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  • Soil fungi communities from three Antarctic islands were characterised using DNA sequencing. Between October and November 2011, soil samples were collected from Bird Island, Signy Island and Leonie Island in the sub-Antarctic, low maritime and high maritime Antarctic respectively. Soil was collected under populations of Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl. and Deschampsia antarctica Desv., the only two native vascular plant species that occur in Antarctica. Total DNA was extracted from the soils and fungal specific primers used to amplify the ribosomal ITS region for subsequent 454 pyrosequencing. Sequences are deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (study accession SRP068654). Funding was provided by the NERC grants NE/H014098/1, NE/H014772/1 and NE/H01408X/1.