The diversity and ecological roles of Penicillium in intertidal zones

Myung Soo PARK, Seung-yoon OH, Jonathan J. FONG, Jos HOUBRAKEN, Young Woon LIM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the genus Penicillium are commonly isolated from various terrestrial and marine environments, and play an important ecological role as a decomposer. To gain insight into the ecological role of Penicillium in intertidal zones, we investigated the Penicillium diversity and community structure using a culture-dependent technique and a culture independent metagenomic approach using ITS (ITS-NGS) and partial β-tubulin (BenA-NGS) as targets. The obtained isolates were tested for halotolerance, enzyme activity, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degradation. A total of 96 Penicillium species were identified from the investigated intertidal zones. Although the BenA-NGS method was efficient for detecting Penicillium, some species were only detected using conventional isolation and/or the ITS-NGS method. The Penicillium community displayed a significant degree of variation relative to season (summer and winter) and seaside (western and southern coast). Many Penicillium species isolated in this study exhibited cellulase and protease activity, and/or degradation of PAHs. These findings support the important role of Penicillium in the intertidal zone for nutrient recycling and pollutant degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13540
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the Marine Biotechnology Program of the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion (KIMST) funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) (No. 20170431).


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