Data from: A worldwide phylogeography of the whiteworm lichen Thamnolia vermicularis reveals three lineages with distinct habitats and evolutionary histories
Onuţ-Brännström, Ioana; Tibell, Leif; Johannesson, Hanna (2018), Data from: A worldwide phylogeography of the whiteworm lichen Thamnolia vermicularis reveals three lineages with distinct habitats and evolutionary histories, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.79d91
Thamnolia is a lichenized fungus with an extremely wide distribution, being encountered in arctic and alpine environments in most continents. In this study, we used molecular markers to investigate the population structure of the fungal symbiont and the associated photosynthetic partner of Thamnolia. By analyzing molecular, morphological, and chemical variation among 253 specimens covering the species distribution range, we revealed the existence of three mycobiont lineages. One lineage (Lineage A) is confined to the tundra region of Siberia and the Aleutian Islands, a second (Lineage B) is found in the high alpine region of the Alps and the Carpathians Mountains, and a third (Lineage C) has a worldwide distribution and covers both the aforementioned ecosystems. Molecular dating analysis indicated that the split of the three lineages is older than the last glacial maximum, but the distribution ranges and the population genetic analyses suggest an influence of last glacial period on the present-day population structure of each lineage. We found a very low diversity of Lineage B, but a higher and similar one in Lineages A and C. Demographic analyses suggested that Lineage C has its origin in the Northern Hemisphere, possibly Scandinavia, and that it has passed through a bottleneck followed by a recent population expansion. While all three lineages reproduce clonally, recombination tests suggest rare or past recombination in both Lineages A and C. Moreover, our data showed that Lineage C has a comparatively low photobiont specificity, being found associated with four widespread Trebouxia lineages (three of them also shared with other lichens), while Lineages A and B exclusively harbor T. simplex s. lat. Finally, we did not find support for the recognition of taxa in Thamnolia based on either morphological or chemical characters.