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Extremotolerant fungi from alpine rock lichens and their phylogenetic relationships

Extremotolerant fungi from alpine rock lichens and their phylogenetic relationships

Fungal Diversity 76: 119-142

Fungi other than the lichen mycobiont frequently co-occur within lichen thalli and on the same rock in harsh environments. In these situations dark-pigmented mycelial structures are commonly observed on lichen thalli, where they persist under the same stressful conditions as their hosts. Here we used a comprehensive sampling of lichen-associated fungi from an alpine habitat to assess their phylogenetic relationships with fungi previously known from other niches. The multilocus phylogenetic analyses suggest that most of the 248 isolates belong to the Chaetothyriomycetes and Dothideomycetes, while a minor fraction represents Sordariomycetes and Leotiomycetes. As many lichens also were infected by phenotypically distinct lichenicolous fungi of diverse lineages, it remains difficult to assess whether the culture isolates represent these fungi or are from additional cryptic, extremotolerant fungi within the thalli. Some of these strains represent yet undescribed lineages within Chaethothyriomycetes and Dothideomycetes, whereas other strains belong to genera of fungi, that are known as lichen colonizers, plant and human pathogens, rock-inhabiting fungi, parasites and saprotrophs. The symbiotic structures of the lichen thalli appear to be a shared habitat of phylogenetically diverse stress-tolerant fungi, which potentially benefit from the lichen niche in otherwise hostile habitats.

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Accession: 057851144

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PMID: 26877720

DOI: 10.1007/s13225-015-0343-8

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