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Polyol-assimilation capacities of lichen-inhabiting fungi

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2020

Kanami Yoshino*
Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo, Matsudo, Chiba271-8510, Japan
Kohei Yamamoto
Tochigi Prefectural Museum, 2-2 Mutsumi-cho, Utsunomiya, Tochigi320-0865, Japan
Hiroshi Masumoto
Mountain Science Center, Sugadaira Research Station, University of Tsukuba, 1278-294, Sugadaira, Nagano386-2204, Japan
Yousuke Degawa
Mountain Science Center, Sugadaira Research Station, University of Tsukuba, 1278-294, Sugadaira, Nagano386-2204, Japan
Hiroko Yoshikawa
Natural History Museum & Institute, Chiba, Aoba-cho 955-2, Chuo-ku, Chiba260-8682, Japan
Hiroshi Harada
Natural History Museum & Institute, Chiba, Aoba-cho 955-2, Chuo-ku, Chiba260-8682, Japan
Kazunori Sakamoto
Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo, Matsudo, Chiba271-8510, Japan
Author for correspondence: Kanami Yoshino. E-mail:


Fungi are one of the most diverse carbon source-assimilating organisms, living as saprobes, parasites and symbionts; they play an important role in carbon cycling in the ecosystem. A lichen thallus provides habitats for many non-lichenized fungi and usually contains large quantities of polyols. However, research has not been undertaken to identify carbon sources of lichen-inhabiting fungi. In this study, we isolated various lichen-inhabiting fungi from surface-sterilized Ramalina spp., Flavoparmelia caperata and Peltigera degenii, and demonstrated their ability to assimilate carbon sources, namely glucose, ribitol and mannitol. Several isolates efficiently assimilated mannitol and ribitol; however, most isolates could assimilate only mannitol or both ribitol and mannitol at low levels. It is suggested that there are different preferences and niche segregation of carbon sources among lichen-inhabiting fungi, and that this assemblage includes fungi with different lifestyles such as saprobes, endophytes and transient visitors.

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Copyright © British Lichen Society 2020

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