Caves are stable environments with characteristics favoring the development of fungi. The fungal community present in a cave also includes pathogenic and opportunistic species out of which some are also served as energy sources in such energy stared ecosystems. Studies on microbial diversity and their role on such energy starved ecosystem are scarce. The present study was aimed to identify the cultivable filamentous fungi present in the various sediment of an iron ore cave and to recognize them as pathogenic and/or opportunistic species. Further the impact of cave entrance on the spore depositions on various distances dependent sediments were analyzed. The results suggest a diverse microbial community inhabiting the cave and an influence of cave entrance over spore deposition on various sediments. We counted a total of 4,549 filamentous fungi that included 34 species of 12 genera: Acremonium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Geotrichum, Paecilomyces, Purpureocillium, Penicillium, Torula, Trichoderma, Mucor and Rhizopus. A positive significant relation was observed between spore deposition and distance from cave entrance (p= 0.001). Areas of potential mycoses risks were recognized. This is the first study on microbiological community of an iron ore cave in the country.
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Published by: National Cave Research and Protection Organization, India
<Environmental Science+Zoology+Geology+Cave Science>AMBIENT SCIENCE