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The Plot Thickens: Haploid and Triploid-Like Thalli, Hybridization, and Biased Mating Type Ratios in Letharia

Ament-Velásquez, Sandra Lorena and Tuovinen, Veera and Bergström, Linnea and Spribille, Toby and Vanderpool, Dan and Nascimbene, Juri and Yamamoto, Yoshikazu and Thor, Göran and Johannesson, Hanna (2021). The Plot Thickens: Haploid and Triploid-Like Thalli, Hybridization, and Biased Mating Type Ratios in Letharia. Frontiers in fungal biology. 2 , 656386
[Research article]

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Abstract

The study of the reproductive biology of lichen fungal symbionts has been traditionally challenging due to their complex lifestyles. Against the common belief of haploidy, a recent genomic study found a triploid-like signal in Letharia. Here, we infer the genome organization and reproduction in Letharia by analyzing genomic data from a pure culture and from thalli, and performing a PCR survey of the MAT locus in natural populations. We found that the read count variation in the four Letharia specimens, including the pure culture derived from a single sexual spore of L. lupina, is consistent with haploidy. By contrast, the L. lupina read counts from a thallus' metagenome are triploid-like. Characterization of the mating-type locus revealed a conserved heterothallic configuration across the genus, along with auxiliary genes that we identified. We found that the mating-type distributions are balanced in North America for L. vulpina and L. lupina, suggesting widespread sexual reproduction, but highly skewed in Europe for L. vulpina, consistent with predominant asexuality. Taken together, we propose that Letharia fungi are heterothallic and typically haploid, and provide evidence that triploid-like individuals are hybrids between L. lupina and an unknown Letharia lineage, reconciling classic systematic and genetic studies with recent genomic observations.

Authors/Creators:Ament-Velásquez, Sandra Lorena and Tuovinen, Veera and Bergström, Linnea and Spribille, Toby and Vanderpool, Dan and Nascimbene, Juri and Yamamoto, Yoshikazu and Thor, Göran and Johannesson, Hanna
Title:The Plot Thickens: Haploid and Triploid-Like Thalli, Hybridization, and Biased Mating Type Ratios in Letharia
Series Name/Journal:Frontiers in fungal biology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:2
Article number:656386
Number of Pages:19
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Keywords:lichens, heterothallism, mating type locus, ploidy, hybridization
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115633
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115633
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOIdoi: 10.3389/ffunb.2021.656386
ID Code:26764
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:20 Jan 2022 13:27
Metadata Last Modified:20 Jan 2022 13:31

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