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Evolution of lichens and mutualistic symbioses

Omphalina/Coccomyxa as a model system (DEB-9321828)
Publications and data sets resulting from NSF grant DEB-9321828
Consequences of mutualism on diversification of Ascomycetes (DEB-9615542)
Publications and data sets resulting from NSF grant DEB-9615542
Primer sequences for evolutionary studies of lichens


Omphalina/Coccomyxa (Basidiomycota/Chlorophyta) as a model system for evolutionary studies of lichens (DEB-9321828)

In 1994 I was awarded an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant (DEB-9321828) entitled Phylogeny in the genus Omphalina (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) and the evolutionary consequences of mutualism. The main objective of this project was to develop a fungal-algal (lichen) model system suited for examining the assumptions and predictions of a growing body of theory on mutualism within a phylogenetic framework. This approach is critical for any significant advancement in our understanding of the evolutionary implications of transitions to mutualism. The model system we selected included closely related mushroom species of the genus Omphalina (Basidiomycota, Agaricales), where some species form an obligatory mutualistic (lichen) association with the unicellular green alga Coccomyxa. One of the specific goals of this proposal, was to gather multiple molecular data sets (large subunit, ITS1, ITS2, and 5.8S nrDNA) for 20 mutualist and non-mutualist species of Omphalina and species from related genera. Another goal was the enhancement of our ability as systematists to deal with multiple conflicting data sets in phylogenetic studies. Finally, a major goal of this study was to demonstrate that links between rates of DNA evolution and traits or behaviors of organisms can be investigated using comparative methods.


Publications and data sets resulting from NSF Dissertation Improvement grant DEB-9321828

Lutzoni, F. 1997. Phylogeny of lichen- and non lichen-forming omphalinoid mushrooms and the utility of testing for combinability among multiple data sets. Systematic Biology 46:373-406 (journal cover). Downloadable data set (Stuffit file)

Lutzoni, F., and Pagel, M. 1997. Accelerated evolution as a consequence of transitions to mutualism. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 94:11422-11427. This PNAS paper was the subject of an article published on the ScienceNow (AAAS) website (outside link)

Lutzoni, F., and Vilgalys, R. 1995a. Integration of morphological and molecular datasets in estimating fungal phylogenies. Canadian Journal of Botany 73(Suppl. 1): S649-S659. (outside link).

Lutzoni, F., and Vilgalys, R. 1995b. Omphalina (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) as a model system for the study of coevolution in lichenized fungi. Special Issue of Cryptogamic Botany 5: 82-97.


Consequences of mutualism (lichenization) on the phylogeny and diversification of Ascomycetes (DEB-9615542)

This work on the Omphalina/Coccomyxa model system and related basidiomycetes revealed many consequences resulting from relatively recent transitions to mutualism, and provides hypotheses to be tested on ascomycetes. The latter includes more than 98% of all known lichen-forming fungi. An ancillary project at Duke University (in collaboration with Joey Spatafora, Daniele Armaleo, Ulrik S°chting, and William Culberson; funded by the A.W. Mellon Foundation), generated a large subunit nrDNA data set for 77 lichenized and non-lichenized ascomycetes sampled across a broad sample of Ascomycetes. My dissertation research on Omphalina and my collaborative research at Duke University on ascolichens formed the basis on which a second grant proposal was funded by NSF (DEB-9615542). It was a logical continuation of these two previous projects and provided essential information for my long term objective to study phylogenetic relationships among ascolichens and the role of mutualism (lichenization) during the evolution of fungi.


Publications and data sets resulting from NSF grant DEB-9615542

Lutzoni, F. 2002. Lichens. In: Encyclopedia of Evolution. M. Pagel (Ed.), Oxford University Press (in press).

Barker, F. K., and Lutzoni F. 2001. Spurious rejection of phylogenetic congruence by the ILD test: A simulation study. Systematic Biology. (in review).

Pagel, M. and Lutzoni, F. 2001. Accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty in comparative studies of evolution and adaptation. In Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics. M. Laessig (Ed.), Springer Verlag (in press).

Lutzoni, F., Pagel, M., Reeb, V. 2001. Major fungal lineages are derived from lichen symbiotic ancestors. Nature (in press).

Bhattacharya, D., Lutzoni, F., Reeb, V., Simon, D., Nason, J., Fernandez, F. 2000. Widespread occurrence of spliceosomal introns in the rDNA genes of ascomycetes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17:1971-1984. Downloadable data set (Stuffit file).

Lutzoni, F., Wagner, P., Reeb V., and Zoller, S. 2000. Integrating ambiguously aligned regions of DNA sequences in phylogenetic analyses without violating positional homology. Systematic Biology 49:628-651. Downloadable program INAASE.

Miadlikowska, J., and Lutzoni, F. 2000. Phylogenetic revision of the genus Peltigera (lichen-forming ascomycetes) based on morphological, chemical and large subunit nuclear ribosomal DNA data. International Journal of Plant Sciences 161:925-958. Downloadable data set (Stuffit file).

Lutzoni, F., and Barker, F. K. 1999. Sampling confidence envelopes of phylogenetic trees for combinability testing: A reply to Rodrigo. Systematic Biology 48: 596-603.

Kranner, I., and Lutzoni, F. 1999. Evolutionary consequences of transition to a lichen symbiotic state and physiological adaptation to oxidative damage associated with poikilohydry. 591-628. In: Plant response to environmental stresses: From phytohormones to genome reorganization. H. R. Lerner (ed.).




Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
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Last update June 2001