The filamentous fungi associated with healthy and decaying Fucus serratus thalli were studied over a 1-year period using isolation methods and molecular techniques such as 28S rRNA gene PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic and real-time PCR analyses. The predominant DGGE bands obtained from healthy algal thalli belonged to the Lindra, Lulworthia, Engyodontium, Sigmoidea/Corollospora complex, and Emericellopsis/Acremonium-like ribotypes. In the culture-based analysis the incidence of recovery was highest for Sigmoidea marina isolates. In general, the environmental sequences retrieved could be matched unambiguously to isolates recovered from the seaweed except for the Emericellopsis/Acremonium-like ribotype, which showed 99% homology with the sequences of four different isolates, including that of Acremonium fuci. To estimate the extent of colonization of A. fuci, we used a TaqMan real-time quantitative PCR assay for intron 3 of the beta-tubulin gene, the probe for which proved to be species specific even when it was used in amplifications with high background concentrations of other eukaryotic DNAs. The A. fuci sequence was detected with both healthy and decaying thalli, but the signal was stronger for the latter. Additional sequence types, representing members from the Dothideomycetes, were recovered from the decaying thallus DNA, which suggested that a change in fungal community structure had occurred. Phylogenetic analysis of these environmental sequences and the sequences of isolates and type species indicated that the environmental sequences were novel in the Dothideomycetes.