What is the mutualistic relationship between algae and fungi called

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Mutualism and parasitism

what is the mutualistic relationship between algae and fungi called

In mutualism, both species benefit from their relationship. For example For this reason oxpeckers are called a cleaner species. Lichens are another example of mutualism. They are formed by algae and fungi living together. Algae can. The symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi is lichen. The fungal component is called mycobiont while the algae component is called phycobiont. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Mutualistic Relationships Between Algae and Fungi (Excluding Lichens) | Mutualistic associations of microbes are.

  • Mutualism and parasitism
  • Symbiosis in lichens
  • Lichens : Symbiotic Relation Between Algae and Fungi

The algal component of a lichen is known as phycobiont and the fungal component is called mycobiont. The fungus benefits from the symbiotic relation because algae or cyanobacteria produce food by photosynthesis, which is utilized by fungus.

The algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungus, which absorb moisture and nutrients from the environment, and usually provide an anchor to it.

Such relation in which both the organisms are benefited from one another is called symbiosis. There about genera and 15, species of lichens.

They are found worldwide. They usually grow on the barks of trees, dry logs of wood, bare rocks. They are xerophytes in nature and can withstand a long period of drought.

On the basis of fungal components: The fungal partner belongs to Ascomycetes Basidiolichens: The fungal partner belongs to Basidiomycetes Deuterolichens: The fungal partner belongs to deuteromycetes On the basis of Thallus: In this case, the thallus form crust like structure. It closely adheres to the substrate. They are found on bark or rock.

Graphis, Lecanora, Haematomma In this case, thallus has leaf-like lobes. They are fixed from the substrate by hairy rhizoids like structure called rhizines. They are attached only at central points.

Mutualisms between fungi and algae

Parmellia, Collema, Peltigera Their thalli are cylindrical ribbon-like and branched. It is attached only at the base by basal mucilagenous disc. They are commonly called as shrubby lichens. Two species of Lecanora have been used as food in the barren plains and mountains of Western Asia and Northern Africa. Certain classes of East Siberian inhabitants use lichens as vegetable diet. It is also used for the preparation of chocolates and pastries.

It is a food for reindeer and cattle. Species of Cladonia, Citraria, Evernia, Parmelia are used as fodder.

what is the mutualistic relationship between algae and fungi called

Usnic acid obtained from the Usnea and Cladonia species is used as an antibiotic against Gram-positive bacteria. Peltigera canina, the dog lichen is used as medicine for hydrophobia in ancient days. Lobaria pulmonaria, lungwort are used for the diseases of lungs respiratory diseases and T. Parmelia is useful against epilepsy.

In the case of L. Although appearing whitish, the margin contains green algae, the photobiont, and will be seen to be green if cut lengthwise. Some lichens produce their asci in perithecia such as those in the photograph of Hydropunctaria maura at right.

Perithecia are flask-shaped structures that open to the outside by a pore called an ostiole. Lichens producing apothecia are discussed further in the section dealing with lichen-forming pyrenomycetes. The ostioles in both perithecia at right can be seen as small circular areas at their tops. There are some other ways that asci can be produced by lichens, but perithecia and apothecia are by far the most common. The photographs above illustrate two other types you may encounter.

The first are structures called lyrellae. These are similar to apothecia but are greatly elongated. In the case of Graphis scripta, shown in the photo, the lyrellae are highly branched and may resemble some kind of mysterious writing. The second photograph, of Calicium trabinellum, illustrates a mazaedium, a kind of stalked apothecium in which the asci dissolve and leave the ascospores to pile up in a powdery mass.

A few basidiomycetes are also capable of forming lichens. These are not generally considered to be highly-developed relationships yet there is no doubt they function as lichens. The first of the two photos above shows Multiclavula mucida. In this species the basidia and basidiospores line the surface of the upright "fingers" and under cool moist conditions release the spores to drift in the wind.

The photobiont, a green alga, forms a thick crust of the the substrate, in this case rotten wood. The algae are enclosed by the hyphae of the mycobiont. In the second picture the mycobiont is Lichenomphalia umbellifera, a mushroom.

The photobiont and its relationship with the phytobiont are the same as in M. Since these sexual structures reproduce only the fungus, the resulting spores must be fortunate enough to land on an appropriate alga, or perish. However, there is another way.

If the lichen can disperse propagules containing both myco- and photobionts then it will be able to develop in any suitable habitat. However, this type of reproduction is strictly clonal and does not allow for the kind of genetic recombination that occurs during sexual reproduction. Clonal reproduction of lichens can occur in several ways. The simplest of these is simply to separate a piece of the thallus containing both alga and fungus and send it off by wind or water to develop in a new place.

This kind of reproduction is common among lichens and generally effective. There are more highly developed forms of clonal reproduction, two of which are represented in the photographs above.

In the first the lichen has produced soredia. Soredia are small bundles of algae held together by fungal hyphae. They are small enough to be carried by wind yet guarantee the presence of both partners.

The illustration above left shows a young thallus of the foliose lichen Peltigera didactyla. In this species the upper surface becomes dotted with soralia, special structures for the production of soredia. In the photograph, the soralia have released granular masses of soredia. The other photograph above is a highly magnified view of isidia, small coral-like branches containing both mutualists that can break off and drift to a new habitat.

The lichen in the picture is Xanthoparmelia conspersa, a common lichen on exposed rock in New Brunswick. Lichen habitats One of the fascinating aspects of lichen biology is the ability of these organisms to occupy habitats that would be totally in inhospitable to other organisms.

Thus we can find them growing on the ground in deserts, on the sides of dry rock, hanging from the branches of trees and and even growing on the backs of turtles. They are nearly as easy to find and study in the middle of winter as during the warmer months.

The first of the three photographs above was taken in Saskatchewan, out in an open prairie. The rock in the forground is the highest point in the immediate area; animals sitting there get a panoramic view of the grassland and all that is taking place there.

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It is a favourite place for birds, especially birds of prey waiting for a mouse or vole that might be moving through the grass. The orange lichen is a species of Xanthoria that thrives on nitrogen-rich bird droppings left on the rock.

MUTUALISMS BETWEEN FUNGI AND ALGAE

Similar species of Xanthoria, as well as members of the related genus Caloplaca, can be found on our seacoast on rocks frequented by gulls and cormorants. The second of the two pictures above is of White Horse Island, a small island in the Bay of Fundy supporting large colonies of nesting birds.

The white colour of the rock is due to a thick layer of bird droppings; the orange material is a species of Caloplaca. The gravestone at left marks the resting place of Roland ThaxterProfessor at Harvard University and brilliant mycologist, known in particular for his monumental studies on the Laboulbeniales.

Beside Roland's grave is that of his brother Karl. Both gravestones have become colonized by lichens and are now difficult to read.

what is the mutualistic relationship between algae and fungi called

Click on the photograph to get an enlarged version of Roland's gravestone Another interesting thing about our coastal lichens is that some of them are highly tolerant of salt, a substance that is toxic to most fungi, including lichenized ones. The picture at right depicts some coastal rocks on the Bay of Fundy near Saint John.

what is the mutualistic relationship between algae and fungi called

At the bottom of the picture are bunches of brown algae, mostly Fucus vesiculosus and Ascophyllum nodosum, commonly called rockweed. These rockweeds grow in areas along the shore where they will be immersed in seawater, at least at high tide. At the very top of the rock is a patch of orange, probably Xanthoria parietina.

In between is a black zone consisting of the custose lichen Hydropunctaria maura. Hydropunctaria maura can grow where it is periodically immersed in seawater but is also able to grow in an area just above that where it receives only splash from waves. This "black zone" occupies an area that often goes for days or even weeks without immersion in seawater but will eventually get splashed.