Continuous Plankton Recorder

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Australian dust storm associated with potentially pathogenic marine "fungal bloom"

The IMOS Plankton team have collaborated with UTas partner Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff to publish in the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Following a large dust storm in September 2009, a never before reported fungal bloom covering an area of 25 times the surface of England was detected off the east coast of Australia via the unique IMOS Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey technology. The massive coastal fungal bloom of Aspergillus sydowii was of concern due to possible human health as well as coral reef impact. Whilst no impacts comparable to Caribbean coral disease were observed (typical of Aspergillus sydowii), Australian fungal cultures reduced Symbiodinium dinoflagellate symbiont movement, raising the possibility of future marine ecosystem impacts from dust storms harboring more pathogenic strains.

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Categories:  Australian Plankton Survey, Ships of Opportunity, news, Facility

Facility Leader: Dr Rudy Kloser

Email: rudy.kloser(at)

Phone +61 (0)3 6232 5389

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