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Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

SMITH, HAYDEN BARLOW [1], Leavitt, Steven [2].

Metagenomic sequencing reveals diverse, lichen-specific mycobiomes.

Lichens have traditionally been considered to be the symbiotic phenotype from the interactions of a single fungal partner and a single photosynthetic partner. However, the lichen symbiosis has been shown to be far more complex and may include a wide range of other interacting organisms, including bacteria, accessory fungi, and algae. Recently, a ‘third partner’, basidiomycete yeasts, have been proposed to play an essential role in some macrolichens. In this study, we used metagenomic shotgun sequencing to better characterize lichen mycobiomes. Specifically, we inferred the range of fungi associated within lichen thalli from five groups of lichens – Bryoria, Physciaceae,Rhizoplaca, Umbilicaria, and Xanthoparmelia. Metagenomic reads representing the multi-copy nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), the standard DNA barcode region for fungi, were extracted, clustered, and used to infer taxonomic assignments. Our data revealed complex and often lichen-specific mycobiomes, with each lichen metagenome comprising a significant proportion of reads from accessory fungal lineages. Many of the members of the lichen-associated lichen mycobiomes identified here have not previously been found in association with lichens. We found little evidence supporting the ubiquitous presence of Cystobasidiales yeasts in macrolichens, although reads representing this putative ‘third’ lichen symbiont were found in Bryoria samples in low abundance. Our study further highlights the ecosystem-like features of lichens, with partners and interactions far from being completely understood. Future research is needed to more fully and accurately characterize lichen mycobiomes and how these fungi interact with the traditionally considered major lichen components – the photo- and mycobionts.

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1 - Brigham Young University, Bioloby, 355 E 400 N, Apt 103, Provo, UT, 84606, United States
2 - Brigham Young University, Biology, 800 N 580 E St, Provo, UT, 84606, United States


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BL, Bryology/Lichenology combined session
Location: Tucson G/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: BL004
Abstract ID:830
Candidate for Awards:None

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