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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Tuovinen, Veera [1], Bergström, Linnea [2], Ament Velásquez, Sandra Lorena [3], Spribille, Toby [4], Vanderpool, Dan [5], Nascimbene, Juri [6], Yamamoto, Yoshikazu [7], Thor, Göran [1], Johannesson, Hanna [2].

Reproductive system in Letharia – implications for conservation in Scandinavia.

Letharia is a lichen genus with high species diversity in western North America and low in Europe, Caucasus and North Africa. The genus consists of at least six putative species, of which four commonly reproduce by apothecia (i.e., sexual structures; Letharia columbiana s. str., L. ‘lucida’, L. rugosa’, L. gracilis) and two mainly by asexual propagules (L. vulpina s. str. and L. lupina’). Only the latter occur in Europe. L. vulpina is red-listed in Scandinavia, where it produces apothecia extremely rarely. Decline of the species in Scandinavia has previously been connected to decline in suitable habitats, as the species prefers pine snags in open forests with long continuity. These habitats are today fragmented due to intensive forest management practises. However, the reproductive mode of Letharia, and further the potential for sexual reproduction in the declining populations, has not until now been characterized. We hypothesized that the decline in the species in Scandinavia is at least in part attributable to reproductive limitations caused by the distribution of different mating types. We identified and characterized the mating-type locus from whole genome data of four Letharia species (L. ‘lucida’, L. ‘rugosa’, L. vulpina, and L. lupina’). In all studied species we found only one of the allelic variants (idiomorphs) of the mating-type locus, suggesting they are self-incompatible (heterothallic). We found only one mating-type of L. vulpina present in Swedish populations, suggesting that there is currently no potential for sexual reproduction. In the Italian Alps, by contrast, our data indicate that both mating-types are present. We suggest that only one mating type arrived to Sweden after last glaciation or that one mating-type got lost by chance during the habitat decline. The poor success of the species in Scandinavia is probably due to the combination of lack of suitable, connected habitats and a compatible mating partner. If this is the case, creating suitable habitats will not be a sustainable conservation method for the species. Transplantation of the absent mating type could be one solution if the preservation of the species is desired.

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1 - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ecology, Box 7044, Uppsala, 75007, Sweden
2 - Uppsala University, Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology, Norbyvägen 18D, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden
3 - Uppsala University, Evolutionary Biology, Norbyvägen 18D, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden
4 - Institute Of Plant Sciences, Brandhofgasse 4, Graz, N/A, A-8010, Austria
5 - University of Montana, Division of Biological Sciences, 32 Campus Drive, HS104, Missoula, MT, 59812, USA
6 - University of Padova, Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), Viale dell’Università 16, Legnaro, Padova, 35020 , Italy
7 - Akita Prefectural University, Biological production, 41-438,Kaidobata-nishi, Shimoshinjo-nakano, Akita, 010-0195, Japan

Mating-type loci
Mating-type ratio

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 38
Location: Salon 8/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 38004
Abstract ID:1008
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award


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