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A polysaccharide from Lichina pygmaea and L. confinis supports the recognition of Lichinomycetes

AuthorsPrieto, Alicia ; Leal, J.A. ; Bernabé, Manuel ; Hawksworth, D.L.
Issue Date2008
PublisherBritish Mycological Society
CitationMycological Research 112(3): 381-388 (2008)
AbstractThe lichen-forming order Lichinales, generally characterized by prototunicate asci and the development of thalli with cyanobacteria, has recently been recognized as a separate class of ascomycetes, Lichinomycetes, as a result of molecular phylogenetic studies. As alkali and water-soluble (F1SS) polysaccharides reflect phylogeny in other ascomycetes, a polysaccharide from Lichina pygmaea and L. confinis was purified and characterized to investigate whether these F1SS compounds in the Lichinomycetes were distinctive. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and chemical analyses revealed this as a galactomannan comprising a repeating unit consisting of an α-(1→6)-mannan backbone, mainly substituted by single α-galactofuranose residues at the O-2- or the O-2,4- positions linked to a small mannan core. With the exception of the trisubstituted mannopyranose residues previously described in polysaccharides from other lichens belonging to orders now placed in Lecanoromycetes, the structure of this galactomannan most closely resembles those found in several members of the Onygenales in Eurotiomycetes. Our polysaccharide data support molecular studies showing that Lichina species are remote from Lecanoromycetes as the galactofuranose residues are in the α-configuration. That the Lichinomycetes were part of an ancestral lichenized group can not be established from the present data because the extracted polysaccharide does not have the galactofuranose residue in the β configuration; however, the data does suggest that an ancestor of the Lichinomycetes contained a mannan and was part of an early radiation in the ascomycetes. © 2007 The British Mycological Society.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.10.013
issn: 0953-7562
e-issn: 1469-8102
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