Photobiont diversity in lichens from metal-rich substrata based on ITS rDNA sequences

Martin Backor, Ondrej Peksa, Pavel Skaloud, Miriam Backorová
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 2010, 73 (4): 603-12
The photobiont is considered as the more sensitive partner of lichen symbiosis in metal pollution. For this reason the presence of a metal tolerant photobiont in lichens may be a key factor of ecological success of lichens growing on metal polluted substrata. The photobiont inventory was examined for terricolous lichen community growing in Cu mine-spoil heaps derived by historical mining. Sequences of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) were phylogenetically analyzed using maximum likelihood analyses. A total of 50 ITS algal sequences were obtained from 22 selected lichen taxa collected at three Cu mine-spoil heaps and two control localities. Algae associated with Cladonia and Stereocaulon were identified as members of several Asterochloris lineages, photobionts of cetrarioid lichens clustered with Trebouxia hypogymniae ined. We did not find close relationship between heavy metal content (in localities as well as lichen thalli) and photobiont diversity. Presence of multiple algal genotypes in single lichen thallus has been confirmed.

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