Rock-inhabiting fungi (RIF) are melanized, meristematic fungi which dwell on and within rocks and have adapted to withstand harsh conditions in extreme habitats worldwide. Their morphological and genetic diversity remained unknown for a long time, but in the past few years culture-dependent and molecular phylogenetic approaches have contributed to uncovering the species richness of these otherwise very inconspicuous fungi. Only a few taxa of RIF develop both sexual reproductive structure (fertile stromata and/or pycnidia) and show multiple life styles, interacting with algae and lichen thalli in different ways. The genus Lichenothelia is one of these: It is characterized by fertile stromata and pycnidia and by species which can grow on and within exposed rocks, optionally associating with algae, with some species also being lichenicolous. The genus Lichenothelia includes up to now 25 species and form a monotypic family (Lichenotheliaceae) and order (Lichenotheliales) in Dothideomycetes. Here we focused on a group of Lichenothelia taxa distributed in the hot arid region of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. We performed molecular and morphological analyses and culture isolation and considered the ecology of the environmental samples to disentangle five species. We present the revision of two species already described, Lichenothelia calcarea and L. convexa, and introduce three new taxa to science, L. arida, L. umbrophila and L. umbrophila var. pullata.

Disentangling the complex of Lichenothelia species from rock communities in the desert

MUGGIA, LUCIA;
2015

Abstract

Rock-inhabiting fungi (RIF) are melanized, meristematic fungi which dwell on and within rocks and have adapted to withstand harsh conditions in extreme habitats worldwide. Their morphological and genetic diversity remained unknown for a long time, but in the past few years culture-dependent and molecular phylogenetic approaches have contributed to uncovering the species richness of these otherwise very inconspicuous fungi. Only a few taxa of RIF develop both sexual reproductive structure (fertile stromata and/or pycnidia) and show multiple life styles, interacting with algae and lichen thalli in different ways. The genus Lichenothelia is one of these: It is characterized by fertile stromata and pycnidia and by species which can grow on and within exposed rocks, optionally associating with algae, with some species also being lichenicolous. The genus Lichenothelia includes up to now 25 species and form a monotypic family (Lichenotheliaceae) and order (Lichenotheliales) in Dothideomycetes. Here we focused on a group of Lichenothelia taxa distributed in the hot arid region of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. We performed molecular and morphological analyses and culture isolation and considered the ecology of the environmental samples to disentangle five species. We present the revision of two species already described, Lichenothelia calcarea and L. convexa, and introduce three new taxa to science, L. arida, L. umbrophila and L. umbrophila var. pullata.
http://www.mycologia.org/content/107/6/1233.abstract
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2869806
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