Special Issue "Diversity of Lichens—Morphology, Anatomy, Physiology, Secondary Chemistry, Distribution and Their Use: Recent Aspects of Evergreen Topics"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Edit Farkas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institue of Ecology and Botany, Centre for Ecological Research, Vácrátót, Hungary
Interests: morphology, anatomy, taxonomy, physiology, secondary chemistry and distribution of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Lichens are extremely diverse organisms. They are grouped in the main growth forms as fruticose, foliose and crustose, their characteristic colours are mostly due to their unique metabolites (almost a thousand!) and special anatomical structures. They are composed of 2–5 symbiotic partners, 1–3 mycobionts and 1–3 photobionts, increasing their internal diversity. As a consequence, the physiological adaptations of these partners ensure their colonisation in various habitats, resulting in a generally wide distribution area, which varies by taxa. Though our initial knowledge of lichens can be traced back through history to the ages before Christ, only the modern age and recently developed techniques and methodologies in the last few hundred years have resulted in a description of about 18–20 thousand taxa from the tropics to the arctics or from lowland steppes to alpine vegetation and various tundra regions. Recent high-end methods of analytical chemistry and molecular genetics combined with bioinformatics allow us to gain new insights into the above fields. Furthermore, the scientific approach to their application as medicines or as natural protection agents against pests and parasites is rapidly changing.

This Special Issue of Diversity provides an opportunity for a recent survey of evergreen topics—from reviews to current original research—the diversity of lichen morphology, anatomy, physiology and secondary chemistry, the distribution of lichens and their use, originating from studies applying advanced methods, the latest instruments and novel ideas. In this way, a real 21st century outline of the diversity of lichen-forming fungi will be available, representing the great diversity of their research fields.

Prof. Dr. Edit Farkas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • applications for human health
  • distribution
  • habitat
  • lichen diversity
  • lichen-forming fungi
  • lichen secondary metabolites
  • morphological–anatomical variation
  • molecular genetic background

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
Insecticidal and Antiprotozoal Properties of Lichen Secondary Metabolites on Insect Vectors and Their Transmitted Protozoal Diseases to Humans
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080342 (registering DOI) - 26 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Since the long-term application of synthetic chemicals as insecticides and the chemotherapy of protozoal diseases have had various negative effects (non-target effects, resistance), research on less harmful biological products is underway. This review is focused on lichens with potential insecticidal and antiprotozoal activity. [...] Read more.
Since the long-term application of synthetic chemicals as insecticides and the chemotherapy of protozoal diseases have had various negative effects (non-target effects, resistance), research on less harmful biological products is underway. This review is focused on lichens with potential insecticidal and antiprotozoal activity. Literature sources (27) were surveyed from five bibliographic databases and analyzed according to the taxonomic group of the insect, the protozoal disease and the lichen, the type of bioactive compounds (including method of application and mount applied), and the potential bioactivity based on mortalities caused after 24 h of exposure on insects and on parasitic protozoa. Six species of protozoa and five species of mosquitoes, three kinds of larval stages of insects and three protozoa stages were tested. Insecticidal and antiprotozoal effects of crude extracts and seven lichen secondary metabolites (mostly usnic acid) of 32 lichen species were determined. Physiological and morphological changes on parasitic protozoa were observed. Mortality rates caused by LSMs on insect vectors closer to (or somewhat above) the WHO threshold were considered to be insecticides. The results are based on laboratory experiments; however, the efficacy of metabolites should be confirmed in the field and on non-human primates to control the insect vectors and human protozoal diseases transmitted by insects. Full article
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Review
Ethnolichenology—The Use of Lichens in the Himalayas and Southwestern Parts of China
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070330 - 18 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Lichens are used in traditional medicine, food and various other ethnic uses by cultures across the Himalayas and southwestern parts of China. Evidence-based knowledge from historical and modern literatures and investigation of ethnic uses from 1990 proved that lichen species used as medicine [...] Read more.
Lichens are used in traditional medicine, food and various other ethnic uses by cultures across the Himalayas and southwestern parts of China. Evidence-based knowledge from historical and modern literatures and investigation of ethnic uses from 1990 proved that lichen species used as medicine in the Himalayas and southwestern parts of China totaled to 142 species; furthermore, 42 species were utilized as food. Moreover, some lichens are popularly used for lichen produce in ethnic and modern life. An understanding and clarification of the use of lichens in the Himalayas and southeastern parts of China can therefore be important for understanding uses of lichens elsewhere and a reference for additional research of lichen uses in the future. Full article
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