Fungal diversity in intertidal mudflats and abandoned solar salterns as a source for biological resources

Young Mok Heo, Hanbyul Lee, Kyeongwon Kim, Sun Lul Kwon, Min Young Park, Ji Eun Kang, Gyu Hyeok Kim, Beom Seok Kim, Jae Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Intertidal zones are unique environments that are known to be ecological hot spots. In this study, sediments were collected from mudflats and decommissioned salterns on three islands in the Yellow Sea of South Korea. The diversity analysis targeted both isolates and unculturable fungi via Illumina sequencing, and the natural recovery of the abandoned salterns was assessed. The phylogeny and bioactivities of the fungal isolates were investigated. The community analysis showed that the abandoned saltern in Yongyudo has not recovered to a mudflat, while the other salterns have almost recovered. The results suggested that a period of more than 35 years may be required to return abandoned salterns to mudflats via natural restoration. Gigasporales sp. and Umbelopsis sp. were selected as the indicators of mudflats. Among the 53 isolates, 18 appeared to be candidate novel species, and 28 exhibited bioactivity. Phoma sp., Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Penicillium sp. and Pseudeurotium bakeri, and Aspergillus urmiensis showed antioxidant, tyrosinase inhibition, antifungal, and quorum-sensing inhibition activities, respectively, which has not been reported previously. This study provides reliable fungal diversity information for mudflats and abandoned salterns and shows that they are highly valuable for bioprospecting not only for novel microorganisms but also for novel bioactive compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number601
JournalMarine drugs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIT) grant number 2017R1A2B4002071 and “Development of blue carbon information system and its assessment for management (20170318)” funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Korea (MOF) granted to JSK, JR, and BOK.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Fungal community
  • Marine fungi
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Saltwork
  • Tidal flat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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