Skip to main content Accessibility help

Diversity of Lecidea (Lecideaceae, Ascomycota) species revealed by molecular data and morphological characters

  • Ulrike Ruprecht (a1), H. Thorsten Lumbsch (a2), Georg Brunauer (a1), T.G. Allan Green (a3) (a4) and Roman Türk (a1)...


The diversity of lichens, especially crustose species, in continental Antarctica is still poorly known. To overcome difficulties with the morphology based species delimitations in these groups, we employed molecular data (nuclear ITS and mitochondrial SSU rDNA sequences) to test species boundaries within the genus Lecidea. Sampling was done along a north–south transect at five different areas in the Ross Sea region (Cape Hallett, Botany Bay to Mount Suess, Taylor Valley, Darwin Area and Mount Kyffin). A total of 153 specimens were collected from 13 localities. Phylogenetic analyses also include specimens from other regions in Antarctica and non-Antarctic areas. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses agreed in placing the samples from continental Antarctica into four major groups. Based on this phylogenetic estimate, we restudied the micromorphology and secondary chemistry of these four clades to evaluate the use of these characters as phylogenetic discriminators. These clades are identified as the following species Lecidea cancriformis, L. andersonii as well as the new species L. polypycnidophora Ruprecht & Türk sp. nov. and another previously unnamed clade of uncertain status, referred to as Lecidea sp. (L. UCR1).


Corresponding author


Hide All
Andreev, M.P. 1990. Lichenes oasis Bangerii (Antarctis orientalis). Novitates Systematicae Plantarum non Vascularium, 27, 8593.
Arguello, A., Del Prado, R., Cubas, P. Crespo, A. 2007. Parmelina quercina (Parmeliaceae, Lecanorales) includes four phylogenetically supported morphospecies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 91, 455467.
Arnold, A.E. Lutzoni, F. 2007. Diversity and host range of foliar fungal endophytes: are tropical leaves biodiversity hotspots? Ecology, 88, 541549.
Broady, P.A. Weinstein, R.N. 1998. Algae, lichens and fungi in La Gorce Mountains, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 10, 376385.
Buschbom, J. Barker, D. 2006. Evolutionary history of vegetative reproduction in Porpidia s.l. (lichen-forming Ascomycota). Systematic Biology, 55, 471484.
Castello, M. 2003. Lichens of Terra Nova Bay area, northern Victoria Land (continental Antarctica). Studia Geobotanica, 22, 354.
Culberson, C.F. Johnson, A. 1982. Substitution of methyl tertiary buthyl ether for diethyl ether in the standardized thin-layer chromatographic method for lichen products. Journal of Chromatography, 238, 483487.
Dodge, C.W. 1973. Lichen flora of Antarctic continent and adjacent islands. Canaan, NH: Phoenix Publishing, 399 pp.
Doran, P.T., Priscu, J.C., Lyons, W.B., Walsch, J.E., Fountain, A.G., McKnight, D.M., Moorhead, D.L., Virginia, R.A., Wall, D.H., Clow, G.D., Fritsen, C.H., McKay, C.P. Parsons, A.N. 2002. Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response. Nature, 415, 517520.
Dyer, P.S. Murtagh, G.J. 2001. Variation in the ribosomal ITS-sequence of the lichens Buellia frigida and Xanthoria elegans from the Vestfold Hills, eastern Antarctica. Lichenologist, 33, 151159.
Filson, R.B. 1974. Studies in Antarctic lichens. II: Lichens from the Windmill Islands, Wilkes Land. Muelleria, 3, 936.
Gardes, M. Bruns, T.D. 1993. ITS primers with enhanced specifity for basidiomycetes - application to the identification of mycorrhizae and rusts. Molecular Ecology, 2, 113118.
Green, T.G.A., Schroeter, B. Sancho, L.G. 2007. Plant life in Antarctica. In Pugnaire, F.I. & Valladares, F., eds. Handbook of functional plant ecology, 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 389433.
Green, T.G.A., Seppelt, R.D. Schwarz, A.-M.J. 1992. Epilithic lichens on the floor of the Taylor Valley, Ross Dependency, Antarctica. Lichenologist, 24, 5761.
Green, T.G.A., Maseyk, K., Pannewitz, S. Schroeter, B. 2000. Extreme elevated in situ carbon dioxide levels around the moss Bryum subrotundifolium Jaeg., Ber. S. Gall. in Antarctica. Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 75, 397403.
Grube, M. Kroken, S. 2000. Molecular approaches and the concept of species and species complexes in lichenized fungi. Mycological Research, 104, 12841294.
Gunn, B.M. Walcott, R.I. 1962. The geology of the Mt. Markham region, Ross Dependency, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 5, 407426.
Gunn, B.M. Warren, G. 1962. Geology of Victoria Land between Mawson and Mulock glaciers, Antarctica. New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin, No. 71, 175 pp.
Hale, M.E. 1987. Epilithic lichens in the Beacon Sandstone Formation, Victoria Land, Antarctica. The Lichenologist, 19, 269287.
Hawksworth, D.L. Rossman, A.Y. 1997. Where are all the undescribed fungi? Phytopathology, 87, 888891.
Hertel, H. 1987. Progress and problems in taxonomy of Antarctic saxicolous lecideoid lichens. Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 25, 219242.
Hertel, H. 1988. Problems in monographing in Antarctic crustose lichens. Polarforschung, 58, 6576.
Hertel, H. 2007. Notes on and records of Southern Hemisphere lecideoid lichens. Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 95, 267296.
Hertel, H. 2009. A new key to cryptothalline species of the genus Lecidea (Lecanorales). Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 99, 185204.
Huelsenbeck, J.P. Ronquist, F. 2001. MRBAYES: Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees. Bioinformatics, 17, 754755.
Inoue, M. 1991. Lecideoid lichens of Prince Olav Coast and Sôya Coast, Enderby Land, East Antarctica. Antarctic Record, 35, 217284.
Inoue, M. 1995. The lichen flora and habitats of the Syowa region, continental Antarctic. The Lichenologist, 27, 451462.
Jacobsen, P. Kappen, L. 1988. Lichens from the Admiralty Bay region, King Gorge Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Nova Hedwigia, 46, 503510.
Kappen, L., Meyer, M. Bölter, M. 1990. Ecological and physiological investigations in continental Antarctic Cryptogams. Flora, 184, 209220.
Kroken, S. Taylor, J.W. 2001. A gene genealogical approach to recognize phylogentic species boundaries in the lichenized fungus Letharia. Mycologia, 93, 3853.
Lee, J.S., Lee, H.K., Hur, J.S., Andreev, M. Hong, S.G. 2008. Diversity of the lichenized fungi in King George Island, Antarctica, revealed by phylogenetic analysis of partial large subunit rDNA sequences. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 18, 10161023.
Lücking, R., del Prado, R., Lumbsch, H.T., Will-Wolf, S., Aptroot, A., Sipman, H.J.M., Umaña, L. Chaves, J.L. 2008. Phylogenetic patterns of morphological and chemical characters and reproductive mode in the Heterodermia obscurata group in Costa Rica. Systematics and Biodiversity, 6, 3141.
McGonigal, D. Woodworth, L. 2001. Antarctica - the complete story. New Zealand: Global Book Publishing, 608 pp.
Maddison, D.R. Maddison, W.P. 2003. MacClade 4: analysis of phylogeny and character evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
Melick, D.R., Hovenden, M.J. Seppelt, R.D. 1994. Phytogeography of bryophyte and lichen vegetation in the Windmill Islands, Wilkes Land, continental Antarctica. Vegetatio, 111, 7187.
Molina, M.D.C., Crespo, A., Blanco, O., Lumbsch, H.T. Hawksworth, D.L. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships and species concepts in Parmelia s. str. (Parmeliaceae) inferred from nuclear ITS rDNA and beta-tubulin sequences. Lichenologist, 36, 3754.
Nylander, J.A.A., Wilgenbusch, J.C., Warren, D.L. Swofford, D.L. 2007. AWTY (Are We There Yet?): a system for graphical exploration of MCMC convergence in Bayesian phylogenetics. Bioinformatics, 24, 581583.
Ohmura, Y. Kanda, H. 2004. Taxonomic status of section Neuropogon in the genus Usnea elucidated by morphological comparisons and ITS rDNA sequences. Lichenologist, 36, 217225.
Ott, S., Brinkmann, M., Wirtz, N. Lumbsch, H.T. 2004. Mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal DNA data do not support the separation of the Antarctic lichens Umbilicaria kappenii and Umbilicaria antarctica as distinct species. Lichenologist, 36, 227234.
Øvstedal, D.O. Lewis Smith, R.I. 2001. Lichens of Antarctica and South Georgia: a guide to their identification and ecology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 411 pp.
Pannewitz, S., Green, T.G.A., Maysek, K., Schlensog, M., Seppelt, R., Sancho, L.G., Türk, R. Schröter, B. 2005. Photosynthetic responses of three common mosses from continental Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 17, 341352.
Pickard, J. Seppelt, R.D. 1984. Phytogeography of Antarctica. Journal of Biogeography, 11, 83102.
Posada, D. Crandall, K.A. 1998. Modeltest: testing the model of DNA substitution. Bioinformatics, 14, 817818.
Seppelt, R.D., Green, T.G.A. Schroeter, B. 1995. Lichens and mosses from the Kar Plateau, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 33, 203220.
Seppelt, R.D., Nimis, P.L. Castello, M. 1998. The genus Sarcogyne (Acarosporaceae) in Antarctica. The Lichenologist, 30, 249258.
Seppelt, R.D., Broady, P.A., Pickard, J. Adamson, D.A. 1988. Plants and landscape in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica. Hydrobiologia, 165, 185196.
Seymour, F.A., Crittenden, P.D., Wirtz, N., Ovstedal, D.O., Dyer, P.S. Lumbsch, H.T. 2007. Phylogenetic and morphological analysis of Antarctic lichen forming Usnea species in the group Neuropogon. Antarctic Science, 19, 7182.
Simpson, A.L. Cooper, A.F. 2002. Geochemistry of the Darwin Glacier region granitoids, southern Victoria Land. Antarctic Science, 14, 425426.
Sipman, H.J.M. Aptroot, A. 2001. Where are the missing lichens? Mycological Research, 105, 14331439.
Stocker-Wörgötter, E. Elix, J.A. 2002. Secondary chemistry of cultured mycobionts: formations of a complete chemosyndrome by the lichen fungus of Lobaria spathulata. The Lichenologist, 34, 351359.
Swofford, D.L. 2003. PAUP*. Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (*and other methods). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
Taylor, G. 1913. The western journeys. In Huxley, L., ed. Scott’s last expedition. London: Smith Elder, 182291.
Upreti, D.K. 1996. Lecideoid lichens from the Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica. Willdenowia, 25, 681686.
White, T.J., Bruns, T., Lee, S. Taylor, J. 1990. Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenies. In Innis, M.A., Gelfand, D.H., Sninsky, J.J. & White, T.J., eds. PCR protocols: a guide to methods and applications. San Diego, CA: Acadamic Press, 315322.
Wirtz, N., Printzen, C. Lumbsch, H.T. 2008. The delimitation of Antarctic and bipolar species of Usnea, Neuropogon (Ascomycota, Lecanorales): a cohesion approach of species recognition for the Usnea perpusilla complex. Mycological Research, 112, 472484.
Wirtz, N., Printzen, C., Sancho, L.G. Lumbsch, H.T. 2006. The phylogeny and classification of Neuropogon and Usnea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) revisited. Taxon, 55, 367376.
Zoller, S., Scheidegger, C. Sperisen, C. 1999. PCR primers for the amplification of mitochondrial small subunit ribosomal DNA of lichen-forming ascomycetes. The Lichenologist, 31, 511516.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed