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Carbon Consumption Patterns of Microbial Communities Associated with Peltigera Lichens from a Chilean Temperate Forest
Open AccessArticle

Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Associated with Peltigera Cyanolichens and Cladonia Chlorolichens

Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Department of Ecological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 7800003, Chile
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
K. Almendras and J. García contributed equally to this work and are considered joint first authors.
Academic Editors: Sophie Tomasi and Joel Boustie
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123077
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 25 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichens: Chemistry, Ecological and Biological Activities II)
Lichens have been extensively studied and described; however, recent evidence suggests that members of the bacterial community associated with them could contribute new functions to the symbiotic interaction. In this work, we compare the nitrogen-fixing guild associated with bipartite terricolous lichens with different types of photobiont: Peltigera cyanolichens and Cladonia chlorolichens. Since cyanobacteria contribute nitrogen to the symbiosis, we propose that chlorolichens have more diverse bacteria with the ability to fix nitrogen compared to cyanolichens. In addition, since part of these bacteria could be recruited from the substrate where lichens grow, we propose that thalli and substrates share some bacteria in common. The structure of the nitrogen-fixing guild in the lichen and substrate bacterial communities of both lichens was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the nifH gene. Multivariate analyses showed that the nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with both types of lichen were distinguishable from those present in their substrates. Likewise, the structure of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria present in the cyanolichens was different from that of chlorolichens. Finally, the diversity of this bacterial guild calculated using the Shannon index confirms the hypothesis that chlorolichens have a higher diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria than cyanolichens. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial community structure; Chile; chlorolichens; Coyhaique National Reserve; cyanolichens; nifH gene; Nothofagus forest; terricolous lichens bacterial community structure; Chile; chlorolichens; Coyhaique National Reserve; cyanolichens; nifH gene; Nothofagus forest; terricolous lichens
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MDPI and ACS Style

Almendras, K.; García, J.; Carú, M.; Orlando, J. Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Associated with Peltigera Cyanolichens and Cladonia Chlorolichens. Molecules 2018, 23, 3077.

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