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Evolution of cyanobacterial symbioses in Ascomycota.

  • Filip Högnabba
  • Soili Stenroos
  • Arne Thell
  • Andreas Aptroot
  • Mark R. D. Seaward
  • Laurens B. Sparrius
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 163-184
Volume: 99
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: J. Cramer in der Gebrüder Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung

Abstract english

Two fifths of the species in Ascomycota are lichen-forming, of which 10% and 3-4% have cyanobacteria as the primary and secondary photobionts respectively. To study the evolution of cyanobacterial symbioses, the phylogenetic relationships within the Ascomycota have been reconstructed. Phylogenetic analyses were made using direct optimization of nuclear SSU and LSU rDNA sequences under the parsimony optimality criterion. Our results indicate repeated evolution of the mutualistic assemblages between fungi and cyanobacteria. The stability of the cyanobacterial symbioses and the effects of photobiont alteration on the evolution of ascomycetes are discussed, as is the taxonomy of some cyanobacterial lichen taxa, and some future perspectives on the evolution of these ecologically important assemblages.


  • Botany
  • symbiosis
  • phylogeny
  • Peltigerales
  • nuclear rDNA
  • Lichinomycetes
  • lichens
  • evolution
  • direct optimization
  • Ascomycota
  • cyanobacteria


  • ISSN: 1436-1698
  • ISBN: 978-3-443-58078-0
Arne Thell
E-mail: arne [dot] thell [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

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