Project groups

8-1.5 | GENOME-WIDE SIGNATURES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ADAPTATION IN LICHEN-FORMING FUNGI AND THEIR GREEN ALGAL SYMBIONTS

Symbiotic organisms face special problems when confronted with environmental stressors, such as anthropogenic climate change. One option to cope with changing conditions is to associate with locally adapted symbiont strains. Here we study populations of the lichen-forming fungus Lasallia pustulata and its green algal symbiont (Trebouxia sp.) along an altitudinal gradient (100-1300m). We use population genomics approaches based on next generation sequencing to identify loci with high levels of differentiation among populations. This study has the potential to uncover genes involved in local adaptation, and shed light on strategies of environmental adaptation in symbiotic systems. 

Team

Prof. Dr. Imke Schmitt, Researcher
Dr. Francesco Dal Grande, Researcher

Publications

Widmer, I., Dal Grande, F., Excoffier, L., Holderegger, R., Keller, C., Mikryukov, V.S. & C. Scheidegger (2012) : European phylogeography of the epiphytic lichen fungus Lobaria pulmonaria and its green algal symbiont. - Molecular Ecology 21: 5827-5844.