The roles of endolithic fungi in bioerosion and disease in marine ecosystems. II. Potential facultatively parasitic anamorphic ascomycetes can cause disease in corals and molluscs

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Mycology, 2017, 8 (3), pp. 216 - 227
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© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Anamorphic ascomycetes have been implicated as causative agents of diseases in tissues and skeletons of hard corals, in tissues of soft corals (sea fans) and in tissues and shells of molluscs. Opportunist marine fungal pathogens, such as Aspergillus sydowii, are important components of marine mycoplankton and are ubiquitous in the open oceans, intertidal zones and marine sediments. These fungi can cause infection in or at least can be associated with animals which live in these ecosystems. A. sydowii can produce toxins which inhibit photosynthesis in and the growth of coral zooxanthellae. The prevalence of many documented infections has increased in frequency and severity in recent decades with the changing impacts of physical and chemical factors, such as temperature, acidity and eutrophication. Changes in these factors are thought to cause significant loss of biodiversity in marine ecosystems on a global scale in general, and especially in coral reefs and shallow bays.
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