Journal Article

A new species of <i>Phyllopsora</i> (Lecanorales, lichen-forming Ascomycota) from Dominican amber, with remarks on the fossil history of lichens

Jouko Rikkinen and George O. Poinar

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 5, pages 1007-1011
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern004
A new species of Phyllopsora (Lecanorales, lichen-forming Ascomycota) from Dominican amber, with remarks on the fossil history of lichens

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Phyllopsora dominicanus sp. nov. (Bacidiaceae, Lecanorales, lichen-forming Ascomycota) is described and illustrated from Dominican amber. The diagnostic features of the lichen include a minute subfolious thallus of lacinulate, ascending squamules, a well-developed upper cortex, and a net-like pseudocortex on the lower surface. The algal symbionts are unicellular green algae, forming a distinct layer immediately below the upper cortex. The fossil demonstrates that distinguishing features of Phyllopsora have remained unchanged for tens of millions of years. The fossil also provides the first detailed views of mycobiont–photobiont contacts in Tertiary green algal lichens. The mycobiont hyphae formed apical and intercalary appressoria by pressing closely against the photobiont cells. This indicates that a conserved maintenance of structure is also seen in the fine details of the fungal–algal interface.

Keywords: Amber; fossil; fungi; lichen; Phyllopsora; symbiosis; Tertiary

Journal Article.  2968 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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