Species-specific structural and functional diversity of bacterial communities in lichen symbiosis

M. Grube, Massimiliano Cardinale, Joao Vieira De Castro Junior, Henry Müller, Gabriele Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lichens are generally considered as mutualisms between fungi and green algae or cyanobacteria. These partnerships allow light-exposed and long-living joint structures. The unique organization of lichens provides still unexplored environments for microbial communities. To study lichen-associated bacterial communities, we analyze samples, by a polyphasic approach, from three lichen species (Cladonia arbuscula, Lecanora polytropa and Umbilicaria cylindrica) from alpine environments. Our results indicate that bacteria can form highly structured, biofilm-like assemblages on fungal surfaces and reach considerable abundances of up to 10 8 cells per gram fresh weight. Fluorescence in situ hybridization reveals the predominance of Alphaproteobacteria. Microbial fingerprints performed by PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis using universal and group-specific primers show distinct patterns for …
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1115
JournalThe ISME Journal
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2009

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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