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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-276
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-276
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 31 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 31 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Highly active and stable fungal ice nuclei are widespread among Fusarium species

Anna T. Kunert1, Mira L. Pöhlker1, Carola S. Krevert1, Carsten Wieder1, Kai R. Speth1, Linda E. Hanson2, Cindy E. Morris3, David G. Schmale III4, Ulrich Pöschl1, and Janine Fröhlich-Nowoisky1 Anna T. Kunert et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2USDA-ARS and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
  • 3Plant Pathology Research Unit, INRA, 84143 Montfavet, France
  • 4School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

Abstract. Some biological particles and macromolecules are particularly efficient ice nuclei (IN), triggering ice formation at temperatures close to 0 °C. The impact of biological particles on cloud glaciation and the formation of precipitation is still poorly understood and constitutes a large gap in the scientific understanding of the interactions and co-evolution of life and climate. To investigate the frequency and distribution of IN activity within the fungal genus Fusarium, more than 100 strains from 65 different Fusarium species were screened. In total, ~ 11 % of all tested species included ice nucleation-active (IN-active) strains, and ~ 16 % of all tested strains showed IN activity above −14 °C. Besides Fusarium species with known IN activity, F. armeniacum, F. begoniae, F. concentricum, and F. langsethiae were newly identified as IN-active. The cumulative number of IN per gram of mycelium for all tested Fusarium species was comparable to other biological IN like Sarocladium implicatum, Mortierella alpina, and Snomax®. Filtration experiments suggest that the single cell-free Fusarium IN is smaller than 100 kDa, and that aggregates can be formed in solution. Long-term storage and freeze-thaw cycle experiments revealed that the Fusarium IN remain active in solution for several months and after repeated freezing and thawing. Oxidation and nitration reactions, as occurring during atmospheric aging, did not affect the activity of the Fusarium IN. The high frequency of Fusarium and the wide distribution of IN activity within the genus, combined with the high stability of the IN, suggest a significant impact of fungal IN on the Earth’s water cycle and climate.

Anna T. Kunert et al.
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Anna T. Kunert et al.
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Short summary
A screening of more than 100 strains from 65 different species revealed that the IN activity within the fungal genus Fusarium is more widespread than previously assumed. Filtration experiments suggest that the single cell-free Fusarium IN is smaller than 100 kDa (~ 6 nm), and that aggregates can be formed in solution. Exposure experiments, freeze-thaw cycles, and long-term storage tests demonstrate a high stability of Fusarium IN under atmospherically relevant conditions.
A screening of more than 100 strains from 65 different species revealed that the IN activity...
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