PHYLOGENETIC DIVERSITY OF TRENTEPOHLIALEAN ALGAE ASSOCIATED WITH LICHEN-FORMING FUNGI

Authors

  • Matthew P. Nelsen,

    1. Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, 1025 E. 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA
      Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, USA
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  • Eimy Rivas Plata,

    1. Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, USA
      Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois-Chicago, 845 West Taylor Street (MC 066), Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA
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  • Carrie J. Andrew,

    1. Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, USA
      Department of Biology, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 North St. Louis Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60625, USA
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  • Robert Lücking,

    1. Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, USA
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  • H. Thorsten Lumbsch

    1. Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, USA
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  • Received 3 March 2010. Accepted 13 September 2010.

Abstract

Nearly one-fourth of the lichen-forming fungi associate with trentepohlialean algae, yet their genetic diversity remains unknown. Recent work focusing on free-living trentepohlialean algae has provided a phylogenetic context within which questions regarding the lichenization of these algae can be asked. Here, we concentrated our sampling on trentepohlialean algae from lichens producing a diversity of growth forms (fruticose and crustose) over a broad geographic substratum, ecological, and phylogenetic range. We have demonstrated that there is no evidence for a single clade of strictly lichenized algae; rather, a wide range demonstrated the ability to associate with lichenized fungi. Variation was also observed among trentepohlialean algae in lichens from a single geographic area and tree, suggesting that fungi in close proximity can associate with different trentepohlialean algae, consistent with the findings of trebouxiophycean algae and cyanobacteria.

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