Research Article

Exploring fungal diversity and their ecological roles in the coastal waters of Ramakrishna Beach, Visakhapatnam, India

Mayuri Chopra1, *, Swarnaprava Behera1, Loganathan Jagadeesan1, Vivek Rachuri1, **, Belle Damodara Shenoy1, #

Affiliations
1CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography Regional Centre, 176, Lawson’s Bay Colony, Visakhapatnam¬† 530017, Andhra Pradesh, India, *Present address: Department of Biology, 11a Mansfield Road, Oxford, United Kingdom, **Present address: Fish Welfare Initiative, Door No. 108, Narayanapuram Colony, Poranki, Krishna District, Vijayawada 521137, Andhra Pradesh, India

#Corresponding author, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Abstract
The coastal waters of Ramakrishna Beach, Visakhapatnam, India, present a unique ecosystem for exploring fungal diversity and ecological roles, yet have been underexplored in mycological studies. This study utilizes amplicon sequencing targeting the fungal ITS region from environmental DNA to fill this knowledge gap. Our findings reveal a predominant presence of Ascomycota, with Candida and Aspergillus being the most abundant genera. Notably, Candida tropicalis emerged as the most prevalent species, followed by Candida hyderabadensis and Aspergillus penicillioides. This study not only contributes new fungal records for the marine environments of Visakhapatnam but also offers insights into the ecological functions of these fungi, as interpreted from the FUNGuild database. By highlighting the abundance, diversity, and potential ecological impacts of fungi in the coastal waters of Ramakrishna Beach, this research provides valuable insights into coastal ecosystem dynamics and the contributions of fungal communities to marine biodiversity.

Citation
Chopra M, Behera S, Jagadeesan L, Rachuri V, Shenoy BD (2024) Exploring fungal diversity and their ecological roles in the coastal waters of Ramakrishna Beach, Visakhapatnam, India. MycoAsia 2024/01. DOI: https://doi.org/10.59265/mycoasia.2024-01

Submission History
Received: 27.01.2022
Accepted: 22.03.2024
Published: 23.03.2024

Editorial Team
Handling Editor: Dr. Nalin Wijayawardene
Reviewers: Dr. Nattawut Boonyuen, Dr. Bandarupalli Devadatha