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Diverse subterranean fungi of an underground iron ore mine

AbstractMines and caves are unusual ecosystems containing unique fungi and are greatly understudied compared to other environments. The Soudan Mine in Tower, MN, an iron ore mine that closed in 1963 after operating for 80 years, was sampled to explore fungal diversity and to investigate taxa that tolerate heavy metals for potential bioprocessing technologies or as sources of bioactive molecules for drug discovery and possible biocontrol for white-nose syndrome (WNS) of bats. The mine is 714 m deep, has 18 levels and contains large quantities of wooden timbers, in contrast to many other oligotrophic subterranean environments. Fungi were cultured from samples and the ITS region was sequenced for identification and phylogenetic analysis. Results show Ascomycota are the dominant fungi followed by Basidiomycota and Mucoromycota. Out of 164 identified taxa, 108 belong to the Ascomycota and 26 and 31 to Basidiomycota and Mucoromycota, respectively. There are also 46 taxa that do not match (

Publication date: 04/06/2020

Author: Benjamin W. Held,  Christine E. Salomon,  Robert A. Blanchette



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.