Black fungi in lichens from seasonally arid habitats

S. Harutyunyan, L. Muggia, M. Grube

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


We present a phylogenetic study of black fungi in lichens, primarily focusing on saxicolous samples from seasonally arid habitats in Armenia, but also with examples from other sites. Culturable strains of lichen-associated black fungi were obtained by isolation from surface-washed lichen material. Determination is based on ITS rDNA sequence data and comparison with published sequences from other sources. The genera Capnobotryella, Cladophialophora, Coniosporium, Mycosphaerella, and Rhinocladiella were found in different lichen species, which showed no pathogenic symptoms. A clade of predominantly lichen-associated strains is present only in Rhinocladiella, whereas samples of the remaining genera were grouped more clearly in clades with species from other sources. The ecology of most-closely related strains indicates that Capnobotryella and Coniosporium, and perhaps also Rhinocladiella strains opportunistically colonise lichens. In contrast, high sequence divergence in strains assigned to Mycosphaerella could indicate the presence of several lichen-specific species with unknown range of hosts or habitats, which are distantly related to plant-inhabitants. Similar applies to Cladophialophora strains, where the closest relatives of the strains from lichens are serious human pathogens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
JournalStudies in Mycology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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