Marine-derived Aspergillus Diversity in the Republic of Korea and a New Species, Aspergillus niveaeris sp. nov., Isolated from Sponge and Mudflat
Jun Won Lee, Wonjun Lee, Rekhani Hansika Perera, Young Woon Lim
School of Biological Sciences and Institute of Microbiology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Aspergillus species play a crucial role in terrestrial environments as degraders and are well known for producing various secondary metabolites. Recently, Aspergillus species have been discovered in marine environments, exhibiting adaptability to high salinity and producing diverse secondary metabolites with valuable properties. However, limited research has focused on their marine diversity, leading to inaccurate species identification. This study addresses this gap by investigating diverse marine habitats including sediment, seawater, seaweed, and marine animals in the Republic of Korea. A total of 41 species were accurately identified using multigenetic markers: internal transcribed spacer, calmodulin, β-tubulin, and RNA polymerase II second largest subunit. A novel Aspergillus species, Aspergillusniveaeris sp. nov. belonging to the section Flavi was discovered and morphologically described. The findings underscore the importance of accurate identification and provide a basis for elucidating the functional role of marine-derived Aspergillus species in marine ecosystems.