Comparative characterization of Geomyces isolates was performed. The isolates were obtained from Arctic cryopegs and the surrounding ancient marine deposits, from nonsaline permafrost soils, and from temperate environments. Microbiological (cultural and morphological) and molecular criteria were used to confirm the identification of the isolates as Geomyces pannorum. The isolates from cryopegs and surrounding marine deposits were shown to differ from those obtained from nonsaline soils and temperate environments in their ability to grow at negative temperatures (-2 degrees C) under increased salt concentration (10%). The results are discussed in relation to the possible inheritance of the adaptive characteristics acquired in specific environments.