Perspectives in lichenological research - biodiversity, lichen chemistry

(OTKA-K 81232, 2010 - 2014, closed project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Edit Farkas, PhD, senior researcher
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
MTA ÖK Institute of Ecology and Botany, Laboratory for Botany and Phytochemistry
Responsible person at MTA ÖK: 
Short description: 

The current lichenological project is focused on Hungarian herbarium material collected in Hungary, in various parts of Europe (mostly Carpathians, Balkan) and in the tropics (E-Africa, Brazil, Australia) mainly by Hungarian collectors. Contributions to the knowledge on the biodiversity of the world might be expected from our basic research, which is important in the time of the biodiversity crisis. The study of lichenicolous fungi hardly known in Hungary is very promising in connection with its bioindication value.
The so far limited knowledge on lichen substances especially of taxa living in Hungary is planned to develop. Possibilities are investigated for further research areas in connection with lichen substances and their relation to global environmental changes.
Methods (SEM, DIC microscopy, HPTLC, HPLC, molecular genetical analysis) well established earlier are planned to use with new elements (e.g the application of polarized light, digital image analysis, some statistical analyses if data allow).
Results are intended to present in Hungarian and international scientific meetings and as journal publications and databases.
The research team consisting of 3 senior researchers (the principal investigator lead OTKA 939, 13275, 30209, 47160 previously), 4 researchers and a university student, seems to be ideal. This international team (of 5 Hungarian, 2 Polish and 1 Slovakian participants) also supported by considerable international relations in European and world-wide level.

Aims: 

Study of Hungarian, European and extra-European, mostly tropical taxa collected by Hungarian collectors to increase knowledge on biological and chemical diversity of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi.

Results: 

Chemical diversity due to c. 1000 secondary metabolites – of various biological effects - is added to the biological diversity of lichens. Hungarian and European Cladina, Cetrelia, Lepraria, Xanthoparmelia were analysed by HPTLC. Altogether 55 substances of c. 3000 specimens belonging to 136 species were checked. Based on various species, chemical diversity hidden in similar morphology was justified. New chemical varieties of 2 Xanthoparmelia species were revealed by LC-MS. Investigations were carried out to clear phylogenetic position of Central European species in Lecanora dispersa gr., Solenopsora candicans, usnic acid containing Xanthoparmelia species. A PhD thesis based on analyses of lichen substances and genetic diversity of the moderately toxitolerant Hypogymnia physodes was defended. Lichenicolous fungi of the nitrofrequent Xanthoria parietina from various habitats were studied. 8 species of lichens and 16 lichenicolous fungi were identified as new to Hungary. 9 species newly protected by law 83/2013.(IX.25)VM. Foliicolous lichens Calopadia erythrocephala (with fusarubin), Lyromma coronatum, L. multisetulatum, Coenogonium seychellense, C. subdilucidum and the lichenicolous fungus Keratosphaera antoniana were described as new to science from Africa and South America. A new genus Ivanpisutia and 30 new species were published from Asia. 2 species were reported as new for Africa, 2 for Australia and 78 for South Korea. 7 new combinations of Bacidia s.l. were introduced.