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The intertidal marine lichen formed by the pyrenomycete fungus Verrucaria tavaresiae (Ascomycotina) and the brown alga Petroderma maculiforme (Phaeophyceae): thallus organization and symbiont interaction

, : The intertidal marine lichen formed by the pyrenomycete fungus Verrucaria tavaresiae (Ascomycotina) and the brown alga Petroderma maculiforme (Phaeophyceae): thallus organization and symbiont interaction. American Journal of Botany 91(4): 511-522

The thallus formed by the marine pyrenomycete fungus Verrucaria tavaresiae and the phaeophycean alga Petroderma maculiforme was studied to elucidate the organization of the symbionts, determine the type of cellular contacts between them, and evaluate the status of the symbiosis as a lichen. Hand-sectioned and resin-embedded samples were examined with light and transmission electron microscopy. Within the uppermost portion of the cellular fungal tissue, separate algal filaments were arranged anticlinally. Protrusions of the fungal cell well penetrated into adjacent algal walls but did not enter the cell lumen. A striking feature of these penetrations was the frequent separation of algal cell wall layers and insertion of fungal wall material between them. Algal filaments grew downward intrusively between fungal cells, often penetrating deeply into the fungal cell wall. Despite the exceptional nature of the phycobiont involved, the Verrucaria tavaresiae-Petroderma maculiforme symbiosis unequivocally fits the prevailing concept of a lichen. The distinctive interpenetrations observed between symbionts may be related to the integration of their different growth forms within a coherent tissue regularly subject to mechanical stresses. Periclinal cell divisions within and just below the algal layer may serve to replenish surface tissues lost to abrasion and herbivory. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


PMID: 21653406

DOI: 10.3732/ajb.91.4.511

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