Fungus-Creating Dandruff for Hair and Sea Coral

Aug 22, 2014

Dandruff Fungus
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Fungus is a living organism that’s all around us.

It grows on the walls, on our skin, but also on coral, and it’s become a link to understand how species can evolve.  It turns out that the fungus linked to dandruff and flakey skin is very similar to a strain that lives on Hawaiian coral, arctic soil, and deep sea vents.

Scientists with the University of Hawaii at Manoa knew that genus Malassezia was a common fungus, but DNA bar mapping of samples taken from new deep sea exploration shows that it’s growing all over the ocean floor and it's an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus, and it's closely related to the same fungus on humans.  Anthony Amend is from the Botany department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Amend says that the discovery opens the door to discover new species and their links to humans. 

Read the full report HERE