Fungal Load of Groundwater Systems in Geographically Segregated Islands: A Step Forward in Fungal Control
Mycobiology. 2022 Sep 29;50(5):345-356. doi: 10.1080/12298093.2022.2123549. eCollection 2022.
The fungal distribution, diversity, and load were analyzed in the geographically segregated island groundwater systems in Korea. A total of 79 fungal isolates were secured from seven islands and identified based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. They belonged to three phyla (Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Chlorophyta), five classes, sixteen orders, twenty-two families, and thirty-one genera. The dominant phylum was Ascomycota (91.1%), with most fungi belonging to the Cladosporium (21.5%), Aspergillus (15.2%), and Stachybotrys (8.9%) genera. Cladosporium showed higher dominance and diversity, being widely distributed throughout the geographically segregated groundwater systems. Based on the diversity indices, the genera richness (4.821) and diversity (2.550) were the highest in the groundwater system of the largest scale. As turbidity (0.064-0.462) increased, the overall fungal count increased and the residual chlorine (0.089-0.308) had low relevance compared with the total count and fungal diversity. Cladosporium showed normal mycelial growth in de-chlorinated sterilized samples. Overall, if turbidity increases under higher fungal diversity, bio-deterioration in groundwater-supplying facilities and public health problems could be intensified, regardless of chlorine treatment. In addition to fungal indicators and analyzing methods, physical hydrostatic treatment is necessary for monitoring and controlling fungal contamination.