Amblypygid-fungal interactions: the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth

Alastair T. Gibbons, Alexander Idnurm, Michael Seiter, Paul S. Dyer, Matthew Kokolski, Sara L. Goodacre, Stanislav N. Gorb, Jonas O. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Fungi and arthropods represent some of the most diverse organisms on our planet, yet the ecological relationships between them remain largely unknown. In animals, fungal growth on body surfaces is often hazardous and is known to cause mortality. In contrast, here we report the presence of an apparently non-harmful mycobiome on the cuticle of whip spiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi). The associations are not species-specific and involve a diversity of fungal species, including cosmopolitan and local decomposers as well as entomopathogens. We discuss the ecology of the detected fungal species and hypothesize that the thick epicuticular secretion coat of whip spiders (the cerotegument) promotes fungal growth. It is possible that this relationship is beneficial towards the host if it leads to parasite control or chemical camouflage. Our findings, which are the first from this arthropod lineage, indicate that non-pathogenic interactions between arthropods and fungi may be much more widespread than predicted and call for more studies in this area.

LanguageEnglish
Pages497-506
Number of pages10
JournalFungal Biology
Volume123
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Fingerprint

exoskeleton
Spiders
Arthropods
spider
arthropod
Araneae
microbial growth
arthropods
substrate
Fungi
parasite control
Growth
Arachnida
Amblypygi
fungus
Planets
Communicable Disease Control
fungi
entomopathogens
cuticle

Keywords

  • Arachnida
  • Arthropod-fungi relationship
  • Cladosporium
  • Mucoromycota
  • Mycoflora
  • Simplicillium

Cite this

Gibbons, A. T., Idnurm, A., Seiter, M., Dyer, P. S., Kokolski, M., Goodacre, S. L., ... Wolff, J. O. (2019). Amblypygid-fungal interactions: the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth. Fungal Biology, 123(7), 497-506. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2019.05.003
Gibbons, Alastair T. ; Idnurm, Alexander ; Seiter, Michael ; Dyer, Paul S. ; Kokolski, Matthew ; Goodacre, Sara L. ; Gorb, Stanislav N. ; Wolff, Jonas O. / Amblypygid-fungal interactions : the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth. In: Fungal Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 123, No. 7. pp. 497-506.
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Gibbons, AT, Idnurm, A, Seiter, M, Dyer, PS, Kokolski, M, Goodacre, SL, Gorb, SN & Wolff, JO 2019, 'Amblypygid-fungal interactions: the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth', Fungal Biology, vol. 123, no. 7, pp. 497-506. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2019.05.003

Amblypygid-fungal interactions : the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth. / Gibbons, Alastair T.; Idnurm, Alexander; Seiter, Michael; Dyer, Paul S.; Kokolski, Matthew; Goodacre, Sara L.; Gorb, Stanislav N.; Wolff, Jonas O.

In: Fungal Biology, Vol. 123, No. 7, 07.2019, p. 497-506.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Gibbons AT, Idnurm A, Seiter M, Dyer PS, Kokolski M, Goodacre SL et al. Amblypygid-fungal interactions: the whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth. Fungal Biology. 2019 Jul;123(7):497-506. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2019.05.003