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Devkota, Shiva; Chaudhary, Ram Prasad; Werth, Silke; Scheidegger, Christoph (2019): Genetic diversity and structure of the epiphytic foliose lichen Lobaria pindarensis in the Himalayas depends on elevation. In: Fungal Ecology, Vol. 41: pp. 245-255
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Abstract

The epiphytic lichen Lobaria pindarensis is a Himalayan endemic species with little information on distribution, genetic diversity and structural complexity. During an intensive survey in the Nepal Himalayas, we collected 1256 thallus fragments from 45 phorophyte species to study their distribution and population genetics along an elevational gradient. We quantified genetic diversity and population structure of each symbiont at 17 fungus specific and 9 alga specific microsatellite loci, The Bayesian clustering identified three and two distinct gene pools for mycobiont and photobiont. We found that genetic diversity, allelic richness and gene pool composition and distribution were significantly influenced by elevation. We discovered both clonally and sexually reproduced repeated genotypes of the symbionts. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd and British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.