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A worldwide phylogeography of the whiteworm lichens Thamnolia reveals three lineages with distinct habitats and evolutionary histories
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (Johannesson Lab)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (Johannesson Lab)
2017 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 7, no 10, 3602-3615 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thamnolia is a lichenized fungus with an extremely wide distribution, being encountered in arctic and alpine environments in most continents. In this study, we used molecular markers to investigate the population structure of the fungal symbiont and the associated photosynthetic partner of Thamnolia. By analyzing molecular, morphological, and chemical variation among 253 specimens covering the species distribution range, we revealed the existence of three mycobiont lineages. One lineage (Lineage A) is confined to the tundra region of Siberia and the Aleutian Islands, a second (Lineage B) is found in the high alpine region of the Alps and the Carpathians Mountains, and a third (Lineage C) has a worldwide distribution and covers both the aforementioned ecosystems. Molecular dating analysis indicated that the split of the three lineages is older than the last glacial maximum, but the distribution ranges and the population genetic analyses suggest an influence of last glacial period on the present-day population structure of each lineage. We found a very low diversity of Lineage B, but a higher and similar one in Lineages A and C. Demographic analyses suggested that Lineage C has its origin in the Northern Hemisphere, possibly Scandinavia, and that it has passed through a bottleneck followed by a recent population expansion. While all three lineages reproduce clonally, recombination tests suggest rare or past recombination in both Lineages A and C. Moreover, our data showed that Lineage C has a comparatively low photobiont specificity, being found associated with four widespread Trebouxia lineages (three of them also shared with other lichens), while Lineages A and B exclusively harbor T. simplex s. lat. Finally, we did not find support for the recognition of taxa in Thamnolia based on either morphological or chemical characters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Vol. 7, no 10, 3602-3615 p.
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Ecology Other Biological Topics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319636DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2917ISI: 000402554700030PubMedID: 28515896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319636DiVA: diva2:1087344
Available from: 2017-04-06 Created: 2017-04-06 Last updated: 2017-08-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The puzzle of lichen symbiosis: Pieces from Thamnolia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The puzzle of lichen symbiosis: Pieces from Thamnolia
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Symbiosis brought important evolutionary novelties to life on Earth. Lichens, the symbiotic entities formed by fungi, photosynthetic organisms and bacteria, represent an example of a successful adaptation in surviving hostile environments. Yet many aspects of the lichen symbiosis remain unexplored. This thesis aims at bringing insights into lichen biology and the importance of symbiosis in adaptation. I am using as model system a successful colonizer of tundra and alpine environments, the worm lichens Thamnolia, which seem to only reproduce vegetatively through symbiotic propagules. When the genetic architecture of the mating locus of the symbiotic fungal partner was analyzed with genomic and transcriptomic data, a sexual self-incompatible life style was revealed. However, a screen of the mating types ratios across natural populations detected only one of the mating types, suggesting that Thamnolia has no potential for sexual reproduction because of lack of mating partners. Genetic data based on molecular markers revealed the existence of three morphologically cryptic Thamnolia lineages. One lineage had a clear recombination structure and was found in the tundra region of Siberia, shorelines of Scandinavia, and Aleutian Islands. The other lineage was allopatric with the previous, and was highly clonal; only two haplotypes were found across the alpine region of central and southeastern Europe. However, the third lineage was sympatric with the other two, had a worldwide distribution, and although highly clonal, showed a recombinant population structure. Our data could not reveal whether the signs of recombination resulted from rare recombination events due to the extreme low frequency of the other mating type or ancestral variation before the loss of sexual reproduction. However, investigation of Thamnolia’s green algal population showed that in different localities, different algal genotypes were associated with the same fungal genotype. Furthermore, data suggest that Thamnolia carried several algal genotypes within its thalli and shared them with other distantly related but ecologically similar fungal species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 62 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1503
Keyword
Thamnolia, lichen, symbiosis, photobiont, mycobiont, phylogeography, MAT-loci, barcoding, NGS, genome, transcriptome, Ice Age
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Systematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319639 (URN)978-91-554-9887-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-01, Lindhalsalen, EBC, Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-04-06 Last updated: 2017-05-29

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