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The new species Fellhaneropsis rhododendri is described from living Rhododendron leaves in the Netherlands. It is characterized by pyriform pycnidia with stiff, septate hairs at the mouth. It is doubtlessly due to recent global warming that an obligately foliicolous lichen can be described from a temperate area in Europe.
The lichen Pyrenula minutissima is described as new to science from the Hyrcanian forests in northern Iran. In addition, three further, essentially tropical, Pyrenula species are reported for the first time from Iran. An identification key is provided for all eight Pyrenula species now known from Iran.
Trapeliopsis gymnidiata, a terricolous species from the Canary Islands, is described as new to science. It has previously been confused with T. wallrothii, but differs by the soft, partly decorticate isidia, or rather gymnidia, that leave inconspicuous scars after falling off. Trapeliopsis wallrothii is known only from high mountains in Macaronesia, while T. gymnidiata is a lowland species. Trapelia rubra from Madeira is also described as new to science. It grows in similar places and resembles some morphs of Trapelia coarctata, but differs by the nearly squamulose areoles, the crenulate, seemingly sorediate, apothecium margin that does not become excluded, and especially by the patchy red colour (skyrin) in the medulla.
Pannaria howeana and P. streimannii are described here as new to science. Both species are restricted to the isolated Lord Howe Island in Australia. The former is known only from one collection and the latter from two sites. Pannaria howeana is a primarily fertile species, with rather broad lobes and few rhizines restricted to the central part of the lower side of the thallus. The lower sides of the lobes have a pattern of characteristic radiating hyphae and narrowly recurved margins similar to the New Zealand lichen P. araneosa (C. Bab.) Hue, which is considered to be its closest relative. Pannaria streimannii is a phyllidiate counterpart of P. howeana. Both species share a new chemosyndrome consisting of porphyrilic acid in combination with vicanicin and leprolomin. Local endemic species are uncommon among tripartite Pannaria species, and the coarse vegetative propagules of both species appear to be an adaptation to local dispersal on a small, isolated island.
Lecanora subjaponica L. Lü & H. Y. Wang from western China is described as new to science. It is the only known Lecanora species having (16–)32-spored asci and it is otherwise characterized by an epruinose, shiny brown apothecial disc, epihymenium lacking granules and the presence of zeorin in addition to atranorin. A worldwide key to the multispored species of Lecanora is also given.
Four new species of lichenicolous fungi are described from Bolivia: Capronia etayoi Flakus & Kukwa sp. nov. (on Dictyonema minus), Lichenosticta jurgae Kukwa & Flakus sp. nov. (on Lecanora sp.), Phaeosporobolus trypethelii Flakus & Kukwa sp. nov. (on Trypetheliumochroleucum; the host lichen new to Bolivia) and Spirographa usneae Flakus, Kukwa & Etayo sp. nov. (on Usnea sp.; also known from Ecuador).
A new gall-inducing lichenicolous fungus, Plectocarpon stereocaulicola Kukwa, Etayo and Flakus, is described from Bolivia from the thalli of Stereocaulon sp. The new species is characterized by black, epruinose rounded ascomata with a carbonized surface and a thalline pseudo-margin, as well as a non-carbonized, light brown sterile stromatic tissue in the lower part and 3-septate ascospores becoming brown and ornamented when mature.
Ten new species in nine different genera are described from the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas): Bryonora granulata with a finely granular thallus containing perlatolic acid; Bryoria mariensis, a terricolous species with norstictic acid and unusual cortex cells; Carbonea hypopurpurea with a K+ purple hypothecium and a thallus containing confluentic and 2′-O-methylperlatolic acids; Caloplaca megalariicola lichenicolous on Megalaria grossa; Cladonia flammea with a red-orange coloration on the lower side of the primary squamules; Cliostomum falklandicum, on rocks and with a dispersed thallus containing only atranorin; Lepraria malouina with usnic and stictic acids; Rimularia andreaeicola, over bryophytes and lacking lichen substances; R. subpsephota, similar to R. psephota but with a discrete white thallus lacking norstictic acid; and Usnea austrocampestris, a straggling species in sect. Neuropogon from the mountain tops. Rimularia andreaeicola is also known from Tierra del Fuego and R. subpsephota from Tierra del Fuego and South Georgia, but the other species are known only from the Falkland Islands. The new combinations Carbonea agellata, C. subdeclinans, Cliostomum aeruginascens and C. violascens are also made; Lecidea interrupta Darb. and Lecidea protracta Darb. are reduced to synonymy with Lecanora xantholeuca (Müll. Arg.) Hertel; Rhizocarpon simillimum is reported for the first time from the Southern Hemisphere, from the Falkland Islands and New Zealand; and Bryoria chalybeiformis is reported for the first time from the Falkland Islands.
The species described in or referred to the genus Melanophloea, traditionally referred to the Thelocarpaceae, are discussed. Detailed observations on two species, including the type species, show that they have not much more in common than their polysporous ascus. Melanophloea is reduced to the type species, M. pacifica. It shows a close resemblance to Aptrootia in the Trypetheliaceae, and it is therefore tentatively referred to this family. Melanophloea americana is shown to be close to Thelenella in the Thelenellaceae. The latter species and the related M. montana are newly combined into this genus as Thelenella americana and T. montana. Thelocarpon nigrum, which was recently compared to Melanophloea, is retained in Thelocarpon in the Thelocarpaceae. Polyspory is suggested to facilitate dispersion, especially when compared to parent taxa that produce large muriform ascospores. Based on the current classification, polyspory originated at least 57 times within the lichenized ascomycetes, a clear example of convergent evolution.
Usnea hirta, an important member of the lichen family Parmeliaceae, has long been used as a bio-monitor of air pollution, particularly of sulphur dioxide in North America. Although U. hirta has a wide geographical distribution, it is important to be able to identify accurately the optimal habitat conditions for air pollution-sensitive species, thus making it possible to more effectively and efficiently establish air quality bio-monitoring stations. We modelled the distribution of U. hirta as a function of nine variables, five macroclimatic variables: average monthly precipitation, average monthly minimum temperature, average monthly maximum temperature, solar radiation, and integrated moisture index, and four topographic variables: elevation, slope, aspect, and land forms and uses for the White River National Forest, Colorado. The response variable was developed based on the presence or absence of U. hirta at each of 72 bio-monitoring baseline sites established in selected portions of four intermountain area states. Our model was developed using Non-Parametric Multiplicative Regression (NPMR) analysis, a modelling approach that analyzes environmental gradients, or predictor variables, against known locations for individuals of the model species. Finally, we evaluated our model on the basis of log β values and overall improvement over a naïve model and the Monte Carlo Permutation Test with 1000 randomized runs. The best model for U. hirta included four variables – solar radiation, average monthly precipitation, and average monthly minimum and maximum temperatures (log β=3·68). Among these four variables, average monthly maximum temperature was the most influential predictor (sensitivity=0·71) for the distribution of U. hirta. The occurrence rate for U. hirta, based on field validation, was 45·5%, 65·4%, and 70·4% for low, medium, and high probability areas, respectively. This study showed that our model was successful in predicting the distribution of U. hirta in the White River National Forest. Based on these results, the north-eastern and western portions of the forest appear to offer the most favourable conditions for the installation of future air quality bio-monitoring baseline sites.
It has recently been discovered that lichens contain a serine protease capable of degrading the pathogenic prion protein, the etiological agent of prion diseases such as sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease. Limited methods are available to degrade or inactivate prion disease agents, especially in the environment, and lichens or their serine protease could prove important for management of these diseases. Scant information is available regarding the presence or absence of the protease responsible for degrading prion protein (PrP) in lichen species and, in this study, we tested the hypothesis that PrP degradation activity in lichens is phylogenetically-based by testing 44 species of Cladonia lichens, a genus for which a significant portion of the phylogeny is well established. We categorized PrP degradation activity among the 44 species (high, moderate, low or none) and found that activity in Cladonia species did not correspond with phylogenetic position of the species. Degradation of PrP did correspond, however, with three classical taxonomic characters within the genus: species with brown apothecia, no usnic acid, and the presence of a cortex. Of the 44 species studied, 18 (41%) had either high or moderate PrP degradation activity, suggesting the protease may be frequent in this genus of lichens.
A strain of the lichen mycobiont of Caloplaca erythrantha, isolated from ascospores, was cultured axenically on different solid media. Four of the media employed supported the development of colonies and production of the two major lichen secondary metabolites. These media were: BMYE (mannitol 2%, yeast extract 0·1%, in Bold's basal medium); MEYE (malt extract 2%, yeast extract 0·2%, in distilled water); Hamada's MY10 (malt extract 1%, yeast extract 0·4%, sucrose 10%, in distilled water); and the new BMRM (Bold mannitol rich medium, mannitol 5·3%, malt extract 1%, yeast extract 0·4% in Bold's mineral medium). Percentages refer to final medium volume. The fungal colonies developed well on the four media and produced emodin and 7-chloroemodin, the major secondary compounds of the lichen apothecia. Crystals deposited richly on the external surface of the hyphae, as observed with an optical microscope. The two anthraquinones were purified from the lichen thallus, apothecia and cultured mycelia, and identified by chromatographic (TLC, HPLC) and spectroscopic (NMR, MS) methods. The analysis of lichen apothecia revealed the presence of emodin (0·90% w/w) and 7-chloroemodin (0·56% w/w), whereas colonies cultured for five months generally produced higher percentages than the lichen: 1·72% emodin and 0·30% 7-chloroemodin on BMYE; 0·21% and 0·95% on MEYE; 7·82% and 7·48% on MY10; and 11·70% and 10·80% on BMRM. These results show that the production of both anthraquinones was promoted significantly in mycobiont cultures with high concentrations of the carbon sources sucrose or mannitol, with a higher effect being observed with the latter.
Lichens are a fascinating example of a symbiotic mutualism. It is still uncertain which processes guide fungal-photobiont interactions, and whether they are random or of a more complex nature. Here, the fungal-algal interactions in Ramalina menziesii and co-occurring taxa are analyzed by using DNA sequences of the algal Internal Transcribed Spacer region (ITS), to investigate fungal-algal associations in juvenile R. menziesii and allied species. Algal species were identified by a combination of BLAST searches, median-joining network analysis, and Bayesian phylogenetics. Fungal-algal networks were analyzed for nestedness, both at the species and haplotype level (fungal species vs. algal haplotypes), and the networks were inspected for evidence of compartmentalization. Bayesian phylogenetic trees indicated that the widespread green alga Trebouxia decolorans associated with R. menziesii, as well as six other fungal species. Four additional fungal species interacted with four different species of Trebouxia. Only in one out of ten samples were algal haplotypes shared with the nearest neighbours of juvenile R. menziesii. Fungal-algal species interactions were compartmentalized, while at the level of algal haplotypes, nestedness was found. This pattern is similar to the compartmentalization found in other intimately interacting mutualists.