Asymmetric Co-evolution in the Lichen Symbiosis Caused by a Limited Capacity for Adaptation in the Photobiont

DJ Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is proposed that lichen photobionts, compared to mycobionts, have very limited capacity to evolve adaptations to lichenization, so that the symbionts in lichens do not co-evolve. This is because lichens have (a) no sequential selection of photobiont cells from one lichen into another needed for Darwinian natural selection and (b) no photobiont sexual reproduction in the thallus. Molecular studies of lichen photobionts indicate no predictable patterns of photobiont lineages that occur in lichens so supporting this proposal. Any adaptation by photobionts accumulating beneficial mutations for lichenization is probably insignificant compared to the rate of mycobiont adaptation. This proposal poses questions for research relating the photobiont sexual cycle (genetic and cellular), the fate of photobiont lineages after lichenization, whether lineages of photobionts in thalli change with time, thallus formation by from spores as well as carbohydrate movement from photobionts to mycobionts and regulation of co-development of the symbionts in the thallus.
Translated title of the contributionAsymmetric Co-evolution in the Lichen Symbiosis Caused by a Limited Capacity for Adaptation in the Photobiont
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326 - 338
Number of pages13
JournalBotanical Review
Volume75
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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