, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 461–470 | Cite as

Diversity and distribution of cultured endolichenic fungi in the Ny-Ålesund Region, Svalbard (High Arctic)

  • Tao Zhang
  • Xin-Li Wei
  • Yu-Zhen Wei
  • Hong-Yu Liu
  • Li-Yan YuEmail author
Original Paper


Endolichenic fungi within 17 lichen species in the area near Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard, High Arctic) were studied by a culture-based method. The 247 fungal isolates were obtained from 2712 lichen thallus segments. The colonization rate of endolichenic fungi ranged from 1.6 to 26.5 %, respectively. These isolates were identified to 40 fungal taxa, including 35 Ascomycota (10 orders), 4 Basidiomycota (3 orders), and 1 unidentified fungus. Thelebolales was the most abundant order, while Sordariales were the most diverse order. The common fungal taxa shared by more than 3 lichen species were Thelebolus microsporus (93 isolates), Coniochaeta hoffmannii (7 isolates), Sarocladium kiliense (33 isolates), Coniochaeta sp. 1 (5 isolates), Coniochaeta sp. 4 (28 isolates), and Coniochaeta sp. 2 (5 isolates). Low Sorenson’s similarity coefficients were observed among different lichen species, indicating that host-related factor may shape the endolichenic fungal communities in this region. In addition, no endolichenic fungal taxa were previously found in the Antarctica and Austrian Alps, suggesting endolichenic fungal communities in this region might be also shaped by the Arctic climate. The results demonstrate the existence of specific cultured endolichenic fungal species, which may be suitable objects for further study of their possible functional roles in the lichen thalli.


Fungal diversity Endolichenic fungi Culture-based method Lichens Fungal community composition 



This research was supported by the National Infrastructure of Microbial Resources (No. NIMR-2015-3), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Nos. 31170041 and 31300115), the Polar Strategic Research Foundation of China (No. 20120302), Projects of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, SOA (Nos. 2013YR06006, 2013YR05005, and IC201514). Liyan Yu is supported by Xiehe Scholar.

Supplementary material

792_2016_836_MOESM1_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 36 kb)


  1. Arnold AE, Miadlikowska J, Higgins KL, Sarvate SD, Gugger P, Way A et al (2009) A phylogenetic estimation of trophic transition networks for ascomycetous fungi, are lichens cradles of symbiotrophic fungal diversification? Syst Biol 58:283–297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bates ST, Cropsey GWG, Caporaso JG, Knight R, Fierer N (2011) Bacterial communities associated with the lichen symbiosis. Appl Environ Microb 77:1309–1314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates ST, Berg-Lyons D, Lauber CL, Walters WA, Knight R, Fierer N (2012) A preliminary survey of lichen associated eukaryotes using pyrosequencing. Lichenologist 44:137–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergero R, Girlanda M, Varese GC, Intili D, Luppi AM (1999) Psychrooligotrophic fungi from arctic soils of Franz Joseph Land. Polar Biol 21:361–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campanile G, Ruscelli A, Luisi N (2007) Antagonistic activity of endophytic fungi towards Diplodia corticola assessed by in vitro and in planta tests. Eur J Plant Pathol 117:237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caporaso JG, Kuczynski J, Stombaugh J, Bittinger K, Bushman FD, Costello EK et al (2010) QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data. Nat Methods 7:335–336CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Cardinale M, de Castro JV, Müller H, Berg G, Grube M (2008) In situ analysis of the bacterial community associated with the reindeer lichen Cladonia arbuscula reveals predominance of Alphaproteobacteria. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66:63–71CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cubero OF, Crespo A, Fathi J, Bridge PD (1999) DNA extraction and PCR amplification method suitable for fresh, herbarium-stored, lichenized and other fungi. Plant Sys Evol 216:243–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. De Hoog GS, Gottlichen E, Platas G, Genilloud O, Leotta G, Van Brummelen J (2005) Evolution, taxonomy and ecology of the genus Thelebolus in Antarctica. Stud Mycol 51:33–76Google Scholar
  10. Elvebakk A, Prestrud P (1996) A catalogue of Svalbard plants, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria. Skrifter-Norsk Polarinstitutt, 198, Oslo. p. 395Google Scholar
  11. Fleischhacker A, Grube M, Kopun T, Hafellner J, Muggia L (2015) Community analyses uncover high diversity of lichenicolous fungi in alpine habitats. Microb Ecol 70:348–360CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Girlanda M, Isocrono D, Bianco C, Luppi-Mosca AM (1997) Two foliose lichens as microfungal ecological niches. Mycologia 89:531–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grube M, Cernava T, Soh J, Fuchs S, Aschenbrenne I, Lassek C et al (2015) Exploring functional contexts of symbiotic sustain within lichen-associated bacteria by comparative omics. ISME J 9:412–424CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hafizah SH, Alias SA, Siang HY, Smykla J, Pang K, Guo S et al (2013) Studies on diversity of soil microfungi in the Hornsund area, Spitsbergen. Pol Polar Res 34:39–54Google Scholar
  15. Hodkinson BP, Lutzoni F (2009) A microbiotic survey of lichen-associated bacteria reveals a new lineage from the Rhizobiales. Symbiosis 49:163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lawrey JD, Diederich P (2003) Lichenicolous fungi: interactions, evolution, and biodiversity. Bryologist 106:80–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li WC, Zhou J, Guo SY, Guo LD (2007) Endophytic fungi associated with lichens in Baihua mountain of Beijing, China. Fungal Divers 25:69–80Google Scholar
  18. Melke J (2007) Characteristics of soil filamentous fungi communities isolated from various micro relief forms in the high Arctic tundra (Bellsund region, Spitsbergen). Pol Polar Res 28:57–73Google Scholar
  19. Meyling NV, Schmidt NM, Eilenberg J (2012) Occurrence and diversity of fungal entomopathogens in soils of low and high Arctic Greenland. Polar Biol 35:1439–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mucciarelli M, Scannerini S, Bertea C, Maffei M (2003) In vitro and in vivo peppermint (Mentha piperita) growth promotion by non-mycorrhizal fungal colonization. New Phytol 158:579–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Muggia L, Fleischhacker A, Kopun T, Grube M (2016) Extremotolerant fungi from alpine rock lichens and their phylogenetic relationships. Fungal Divers 76:119–142CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Øvstedal DO, Tønsberg T, Elvebakk A (2009) The Lichen Flora of Svalbard. Sommerfeltia No. 33. Natural History Museum, OsloGoogle Scholar
  23. Park CH, Kim KM, Elvebakk A, Kim OS, Jeong G, Hong SG (2014) Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens. J Eukaryot Microbiol 62:196–205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Peršoh D, Rambold G (2012) Lichen-associated fungi of the Letharietum vulpinae. Mycol Prog 11:753–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Petrini O, Hake U, Dreyfuss MM (1990) An analysis of fungal communities isolated from fruticose lichens. Mycologia 82:444–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rodriguez RJ, Henson J, Van Volkenburgh E, Hoy M, Wright L, Beckwith F et al (2008) Stress tolerance in plants via habitat-adapted symbiosis. ISME J 2:404–416CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Santiago IF, Soares MA, Rosa CA, Rosa LH (2015) Lichensphere: a protected natural microhabitat of the non-lichenised fungal communities living in extreme environments of Antarctica. Extremophiles 19:1087–1097CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Singh P, Singh SM (2012) Characterization of yeast and filamentous fungi isolated from cryoconite holes of Svalbard, Arctic. Polar Biol 35:575–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sun X, Guo LD, Hyde KD (2011) Community composition of endophytic fungi in Acer truncatum and their role in decomposition. Fungal Divers 47:85–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Suryanarayanan TS, Thirunavukkarasu N, Hariharan GN, Balaji P (2005) Occurrence of non-obligate inside lichen thalli. Sydowia 57:120–130Google Scholar
  31. Tripathi M, Joshi Y (2015) Endolichenic Fungi in Kumaun Himalaya: a case study. In: Upreti DK, Divakar PK, Shukla V et al (eds) Recent advances in lichenology. Springer, India, pp 111–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. U’Ren JM, Lutzoni F, Miadlikowska J, Arnold AE (2010) Community analysis reveals close affinities between endophytic and endolichenic fungi in mosses and lichens. Microb Ecol 60:340–353CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. U’Ren JM, Lutzoni F, Miadlikowska J, Laetsch AD, Arnold AE (2012) Host and geographic structure of endophytic and endolichenic fungi at a continental scale. Am J Bot 99:898–914CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. U’Ren JM, Riddle JM, Monacell JT, Carbone I, Miadlikowska J, Arnold AE (2014) Tissue storage and primer selection influence pyrosequencing-based inferences of diversity and community composition of endolichenic and endophytic fungi. Mol Ecol Resour 14:1032–1048PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. White TJ, Bruns T, Lee S, Taylor JW (1990) Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In: Innis MA, Gelfand DH, Sninsky JJ et al (eds) PCR protocols, a guide to methods and applications. Academic Press, New York, pp 315–322Google Scholar
  36. Yurkov AM, Kachalkin AV, Daniel HM, Groneowald M, Libkind D, de Garcia V et al (2015) Two yeast species Cystobasidium psychroaquaticum f.a. sp. nov. and Cystobasidium rietchieii f.a. sp. nov. isolated from natural environments, and the transfer of Rhodotorula minuta clade members to the genus Cystobasidium. Anton Leeuw Int J G 107:173–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zalar P, Gunde-Cimerman N (2014) Cold-adapted yeasts in Arctic habitats. In: Buzzini P, Margesin R (eds) Cold-adapted yeasts. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 49–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang T, Zhang YQ, Liu HY, Wei YZ, Li HL, Su J, et al (2013) Diversity and cold adaptation of culturable endophytic fungi from bryophytes in the Fildes Region, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. FEMS Microbiol Lett 341:52–61CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhang T, Wei XL, Zhang YQ, Liu HY, Yu LY (2015) Diversity and distribution of lichen-associated fungi in the Ny-Ålesund Region (Svalbard, High Arctic) as revealed by 454 pyrosequencing. Sci Rep 5:14582CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhurbenko MP, Brackel WV (2013) Checklist of lichenicolous fungi and lichenicolous lichens of Svalbard, including new species, new records and revisions. Herzogia 26:323–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Zhang
    • 1
  • Xin-Li Wei
    • 2
  • Yu-Zhen Wei
    • 1
  • Hong-Yu Liu
    • 1
  • Li-Yan Yu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.China Pharmaceutical Culture Collection, Institute of Medicinal BiotechnologyChinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of MicrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations