Mycoflora identified from loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) egg shells and nest sand at Fethiye beach, Turkey


�zgür Güçlü*, Halil Bıyık and Aslı ahiner

The aim of this study was to investigate the mycoflora of the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta, from its nests and eggshells at Fethiye Beach, Turkey. During the 2004 breeding season, following the complete emergence of the hatchlings, sand samples were collected from 15 nests and eggs from these nests were swabbed. Rose Bengal chloramphenicol agar was used for isolation, and then mycoflora were subcultured onto suitable media. Fungi were counted and identified at genus level. Ten genera were identified within the nests and eggshells. Aspergillus sp., Chrysosporium sp., Fusarium sp. and Penicillum sp. were identified both in nests and eggshells. Furthermore, while Absidia sp., Cylindrocarpon sp., Emericella sp. and Mucor sp. were only identified in the nests, Cladosporium sp. and Thielavia sp. were only identified in eggshells. In addition, there was a positive correlation between total number of isolated fungus and embryonic death in nests (r = 0.53, p < 0.05). Hatching success was negatively correlated with total number of isolated fungus (r = -0.54, p < 0.05) . Our study indicates a relation between hatching success and fungal flora of the nests. Presence of fungi may also be important for the researchers who digs nest to avoid infections or allergies due to these fungi.

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