Basidiomycete yeasts in the cortex of ascomycete macrolichens

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. Basidiomycete lineages maintain close associations with specific lichen species over large geographical distances and have been found on six continents. The structurally important lichen cortex, long treated as a zone of differentiated ascomycete cells, appears to consistently contain two unrelated fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume353
Issue number6298
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 29 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Basidiomycete yeasts in the cortex of ascomycete macrolichens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this