Molecular identification of fungal isolates and hatching success of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests

Candan E. D.

ARCHIVES OF MICROBIOLOGY, vol.200, no.6, pp.911-919, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 200 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00203-018-1496-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.911-919
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study is to investigate the fungal diversity of green turtle nests and to examine phylogenetic relationships among these isolates. During the nesting season, samples of intra-nest sand and failed eggs were collected from 25% of the surviving nests in Sugozu Beaches, which are amongst the most important nesting beaches for endangered green turtles in the Mediterranean. Twenty-three fungi were identified by molecular techniques. Fungal isolates belonged to genera Aspergillus, Emericella, Rhizopus, Actinomucor and Apophysomyces with two undescribed species. Aspergillus variecolor, Aspergillus quadrilinieatus, Aspergillus tubingensis, Rhizopus oryzae, Actinomucor elegans and Apophysomyces variabilis were firstly detected in all sea turtle nests within this study. Our results demonstrate that 36.4% of the nests had fungal contamination. Also hatching success of the nests contaminated by fungi were significantly lower than the uncontaminated nests (P = 0.029). Also, this may represent a threat to marine turtles and a risk for the health of conservation workers. This study is the first molecular phylogenetic study associated with sea turtle nests in the eastern Mediterranean coast and contributes to the wider body of literature on fungal invasion of sea turtle nests with firstly isolated species. These findings are important for improving potential conservation measures for the nest sites.