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PhD. Topics

Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre SAS

Diversity and interactions of bionts in lichen thalli of the genus Solenopsora (Leprocaulaceae)
PhD. program
Name of the supervisor
Mgr. Anna Bérešová, PhD.
Receiving school
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University
Traditional view of lichen thallus as a consortium of fungus and photosynthesizing alga, or
cyanobacteria has changed substantially over the recent years. We know, that the holobiont system of
lichen symbiosis is complex. Besides stabile, majoritarian lichen partners – mycobiont and photobiont,
it includes other associated components. In particular additional fungi associated to the lichen thalli
have been found to be diverse and represented by both symptomatic and asymptomatic taxa, which
all constitute the lichen mycobiome. European Mediterranean and other regions with Mediterranean
climate belong to one of the most important biodiversity centres of the world. Distribution of
Solenopsora A. Massal. (Leprocaulaceae) species has been intensively studied within their species
ranges since 2010 and we gained a clear overview enabling us to evaluate their biogeography and link
it to the Mediterranean climate type. We identified mycobionts of the European taxa, which
interestingly indicate polyphyly and infrageneric taxonomy. This topic remains unresolved. Another
point associated with photosynthesizing partners includes open questions – disclosed photobiont
lineageas are so far undescribed and the issue, whether the pattern correlates eventually with
ecological guilds is still open. At last but not least, it is necessary to zoom on overall diversity of bionts
of selected species from both macro- and microecological aspect. Thus the aim of the thesis is to
address the following points:
 resolving taxonomical issues related to polyphyletic nature of Solenopsora mycobionts
 revealing whether photobiont lineages of selected Solenopsora species fit to ecological guilds
 zoom on overall diversity of Solenopsora bionts across micro- and macro-ecological gradients