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Conference abstract, 2016

Visualizing fungal communities in lichens by fluorescent in situ hybridization

Tuovinen, Veera; Johannesson, Hanna; Thor, Göran; Spribille, Toby


Lichens are communities of different groups of fungi, photosynthetic organisms and bacteria. Distinguishing between different fungi with light microscopy can be challenging, even when the occurrence of lichenicolous fungi is known based on molecular data. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) is a method to visualize different structures, species or specific RNA targets but has rarely been used in lichenology. We developed general protocols for FISH in lichens, accounting for cortical polysaccharide matrix and cell wall permeabilization as well as autofluorescence of different parts of thalli. We also designed specific probes for simultaneous visualization of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Cyphobasidium hypogymniicola (Pucciniomycotina, Basidiomycota) is a lichenicolous fungus occurring on Hypogymnia physodes, one of the most common lichens in Scandinavia. Cyphobasidium hypogymniicola forms its sexual stage in thalline galls. We used Cyphobasidium-targeted FISH to reveal previously unrecognized details of the fungal teleomorph as well as a previously unknown anamorphic (yeast) state of C. hypogymniicola occurring on the cortical layer of apparently uninfected H. physodes. FISH with its many applications appears as a powerful tool for the study of communities within lichens.

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Title: The 8th IAL Symposium Lichens in Deep Time August 1–5, 2016 Helsinki, Finland : IAL8 Abstracts
Publisher: IAL


The 8th IAL Symposium: Lichens in deep time

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