Recent DNA sequence analyses have revealed the diversity of algal partners in lichen symbioses. Although morphologically similar, different genetic lineages of photobionts are detected in wide geographic ranges of the same lichen fungal species. We studied the photobiont of the genus Trebouxia, which are known as partners of diverse lichen-forming fungal species in the Mediterranean region. We studied the phylogeny of these algae with a multilocus dataset including three loci: ITS, rbcL, and actin type I gene. The two lineages found, informally named Trebouxia sp. 1 and Trebouxia sp. 2, are related to Trebouxia arboricola/decolorans. The cultivation under axenic conditions succeeded only for one of them so far. We used light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy for phenotypic characterisation. The ultrastructural characters currently used to describe species in the genus do not support the segregation of Trebouxia sp.1 from Trebouxia arboricola. The preferential presence in Mediterranean climates of these strains suggests eco-physiological adaptation. Despite their asexuality in long living lichen symbioses, coccoid algal lichen partners have apparently diversified genetically and physiologically.

Morphological and phylogenetic study of algal partners associated with the lichen-forming fungus Tephromela atra from the Mediterranean region

MUGGIA, LUCIA;
2010

Abstract

Recent DNA sequence analyses have revealed the diversity of algal partners in lichen symbioses. Although morphologically similar, different genetic lineages of photobionts are detected in wide geographic ranges of the same lichen fungal species. We studied the photobiont of the genus Trebouxia, which are known as partners of diverse lichen-forming fungal species in the Mediterranean region. We studied the phylogeny of these algae with a multilocus dataset including three loci: ITS, rbcL, and actin type I gene. The two lineages found, informally named Trebouxia sp. 1 and Trebouxia sp. 2, are related to Trebouxia arboricola/decolorans. The cultivation under axenic conditions succeeded only for one of them so far. We used light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy for phenotypic characterisation. The ultrastructural characters currently used to describe species in the genus do not support the segregation of Trebouxia sp.1 from Trebouxia arboricola. The preferential presence in Mediterranean climates of these strains suggests eco-physiological adaptation. Despite their asexuality in long living lichen symbioses, coccoid algal lichen partners have apparently diversified genetically and physiologically.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2758355
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