This project focuses on selected groups of “jelly fungi” or “heterobasidiomycetes” which are a heterogeneous group of basidiomycete fungi with gelatinous fruiting bodies and septate basidia. Many representatives of these groups are dimorphic and switch between a hyphal phase that frequently is sexual and fruitbody-producing and a haploid, unicellular yeast-phase. The jelly fungi show great diversity in their nutritional habit, but many are more or less parasitic on other fungi, including lichens. It is generally assumed that lichen-inhabiting fungi have co-evolved with their lichenized hosts, but very few studies have tested this. We study general taxonomic and phylogenetic questions, including several species and generic delimitation issues and higher-level classification problems, including groups within Tremella, Biatoropsis, and Heterocephalacria/Syzygospora s. lat. in the Tremellomycetes, and Chionosphaera and Cyphobasidium among the Puccinomycotina. We further study general evolutionary questions and utilize these host-parasite systems to investigate if co-evolution potentially could have occurred between the fungi involved. Finally, we address questions related to the life cycle of these fungi, in particular regarding the distribution of yeast stages. One PhD student in the project will defend her thesis in 2022.
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles, Spain
Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg
Uppsala University, Sweden
Millanes, A.M., Diederich, P., Westberg, M. & Wedin, M. 2021. Crittendenia gen. nov., a new lichenicolous lineage in the Agaricostilbomycetes (Pucciniomycotina), and a review of the biology, phylogeny and classification of lichenicolous heterobasidiomycetes. The Lichenologist 53: 103-116. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002428292000033X
Tuovinen, V., Millanes, A.M. Freire, S., Rosling, A., & Wedin, M. 2021. Tremella macrobasidiata and Tremella variae have abundant and widespread yeast stages in Lecanora lichens. Environmental Microbiology: https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.15455.
For further publications by Mats Wedin: DIVA