Even though they are at home on dry land, Aspergillus ustus mold is also capable of living, growing, and reproducing under more than 1000 meters of water. Man-made machines have to be specially and painstakingly designed to function at those crushing depths, but Aspergillus ustus does so by adopting a micro-spheroid shape. Production and release of enzymes for breaking down their food functions well at these depths and cold temperatures as well.
"Synthesis of protease was evident at 100 bar pressure in both the test fungi at 30 as well as 10°C." (Raghukumar and Raghukumar 1998: 155)
"Calcareous shells have an organic matrix of conchyolin, a horny protein which is known to be used by endolithic fungi as a nutrient source (Alderman 1976). In light of this, synthesis and activity of protease under pressure and at low temperature are of great significance to these endolithic deep-sea fungi for survival." (Raghukumar and Raghukumar 1998: 161)
"Extensive fungal borings of calcium carbonate sediments have also been described from 210 to 1450 m in Bahamian waters." (Raghukumar C. and S. 1998:157)
"Spherical cells might be an adaptation by these fungi for pressure tolerance. Beaded hyphal structures, as observed in natura! samples, were also observed under simulated laboratory conditions." (Raghukumar and Raghukumar 1998:160)