The First Discovery of Alkali-Resistant Fungi on the Coast of Chloride Lake Baskunchak

  • S. A. BondarenkoEmail author
  • M. L. Georgieva
  • L. Yu. Kokaeva
  • E. N. Bilanenko


This is the first study of alkali-resistant fungi under the conditions of neutral salinization at Lake Baskunchak (Astrakhan region, Russia). Fungi were isolated from the lake coast chloride soils on alkaline agar medium (pH 10.0–10.5); isolates were characterized by morphological, cultural and molecular genetic features; phylogenetic analysis and analysis of adaptation to pH and salinity were performed. It has been shown that alkali-resistant fungi at the lake coast is a polyphyletic group of ascomycetes from Sordariomycetes (nine species), Dothideomycetes (five species), Eurotiomycetes (three species), and also sterile mycelium (15 isolates). The study of the growth rates in a wide range of pH values has shown that there are both alkalotolerant and alkaliphilic fungi among the isolates. The tolerance of isolates to elevated concentrations of sodium chloride was confirmed. The discovery of obligate alkaliphiles under conditions of neutral salinization was unexpected. Obligate alkaliphilic isolates were characterized as a new species of the genus Sodiomyces as a result of phylogenetic reconstructions. In the article, we discuss the possible ecological role of alkali-resistant fungi in saline habitats.


extremophiles alkaliphilic fungi alkalotolerant fungi Sodiomyces salt lakes Lake Baskunchak halotolerant fungi. 



This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 18-34-00779 mol_a).


This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Bilanenko, E.N., Sorokin, D.Y., Ivanova, M.L., and Kozlova, M.V., Heleococcum alkalinum, a new alkalitolerant ascomycete from saline soda soils, Mycotaxon, 2005, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. 497–507.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Georgieva, M.L., Lebedeva, M.P., and Bilanenko, E.N., Mycelial fungi in saline soils of the western Transbaikal region, Eurasian Soil Sci., 2012, vol. 45, no. 12, pp. 1159–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.A., Debets, A.J.M., van Diepeningen, A.D., Georgieva, M.L., and Bilanenko, E.N., Sodiomyces alkalinus, a new alkaliphilic ascomycete within the Plectosphaerellaceae, Persoonia., 2013, vol. 31, pp. 147–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.A., Georgieva, M.L., Debets, A.J.M., and Bilanenko, E.N., Are alkalitolerant fungi of the Emericellopsis lineage (Bionectriaceae) of marine origin, IMA Fungus, 2013, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 213–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.A., Georgieva, M.L., Bondarenko, S.A., Debets, A.J.M., and Bilanenko, E.N., On the diversity of fungi from soda soils, Fungal Divers, 2016, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 27–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bondarenko, S.A., Georgieva, M.L., and Bilanenko, E.N., Fungi inhabiting the coastal zone of Lake Magadi, Contemp. Probl. Ecol., 2018, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 439–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bondarenko, S.A., Georgieva, M.L., and Bilanenko, E.N., Alkalitolerant micromycetes in acidic and soils of the temperate zone, Microbiology, 2016, vol. 85, no. 6, pp. 737–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zelenkovskii, P.S. and Kurilenko, V.V., Natural and technogenic system of the salt lake Baskunchak and features of the exploitation of its resources, Vestn. S.‑Peterb. Univ., Ser. 7, Geol. Geogr., 2013, no. 4, pp. 33–52.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bataeva, Y.V., Dzerzhinskaya, I.S., Astafyeva, O.V., Satkalieva, M., Yakovleva, L.V., Kondratenko, E.I., Magzanova, D.K., and Baimuhambetova, A.S., Investigation of specific microorganisms in the salt lakes of Southern Russia, Afr. J. Microbiol. Res., 2015, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 2051–2056.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Buchalo, A.S., Nevo, E., Wasser, S.P., Oren, A., and Molitoris, H.P., Fungal life in the extremely hypersaline water of the Dead Sea: First records, Proc. Biol. Sci., 1998, vol. 265, no. 1404, pp. 1461–1465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kis-Papo, T., Oren, A., Wasser, S.P., and Nevo, E., Survival of filamentous fungi in hypersaline Dead Sea water, Microb. Ecol., 2003, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 183–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smolyanyuk, E.V. and Bilanenko, E.N., Communities of halotolerant micromycetes from the areas of natural salinity, Microbiology, 2011, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 877–883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Oren, A. and Gunde-Cimerman, N., Fungal life in the Dead Sea, in Biology of Marine Fungi, Raghukumar, C., Ed., Berlin–Heidelberg: Springer, 2012, pp. 115–132.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grishkan, I., Nevo, E., and Wasser, S.P., Soil micromycete diversity in the hypersaline Dead Sea coastal area, Israel, Mycol. Prog., 2003, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.A., Falkoski, D.L., van den Heuvel, J., et al., The obligate alkalophilic soda-lake fungus Sodiomyces alkalinus has shifted to a protein diet, Mol. Ecol., 2018, vol. 27, no. 23, pp. 4808–4819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kevbrin, V.V., Isolation and cultivation of alkaliphiles, in Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, Scheper, T., Ed., Berlin–Heidelberg: Springer, 2019, pp. 1–32.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Carreira, C., Staal, M., Falkoski, D., Vries, R.P., Middelboe, M., and Brussaard, C.P., Disruption of photoautotrophic intertidal mats by filamentous fungi, Environ. Microbiol., 2015, vol. 17, no. 8, pp. 2910–2921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rogozhin, E.A., Sadykova, V.S., Baranova, A.A., Vasilchenko, A.S., Lushpa, V.A., Mineev, K.S., Georgieva, M.L., Kul’ko, A.B., Krasheninnikov, M.E., Lyundup, A.V., Vasilchenko, A.V., and Andreev, Y.A., A novel lipopeptaibol emericellipsin A with antimicrobial and antitumor activity produced by the extremophilic fungus Emericellopsis alkalina, Molecules, 2018, vol. 23, no. 11.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Domsch, K.H., Gams, W., and Anderson, T.H., Compendium of Soil Fungi, Eching: IHW-Verlag & Verlagsbuchhadlung, 2007, 2nd ed.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zare, R., Gams, W.D., Starink-Willemse, M., and Summerbell, R.C., Gibellulopsis, a suitable genus for Verticillium nigrescens, and Musicillium, a new genus for V. theobromae, Nova Hedwigia, 2007, vol. 85, nos. 3–4, pp. 463–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Giraldo, A., Gené, J., Sutton, D.A., Madrid, H., De Hoog, G.S., Cano, J., Decock, C., Crous, P.W., and Guarro, J., Phylogeny of Sarocladium (Hypocreales), Persoonia, 2015, vol. 34, pp. 10–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Allerton Press, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Bondarenko
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. L. Georgieva
    • 1
    • 3
  • L. Yu. Kokaeva
    • 1
  • E. N. Bilanenko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mycology and Algology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Federal Research Center Fundamentals of Biotechnology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Gause Institute of New AntibioticsMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations