Dalling, James
Department / Program:Plant Biology
Discipline:Plant Biology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Freshwater fungi
Aquatic fungi
Great Lakes
Next-generation sequencing
Abstract:Fungi are diverse organisms found in nearly every global environment as key components in nutrient cycling and decomposition. To date, most fungal diversity has been documented from terrestrial habitats leaving aquatic habitats rarely explored. Even less is known about fungi inhabiting freshwater lakes, particularly the benthic zone that may serve as an untapped resource for fungal biodiversity. This study aimed towards understanding the diversity of fungi in one of the largest freshwater systems on Earth, the North American Laurentian Great Lakes. This study employed both culture-dependent and culture-independent environmental sequencing methods resulting in ~425 taxa, with 6% sequence overlap between these two methods. Further analysis indicates that fungal communities in the Great Lakes differ across depths indicating potential fungal diversity ‘hotspots’. These results indicate that fungal communities do exist in the benthic region and should be examined using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods for a more complete snapshot of fungal communities.
Issue Date:2017-04-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Hannah Wahl
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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