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