Spatiotemporal diversity of filamentous fungi in the hypersaline Dead Sea

Tamar Kis-Papo, Isabella Grishkan, Aharon Oren, Solomon P. Wasser, Eviatar Nevo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


To investigate the spatial and temporal diversity in the fungal community of the Dead Sea, we collected Dead Sea water samples at eight near-shore localities and at different stations offshore over a 1-year period (1999-2000). In addition, depth profiles were sampled at a deep station (304 m) in the centre of the sea. In the course of the study we obtained 476 isolates, comprising 38 species from 19 genera of Oomycota (1), Zygomycota (2), Ascomycota (13), and mitosporic fungi (3). This brings the total number of species recovered from the Dead Sea to 55. Approximately 43% of the isolates belonged to the genera Aspergillus and Eurotium. Most of the species found appeared only in winter. Fungal diversity increased near the outlets of less saline springs near the shore. The species Aspergillus terreus, A. sydowii, A. versicolor, Eurotium herbariorum, Penicillium westlingii Cladosporium cladosporoides and C. sphaerospermum were isolated consistently and probably form a stable core of the community. The results suggest that a remarkably diverse fungal diversity may be found in the hypersaline Dead Sea waters. To what extent the fungal diversity recovered was present as dormant spores or as vegetative mycelia remains to be determined.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number61919
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages8
JournalMycological Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Israel Discount Bank Chair of Evolutionary Biology and the Ancell–Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution and by the US Agency for International Development Bureau for Global Programs, field support and research centre for economic growth office of agriculture and food security (grant TA-MOU-96-CA16-014).


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