Skip to main content Accessibility help

Genetic diversity of the lichen-forming alga, Diplosphaera chodatii, in North America and Europe

  • Kyle M. FONTAINE (a1), Elfie STOCKER-WÖRGÖTTER (a2), Tom BOOTH (a1) and Michele D. PIERCEY-NORMORE (a1)


Dermatocarpon luridum is a subaquatic lichen which is distributed within temperate climatic zones around the world. It colonizes rock substrata along the shoreline of lakes and rivers of watersheds that regularly experience water level fluctuations. The mycobiont produces perithecia with small, simple spores that are thought to be wind dispersed. The photobiont, Diplosphaera chodatii, occurs both free-living and lichenized but little is known about its distribution and dispersal. The goal of this study was to compare the population structure of the photobiont from lakes and rivers in central North America with those of Europe. Specimens were collected in Manitoba, Canada and Austria. Population structure of the algal symbiont was assessed using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and actin gene sequences. Results showed that genetic diversity and gene flow was high within local populations, but gene flow was low between continental populations. Low levels of gene flow between the most distant populations support the isolation-by-distance theory. The photobiont on both continents is also reported to be the photobiont for other lichen species contributing to photobiont availability for D. luridum.



Hide All
Beck, A. (1999) Photobiont inventory of a lichen community growing on heavy-metal-rich rock. Lichenologist 31: 501510.
Bohonak, A. J. (2002) IBD (Isolation-by-distance): a program for analyses of isolation-by-distance. Journal of Heredity 93: 153154.
Casteleyn, G., Evans, K. M., Backeljau, T., D'hondt, S., Chepurnov, V. A., Sabbe, K. & Vyverman, W. (2009) Lack of population genetic structuring in the marine planktonic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia pungens (Bacillariophyceae) in a heterogeneous area in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Marine Biology 156: 11491158.
Clement, M., Posada, D. & Crandall, K. (2000) TCS: a computer program to estimate gene genealogies. Molecular Ecology 9: 16571660.
Doering, M. & Piercey-Normore, M. D. (2009) Genetically divergent algae shape an epiphytic lichen community on Jack Pine in Manitoba. Lichenologist 41: 6980.
Domaschke, S., Fernández-Mendoza, F., García, M. A., Martín, M. P. & Printzen, C. (2012) Low genetic diversity in Antarctic populations of the lichen-forming ascomycete Cetraria aculeata and its photobiont. Polar Research 31: 17353, 1–13.
Evans, K. M., Wortley, A. H., Simpson, G. E., Chepurnov, V. A. & Mann, D. G. (2008) A molecular systematics approach to explore diversity within the Sellaphora pupula species complex (Bacillariophyta). Journal of Phycology 44: 215231.
Excoffier, L., Smouse, P. E. & Quattro, J. M. (1992) Analysis of molecular variance inferred from metric distances among DNA haplotypes: application to human mitochondrial DNA restriction data. Genetics 131: 479491.
Felsenstein, J. (1985) Confidence limits on phylogenies: an approach using the bootstrap. Evolution 39: 783791.
Fernández-Mendoza, F., Domaschke, S., García, M. A., Jordan, P., Martín, M. P. & Printzen, C. (2011) Population structure of mycobionts and photobionts of the widespread lichen Cetraria aculeata . Molecular Ecology 20: 12081232.
Finlay, B. J. (2002) Global dispersal of free-living microbial eukaryote species. Science 296: 10611063.
Flechtner, V. R. (1998) Enigmatic desert soil algae. In Enigmatic Microorganisms and Life in Extreme Environments (Seckbach, J., ed.): 233241. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Flechtner, V. R., Johansen, J. R. & Belnap, J. (2008) The biological soil crusts of the San Nicolas Island: enigmatic algae from a geographically isolated ecosystem. Western North American Naturalist 68: 405436.
Foissner, W. (2008) Protist diversity and distribution: some basic considerations. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 235242.
Fontaine, K. M., Beck, A., Stocker-Wörgötter, E. & Piercey-Normore, M. D. (2012) Photobiont relationships and phylogenetic history of Dermatocarpon luridum var. luridum and related Dermatocarpon species. Plants 1: 3960.
Francisco de Oliveira, P. M., Timsina, B. & Piercey-Normore, M. D. (2012) Diversity of Ramalina sinensis and its photobiont in local populations. Lichenologist 44: 649660.
Galloway, D. J. (2008) Lichen biogeography. In Lichen Biology, 2nd Edition (Nash, T. H. III, ed.): 199216. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grande, F. D., Widmer, I., Wagner, H. H. & Scheidegger, C. (2012) Vertical and horizontal photobiont transmission within populations of a lichen symbiosis. Molecular Ecology 21: 31593172.
Grube, M., DePriest, P. T., Gargas, A. & Hafellner, J. (1995) DNA isolation from lichen ascomata. Mycological Research 99: 13211324.
Handa, S., Nakahara, M., Nakano, T., Itskovich, V. B. & Masuda, Y. (2001) Aerial algae from southwestern area of Lake Baikal. Hikobia 13: 463472.
Hanski, I. (1997) Metapopulation biology: from concepts and observations to predictive models. In Metapopulation Biology: Ecology, Genetics, and Evolution (Hanski, I. & Gilpin, M. E., eds): 6991. University of California, San Diego: Academic Press.
Hill, D. J. (2009) Asymmetric co-evolution in the lichen symbiosis caused by a limited capacity for adaptation in the photobiont. Botanical Review 75: 326338.
Högberg, N., Kroken, S., Thor, G. & Taylor, J. W. (2002) Reproductive mode and genetic variation suggest a North American origin of European Letharia vulpina . Molecular Ecology 11: 11911196.
Hommersand, M. H. & Fredericq, S. (2003) Biogeography of the marine red algae of the South African West Coast: a molecular approach. In Proceedings of the XVIIth International Seaweed Symposium, 2003 (Chapman, A. R., Anderson, R. J., Vreeland, V. J. & Davison, I. R., eds): 325336. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kroken, S. & Taylor, J. W. (2000) Phylogenetic species, reproductive mode, and specificity of the green alga Trebouxia forming lichens with the fungal genus Letharia . Bryologist 103: 645660.
Lindblom, L. (2009) Sample size and haplotype richness in population samples of the lichen-forming ascomycete Xanthoria parietina . Lichenologist 41: 529535.
Lukešová, A. & Hoffmann, L. (1996) Soil algae from acid rain impacted forest areas of the Krušné hory Mts. 1. Algal communities. Vegetatio 125: 123136.
Luo, W., Pflugmacher, S., Pröschold, T., Walz, N. & Krienitz, L. (2006) Genotype versus phenotype variability in Chlorella and Micractinium (Chlorophyta, Trebouxiophyceae). Protist 157: 315323.
Magurran, A. E. (2004) Measuring Biological Diversity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Ohmura, Y., Kawachi, M., Kasaie, F., Watanabe, M. M. & Takeshita, S. (2006) Genetic combinations of symbionts in a vegetatively reproducing lichen, Parmotrema tinctorum, based on ITS rDNA sequences. Bryologist 109: 4359.
Palice, Z. & Printzen, C. (2004) Genetic variability in tropical and temperate populations of Trapeliopsis glaucolepidea: evidence against long-range dispersal in a lichen with disjunct distribution. Mycotaxon 90: 4354.
Peakall, R. & Smouse, P. E. (2006) GENALEX 6: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research. Molecular Ecology Notes 6: 288295.
Peakall, R. & Smouse, P. E. (2012) GenAlEx 6.5: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research – an update. Bioinformatics 28: 25372539.
Peksa, O. & Skaloud, P. (2011) Do photobionts influence the ecology of lichens? A case study of environmental preferences in symbiotic green alga Asterochloris (Trebouxiophyceae). Molecular Ecology 20: 39363948.
Piercey-Normore, M. D. (2004) Selection of algal genotypes by three species of lichen fungi in the genus Cladonia . Canadian Journal of Botany 82: 947961.
Piercey-Normore, M. D. (2006) The lichen-forming ascomycete Evernia mesomorpha associates with multiple genotypes of Trebouxia jamesii . New Phytologist 169: 331344.
Printzen, C., Ekman, S. & Tønsberg, T. (2003) Phylogeography of Cavernularia hultenii: evidence for slow genetic drift in a widely disjunct lichen. Molecular Ecology 12: 14731486.
Rindi, F., Allali, H. A., Lam, D. W. & López-Bautista, J. M. (2009) An overview of the biodiversity and biogeography of terrestrial green algae. In Biodiversity Hotspots (Maletta, S. & Rescigno, V., eds): 105122. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Slatkin, M. (1994) Gene flow and population structure. In Ecological Genetics (Real, L. A., ed): 317. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Sluiman, H. J., Kouwets, F. A. C. & Blommers, P. C. J. (1989) Classification and definition of cytokinetic patterns in green algae: sporulation versus (vegetative) cell division. Archiv für Protistenkunde 137: 277290.
Soudek, D. Jr & Robinson, G. G. C. (1983) Electrophoretic analysis of the species and population structure of the diatom Asterionella formosa . Canadian Journal of Botany 61: 418433.
Stocker-Wörgötter, E. (2002) Resynthesis of photosymbiodemes. In Protocols in Lichenology: Culturing, Biochemistry, Ecophysiology and Use in Biomonitoring (Kranner, I., Beckett, R. P. & Varma, A. K., eds): 4760. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Stocker-Wörgötter, E. & Hager, A. (2008) Culture methods for lichens and lichen symbionts. In Lichen Biology (Nash, T. H. III, ed.): 353363. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stocker-Wörgötter, E. & Türk, R. (1989) The resynthesis of thalli of Dermatocarpon miniatum under laboratory conditions. Symbiosis 7: 3750.
Swofford, D. L. (2003) PAUP*: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (*and Other Methods). Version 4. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates.
Tamura, K., Peterson, D., Peterson, N., Stecher, G., Nei, M. & Kumar, S. (2011) MEGA5: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distance, and maximum parsimony methods. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28: 27312739.
Thompson, J. D., Gibson, T. J., Plewniak, F., Jeanmougin, F. & Higgins, D. G. (1997) The ClustalX windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Research 24: 48764882.
Thüs, H., Muggia, L., Pérez-Ortega, S., Favero-Longo, S., Joneson, S., O'Brien, H., Nelsen, M. P., Duque-Thüs, R., Grube, M., Friedl, T., et al. (2011) Revisiting photobiont diversity in the lichen family Verrucariaceae (Ascomycota). European Journal of Phycology 46: 399415.
Voytsekhovich, A., Dymytrova, L. & Nadyeina, O. (2011) Photobiont composition of some taxa of the genera Micarea and Placynthiella (Lecanoromycetes, lichenized Ascomycota) from Ukraine. Folia Cryptogamica Estonica 48: 135148.
Walser, B. & Haag, C. R. (2012) Strong intraspecific variation in genetic diversity and genetic differentiation in Daphnia magna: the effects of population turnover and population size. Molecular Ecology 21: 851861.
Walser, J-C., Holderegger, R., Gugerli, F., Hoebee, S. E. & Scheidegger, C. (2005) Microsatellites reveal regional population differentiation and isolation in Lobaria pulmonaria, an epiphytic lichen. Molecular Ecology 14: 457467.
Werth, S. (2010) Population genetics of lichen-forming fungi: a review. Lichenologist 42: 499519.
Werth, S. (2011) Optimal sample sizes and allelic diversity in studies of the genetic variability of mycobiont and photobiont populations. Lichenologist 43: 7381.
Werth, S. & Sork, V. L. (2010) Identity and genetic structure of the photobiont of the epiphytic lichen Ramalina menziesii on three oak species in southern California. American Journal of Botany 97: 821830.
White, T. J., Bruns, T., Lee, S. & Taylor, J. (1990) Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications (Innis, M. A., Gelfand, D. H., Sninsky, J. J. & White, T. J., eds): 315322. New York: Academic Press.
Widmer, I., Dal Grande, F., Cornejo, C. & Scheidegger, C. (2010) Highly variable microsatellite markers for the fungal and algal symbionts of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria and challenges in developing biont-specific molecular markers for fungal associations. Fungal Biology 114: 538544.
Wright, S. (1931) Evolution in Mendelian populations. Genetics 16: 97159.
Wright, S. (1943) Isolation-by-distance. Genetics 28: 114138.
Yahr, R., Vilgalys, R. & DePriest, P. T. (2004) Strong fungal specificity and selectivity for algal symbionts in Florida scrub Cladonia lichens. Molecular Ecology 13: 33673378.
Yahr, R., Vilgalys, R. & DePriest, P. T. (2006) Geographic variation in algal partners of Cladonia subtenuis (Cladoniaceae) highlights the dynamic nature of a lichen symbiosis. New Phytologist 171: 847860.
Zhang, T. & Wei, J. C. (2011) Survival analysis of symbionts isolated from Endocarpon pusillum Hedwig to desiccation and starvation stress. Science China, Life Sciences 54: 480489.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed