Nuova pubblicazione: L'ITS1 metabarcoding evidenzia una bassa specificità dei microbiomi dei licheni su scala globale

Pubblicato su Molecular Ecology da Lucia Muggia
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As self-supporting and long-living symbiotic structures, lichens provide a habitat for many other organisms beside the traditionally considered lichen symbionts - the myco- and the photobionts. The lichen-inhabiting fungi either develop diagnostic phenotypes or occur asymptomatically. Because the degree of specificity toward the lichen host is poorly known, we studied the diversity of these fungi among neighboring lichens on rocks in an alpine habitat. Using a sequencing metabarcoding approach we show that lichen mycobiomes clearly reflect the overlap of multiple ecological sets of taxa, which differ in their trophic association with lichen thalli. The lack of specificity to the lichen mycobiome is further supported by the lack of community structure observed using clustering and ordination methods. The communities encountered across samples largely result from the subsampling of a shared species pool, in which we identify three major ecological components: i) a generalist environmental pool, ii) a lichenicolous/endolichenic pool and c) a pool of transient species. These taxa majorly belong to the fungal classes Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes and Tremellomycetes with close relatives in adjacent ecological niches. We found no significant evidence that the phenotypically recognized lichenicolous fungi influence the occurrence of the other asymptomatic fungi in the host thalli. We claim that lichens work as suboptimal habitats or as a complex spore and mycelium bank, which modulate and allow the regeneration of local fungal communities. By performing an approach that minimizes ambiguities in the taxonomic assignments of fungi, we present how lichen mycobiomes are also suitable targets for improving bioinformatic analyses of fungal metabarcoding.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 15-09-2017 - 14:07