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Domaschke, Stephanie; Fernández-Mendoza, Fernando; García, Miguel Ángel; Martín, María; Printzen, Christian (2012): Haplotype and nucleotide characteristics of photobiont and mycobiont gene sequences in the lichen Cetraria aculeata. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Domaschke, S et al. (2012): Low genetic diversity in Antarctic populations of the lichen-forming ascomycete Cetraria aculeata and its photobiont. Polar Research, 31, 17353,

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Lichens, symbiotic associations of fungi (mycobionts) and green algae or cyanobacteria (photobionts), are poikilohydric organisms that are particularly well adapted to withstand adverse environmental conditions. Terrestrial ecosystems of the Antarctic are therefore largely dominated by lichens. The effects of global climate change are especially pronounced in the maritime Antarctic and it may be assumed that the lichen vegetation will profoundly change in the future. The genetic diversity of populations is closely correlated to their ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to their future evolutionary potential. In this study, we present evidence for low genetic diversity in Antarctic mycobiont and photobiont populations of the widespread lichen Cetraria aculeata. We compared between 110 and 219 DNA sequences from each of three gene loci for each symbiont. A total of 222 individuals from three Antarctic and nine antiboreal, temperate and Arctic populations were investigated. The mycobiont diversity is highest in Arctic populations, while the photobionts are most diverse in temperate regions. Photobiont diversity decreases significantly towards the Antarctic but less markedly towards the Arctic, indicating that ecological factors play a minor role in determining the diversity of Antarctic photobiont populations. Richness estimators calculated for the four geographical regions suggest that the low genetic diversity of Antarctic populations is not a sampling artefact. Cetraria aculeata appears to have diversified in the Arctic and subsequently expanded its range into the Southern Hemisphere. The reduced genetic diversity in the Antarctic is most likely due to founder effects during long-distance colonization.
Median Latitude: 5.634123 * Median Longitude: -12.277757 * South-bound Latitude: -62.246389 * West-bound Longitude: -69.790833 * North-bound Latitude: 78.209445 * East-bound Longitude: 69.338880
Date/Time Start: 2007-01-02T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2008-06-26T00:00:00
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