Phylogenetic and morphological analyses of Coniochaeta isolates recovered from Inner Mongolia and Yunnan revealed three new endolichenic fungal species
Abstract: Lichens are the result of a symbiotic interaction between fungi (mycobionts) and algae (phycobionts). Aside from mycobionts, lichen thalli can also contain non-lichenised fungal species, such as lichenicolous and endolichenic fungi. For this study, three surveys were conducted in China’s Yunnan Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region between 2017 and 2020. Several samples of four lichen species were collected during these surveys: Candelaria fibrosa, Flavoparmelia caperata, Flavopunctelia flaventior and Ramalina sinensis. Six isolates of Coniochaeta were recovered from these four lichen species. The phylogenetic and morphological analyses revealed that two of these isolates were previously identified species, Coniochaeta velutinosa and C. acaciae. Those remaining were from potentially unknown species. We used molecular and morphological data to describe these previously-unknown species as Coniochaeta fibrosae sp. nov., C. mongoliae sp. nov. and C. sinensis sp. nov. The findings of this study significantly improve our understanding of the variety and habitat preferences of Coniochaeta in China and globally.
Keywords: Coniochaeta / morphological / surveys / nov / mycobionts / fungal / endolichenic / recovered
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