Fungi and yeasts isolated in pure culture from Antarctic permafrost collected at different depths in the McMurdo Dry Valleys were identified with cultural, physiological and molecular methods. Fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Eurotium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Engyodonthium, Aureobasidium, Cordyceps, Rhizopus and yeasts to the genera Cryptococcus and Sporidiobolus. All the strains can be defined as mesophilic psychrotolerant. The molecular analyses revealed that these fungal genotypes do not deviate from the global gene pool of fungi commonly spreading worldwide at present, but possible ancestral strains have been found on the base of metabolic profiles.
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