Lichen-associated fungi from Paleogene amber

Elina Kettunen, Alexander Schmidt, Paul Diederich, Heinrich Grabenhorst, Jouko Kalevi Rikkinen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Lichens are highly specialized and obligate symbioses between fungi and green algae and/or cyanobacteria. In addition to the fungal partner (mycobiont) and algal or cyanobacterial symbionts (photobionts), lichen thalli often house diverse assemblages of associated microfungi and bacteria. More than 1750 species of obligately lichenicolous fungi have already been described and at least 5000 species are estimated to exist. The true lichenicolous fungi are obligate associates of lichen-symbiotic organisms and can thus only live on lichen thalli. The nature of their associations can vary from parasitism to commensalism and some lichen parasites appear to have evolved from saprotrophic ancestors. Here we report on the first fossils of lichen-associated filamentous fungi. Several distinct morphologies of darkly-pigmented fungi growing on crustose and foliose lichens are beautifully preserved, suggesting that hyphomycetous microfungi have colonized lichen surfaces at least since the Paleogene.
TidskriftNew Phytologist
Sidor (från-till)896-898
Antal sidor3
StatusPublicerad - okt 2015
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1183 Växtbiologi, mikrobiologi, virologi

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