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Lichenized fungi

Isaac Garrido-Benavent, Sergio Pérez-Ortega, Asunción de Los Ríos
Symbiotic associations between green algae (Chlorophyta) and fungi give rise to morphologically and eco-physiologically distinct entities, or so-called, lichens. In one of the most peculiar of these associations, the partners are species of the macroscopic genus Prasiola (Trebouxiophyceae) and the ascomycete Mastodia tessellata (Verrucariaceae). This is the only known case of a lichen symbiosis involving a foliose green alga. Despite intense research targeted at understanding the biology of this particular association, little is known about the genetic variability of its symbionts...
October 18, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Ana M Millanes, Paul Diederich, Mats Wedin
Pucciniomycotina is a highly diverse group of fungi, showing a remarkably wide range of lifestyles and ecologies. However, lichen-inhabiting fungi are only represented by a few species included in the genera Chionosphaera and Cystobasidium, and their phylogenetic position has never been investigated. Phylogenetic analyses using the nuclear SSU, ITS, and LSU ribosomal DNA markers reveal that the lichenicolous members of Cystobasidium (C. hypogymniicola, C. usneicola) form a monophyletic group distinct from Cystobasidium and outside the Cystobasidiales...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Steven D Leavitt, Theodore L Esslinger, Pradeep K Divakar, Ana Crespo, H Thorsten Lumbsch
Molecular data provide unprecedented insight into diversity of lichenized fungi, although morphologically cryptic species-level lineages circumscribed from sequence data often remain undescribed even in well-studies groups. Using diagnostic characters from DNA sequence data and support from the multispecies coalescent model, we formally describe a total of eleven new species and resurrect two others in the hyperdiverse lichen-forming fungal family Parmeliaceae. These include: four in the genus Melanelixia - M...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Youngho Kwon, Jaeyul Cha, Jennifer Chiang, Grant Tran, Guri Giaever, Corey Nislow, Jae-Seoun Hur, Youn-Sig Kwak
AIM: To determine uncovered antifungal activity of lichen derived compound; vulpinic acid by using chemical-genetic analyses. METHODS AND RESULTS: Haploinsufficiency and homozygous profiling assays was performed, revealing that strains lacking GLC7, MET4, RFC2, YAE1, and PRP18 were sensitive to three concentrations (12.5%, 25%, and 50% of inhibitory concentration) of vulpinic acid and independently validated. To verify inhibition of those genes, cell cycle analysis using flow cytometry was performed and relative expressions were measured...
September 23, 2016: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Jyotshna, Puja Khare, Karuna Shanker
Xanthones are naturally synthesized in various biological systems such as plants, lichens, and fungi and are stored as by-products. In addition to taxonomic significance they are also important in the treatment/management of a number of human disorders. Mangiferin and its derived lead molecule have never qualified for use in a clinical trial despite a number of pharmacological studies that have proven its effectiveness as an antioxidant, analgesic, antidiabetic, antiproliferative, chemopreventive, radioprotective, cardiotonic, immunomodulatory, and diuretic...
September 23, 2016: BioFactors
Mariana Andrea Peralta, María Angel da Silva, María Gabriela Ortega, José Luis Cabrera, María Gabriela Paraje
Several studies report that (+)-usnic acid, a lichen secondary metabolite, inhibits growth of different bacteria and fungi; however, the mechanism of its antimicrobial activity remains unknown. In this study, we explored the ability of usnic acid, obtained from Usnea amblyoclada, as an antibiofilm agent against azole-resistant and azole-sensitive Candida albicans strains by studying the cellular stress and antioxidant response in biofilms. The biofilm inhibitory concentration of usnic acid (4 µg/mL) exhibited a significant biofilm inhibition, 71...
September 20, 2016: Planta Medica
Polina Degtjarenko, Liis Marmor, Tiiu Tõrra, Michèle Lerch, Andres Saag, Tiina Randlane, Christoph Scheidegger
Very little is known whether and how air pollution impacts genetic diversity of lichenized fungi that are well-known indicators of environmental quality. We studied the genetic variation of eight Usnea subfloridana populations in Pinus sylvestris-dominated boreal forest stands in southern Estonia, Northern Europe; four of these populations were exposed to long-term dust pollution released from unpaved road. The mean bark pH of lichen phorophyte differed considerably between polluted and unpolluted forest stands...
October 2016: Fungal Biology
Michal Goga, Sebastian J Antreich, Martin Bačkor, Wolfram Weckwerth, Ingeborg Lang
Lichen secondary metabolites can function as allelochemicals and affect the development and growth of neighboring bryophytes, fungi, vascular plants, microorganisms, and even other lichens. Lichen overgrowth on bryophytes is frequently observed in nature even though mosses grow faster than lichens, but there is still little information on the interactions between lichens and bryophytes.In the present study, we used extracts from six lichen thalli containing secondary metabolites like usnic acid, protocetraric acid, atranorin, lecanoric acid, nortistic acid, and thamnolic acid...
September 19, 2016: Protoplasma
Kristiina Mark, Carolina Cornejo, Christine Keller, Daniela Flück, Christoph Scheidegger
Although lichens (lichen-forming fungi) play an important role in the ecological integrity of many vulnerable landscapes, only a minority of lichen-forming fungi have been barcoded out of the currently accepted ∼18 000 species. Regular Sanger sequencing can be problematic when analyzing lichens since saprophytic, endophytic, and parasitic fungi live intimately admixed, resulting in low-quality sequencing reads. Here, high-throughput, long-read 454 pyrosequencing in a GS FLX+ System was tested to barcode the fungal partner of 100 epiphytic lichen species from Switzerland using fungal-specific primers when amplifying the full internal transcribed spacer region (ITS)...
September 2016: Genome Génome / Conseil National de Recherches Canada
Yanyan Wang, Yong Zheng, Xinyu Wang, Xinli Wei, Jiangchun Wei
Lichen-associated fungal species have already been investigated in almost all the main growth forms of lichens, however, whether or not they are homogeneous and constant within each lichen species are still inconclusive. Moreover, the related ecological factors to affect and structure the fungal composition have been poorly studied. In order to answer these questions, we took Hypogymnia hypotrypa as a model to study the relationship between the lichen-associated fungal composition and two ecological factors, i...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Annika Frank, Catharina Julia Seel, Michael Groll, Tanja Gulder
Vanadium-dependent haloperoxidases (VHPOs) are a class of halogenating enzymes found in fungi, lichen, algae, and bacteria. We report the cloning, purification, and characterization of a functional VHPO from the cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina (AmVHPO), including its structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Compared to other VHPOs, the AmVHPO features a unique set of disulfide bonds that stabilize the dodecameric assembly of the protein. Easy access by high-yield recombinant expression, as well as resistance towards organic solvents and temperature, together with a distinct halogenation reactivity, make this enzyme a promising starting point for the development of biocatalytic transformations...
August 19, 2016: Chembiochem: a European Journal of Chemical Biology
Ruth Del-Prado, Pradeep Kumar Divakar, H Thorsten Lumbsch, Ana M Crespo
Asexual species with vegetative propagation of both symbiont partners (soredia) in lichens may harbor lower species diversity because they may indeed represent evolutionary dead ends or clones. In this study we aim to critically examine species boundaries in the sorediate lichen forming fungi Parmotrema reticulatum-Parmotrema pseudoreticulatum complex applying coalescent-based approaches and other recently developed DNA-based methods. To this end, we gathered 180 samples from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North and South America and generated sequences of internal transcribed spacer of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS) and DNA replication licensing factor MCM7 (MCM7)...
2016: PloS One
Lucia Muggia, Samantha Fernández-Brime, Martin Grube, Mats Wedin
Experiments to re-synthesise lichens so far focused on co-cultures of fungal and algal partners. However, recent studies have revealed that bacterial communities colonise lichens in a stable and host-specific manner. We were therefore interested in testing how lichenised fungi and algae interact with selected bacteria in an experimental setup. We selected the symbiotic system of Schizoxylon albescens and the algal genera Coccomyxa and Trebouxia as a suitable model. We isolated bacterial strains from the naturally occurring bacterial fraction of freshly collected specimens and established tripartite associations under mixed culture experiments...
October 2016: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Helena Tukiainen, Joseph J Bailey, Richard Field, Katja Kangas, Jan Hjort
Improved understanding of threatened species diversity is important for long-term conservation planning and natural area management, especially under ongoing global change. Geodiversity - the diversity of earth surface materials, forms and processes - may be a useful biodiversity surrogate for conservation planning, as well as having conservation value itself. Links between geodiversity and species richness have been demonstrated; establishing whether geodiversity also relates to threatened species' diversity and distribution patterns is a logical next step for conservation biology...
August 1, 2016: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Toby Spribille, Veera Tuovinen, Philipp Resl, Dan Vanderpool, Heimo Wolinski, M Catherine Aime, Kevin Schneider, Edith Stabentheiner, Merje Toome-Heller, Göran Thor, Helmut Mayrhofer, Hanna Johannesson, John P McCutcheon
For over 140 years, lichens have been regarded as a symbiosis between a single fungus, usually an ascomycete, and a photosynthesizing partner. Other fungi have long been known to occur as occasional parasites or endophytes, but the one lichen-one fungus paradigm has seldom been questioned. Here we show that many common lichens are composed of the known ascomycete, the photosynthesizing partner, and, unexpectedly, specific basidiomycete yeasts. These yeasts are embedded in the cortex, and their abundance correlates with previously unexplained variations in phenotype...
July 29, 2016: Science
William B Sanders, Sergio Pérez-Ortega, Matthew P Nelsen, Robert Lücking, Asunción de Los Ríos
Foliicolous lichens are formed by diverse, highly specialized fungi that establish themselves and complete their life cycle within the brief duration of their leaf substratum. Over half of these lichen-forming fungi are members of either the Gomphillaceae or Pilocarpaceae, and associate with Trebouxia-like green algae whose identities have never been positively determined. We investigated the phylogenetic affinities of these photobionts to better understand their role in lichen establishment on an ephemeral surface...
July 5, 2016: Journal of Phycology
Paul C Sokoloff, Colin E Freebury, Paul B Hamilton, Jeffery M Saarela
The Mars Desert Research Station is a Mars analog research site located in the desert outside of Hanksville, Utah, U.S.A. Here we present a preliminary checklist of the vascular plant and lichen flora for the station, based on collections made primarily during a two-week simulated Mars mission in November, 2014. Additionally, we present notes on the endolithic chlorophytes and cyanobacteria, and the identification of a fungal genus also based on these collections. Altogether, we recorded 38 vascular plant species from 14 families, 13 lichen species from seven families, six algae taxa including both chlorophytes and cyanobacteria, and one fungal genus from the station and surrounding area...
2016: Biodiversity Data Journal
Kathrin Becker, Anja Hartmann, Markus Ganzera, Dietmar Fuchs, Johanna M Gostner
Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are secondary metabolites, produced by a large variety of microorganisms including algae, cyanobacteria, lichen and fungi. MAAs act as UV-absorbers and photo-protectants. MAAs are suggested to exert pharmaceutical relevant bioactivities in the human system. We particularly focused on their effect on defence and regulatory pathways that are active in inflamed environments. The MAAs shinorine and porphyra-334 were isolated and purified from the red algae Porphyra sp. using chromatographic methods...
2016: Marine Drugs
Hui Li, Jiang-Chun Wei
Endocarpon pusillum is a lichen-forming fungus with an outstanding stress resistance property closely related to its antioxidant system. In this study, thioredoxin (Trx), one of the main components of antioxidant defense systems in E. pusillum (EpTrx), was characterized and analyzed both in transgenic yeasts and in vitro. Our analyses identified that the heterologous expression of EpTrx in the yeast Pichia pastoris significantly enhanced its resistance to osmotic and oxidative stresses. Assays in vitro showed EpTrx acted as a disulfide reductase as well as a molecular chaperone by assembling into various polymeric structures...
2016: Scientific Reports
Aravindan Rajendran, Bo Hu
BACKGROUND: Microalgae is considered a promising source for biofuel and bioenergy production, bio-remediation and production of high-value bioactive compounds, but harvesting microalgae is a major bottleneck in the algae based processes. The objective of this research is to mimic the growth of natural lichen and develop a novel biofilm platform technology using filamentous fungi and microalgae to form a lichen type of biofilm "mycoalgae" in a supporting polymer matrix. RESULTS: The possibility of co-existence of Chlorella vulgaris with various fungal cultures was tested to identify the best strain combination for high algae harvest efficiency...
2016: Biotechnology for Biofuels
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