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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

No support for occurrence of free-living Cladonia mycobionts in dead wood

Tuovinen, Veera; Svensson, Måns; Kubartová, Ariana; Ottosson, Elisabet; Stenlid, Jan; Thor, Göran; Dahlberg, Anders


Lichenised fungi are traditionally assumed to form obligate symbioses with algae or cyanobacteria and to be confined to the surface of their growing substratum. However, in a recent 454 pyrosequencing study of fungal communities in Picea abies logs, lichen-forming fungi were detected at a depth of more than 6 cm in dead wood, implying the existence of free-living lichen mycobionts. To determine whether this was the case, we investigated whether Cladonia spp., the most frequently encountered mycobionts, occurred in wood without their photobionts. We detected green algae in all samples with records of Cladonia spp. Hence, we found no evidence for free-living Cladonia mycobionts in wood. We suggest that the detected Cladonia DNA in these logs originates from vegetative propagules or thallus fragments dispersed into the logs by animals or water. However, the occurrence of free-living stages of other lichen-forming fungal taxa in dead wood cannot be excluded. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Asterochloris; Lichen-forming fungi; 454 pyrosequencing; Saprotrophy

Published in

Fungal Ecology
2015, Volume: 14, pages: 130-132