Australian dust storm associated with extensive Aspergillus sydowii fungal "Bloom" in coastal waters

Hallegraeff, Gustaaf, Coman, Frank, Davies, Claire, Hayashi, Aiko, McLeod, David, Slotwinski, Anita, Whittock, Lucy and Richardson, Anthony J. (2014) Australian dust storm associated with extensive Aspergillus sydowii fungal "Bloom" in coastal waters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80 11: 3315-3320. doi:10.1128/AEM.04118-13

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Author Hallegraeff, Gustaaf
Coman, Frank
Davies, Claire
Hayashi, Aiko
McLeod, David
Slotwinski, Anita
Whittock, Lucy
Richardson, Anthony J.
Title Australian dust storm associated with extensive Aspergillus sydowii fungal "Bloom" in coastal waters
Formatted title
Australian dust storm associated with extensive Aspergillus sydowii fungal "bloom" in coastal waters
Journal name Applied and Environmental Microbiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1098-5336
0099-2240
1070-6291
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1128/AEM.04118-13
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 80
Issue 11
Start page 3315
End page 3320
Total pages 6
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Language eng
Abstract A massive central Australian dust storm in September 2009 was associated with abundant fungal spores (150,000/m(3)) and hyphae in coastal waters between Brisbane (27 degrees S) and Sydney (34 degrees S). These spores were successfully germinated from formalinpreserved samples, and using molecular sequencing of three different genes (the large subunit rRNA gene [LSU], internal transcribed spacer [ITS], and beta-tubulin gene), they were conclusively identified as Aspergillus sydowii, an organism circumstantially associated with gorgonian coral fan disease in the Caribbean. Surprisingly, no human health or marine ecosystem impacts were associated with this Australian dust storm event. Australian fungal cultures were nontoxic to fish gills and caused a minor reduction in the motility of Alexandrium or Chattonella algal cultures but had their greatest impacts on Symbiodinium dinoflagellate coral symbiont motility, with hyphae being more detrimental than spores. While we have not yet seen any soft coral disease outbreaks on the Australian Great Barrier Reef similar to those observed in the Caribbean and while this particular fungal population was non-or weakly pathogenic, our observations raise the possibility of future marine ecosystem pathogen impacts from similar dust storms harboring more pathogenic strains.
Formatted abstract
A massive central Australian dust storm in September 2009 was associated with abundant fungal spores (150,000/m3) and hyphae in coastal waters between Brisbane (27°S) and Sydney (34°S). These spores were successfully germinated from formalin-preserved samples, and using molecular sequencing of three different genes (the large subunit rRNA gene [LSU], internal transcribed spacer [ITS[, and beta-tubulin gene), they were conclusively identified as Aspergillus sydowii, an organism circumstantially associated with gorgonian coral fan disease in the Caribbean. Surprisingly, no human health or marine ecosystem impacts were associated with this Australian dust storm event. Australian fungal cultures were nontoxic to fish gills and caused a minor reduction in the motility of Alexandrium or Chattonella algal cultures but had their greatest impacts on Symbiodinium dinoflagellate coral symbiont motility, with hyphae being more detrimental than spores. While we have not yet seen any soft coral disease outbreaks on the Australian Great Barrier Reef similar to those observed in the Caribbean and while this particular fungal population was non- or weakly pathogenic, our observations raise the possibility of future marine ecosystem pathogen impacts from similar dust storms harboring more pathogenic strains.
Keyword Dust storm
Aspergillus sydowii
Marine ecosystem
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP130102725
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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