Hook. f. & Harv., Bot. Antarc. Voy.: 499 (1847)








Mastodia Mastodia Hook. f. & Harv.: 499 (1847)

Type species

Mastodia tessellata (Hook. f. & Harv.) Hook. f. & Harv., Bot. Antarc. Voy.: 499 (1847)

Mycobank number: MB 80981                    Faceoffungi Number: NA

Marine lichen-forming fungus form symbiosis with multicellular blade-like alga from the genus Prasiola. Thallus lobed, vivid green to dark brown. Ascomata perithecioid, immersed, subglobose, 250-320 μm diam. Involucrellum absent. Excipulum hyaline at the base and light to dark brown pigment in the upper half. Hymenium composed of short periphysiods at the upper part of the cavity, paraphyses absent at the maturity, K/I+ blue. Asci clavate to subcylindrical, bitunicate, 8-spored. Ascospores simple, hyaline, ellipsoidal to cylindrical, up to 18 μm in length. Conidiomata pycnidium, subglobose to lentiform, forming irregular chambers. Conidiospores subglobose to ellipsoidal, simple, hyaline.


Key references:

Kohlmeyer J, Hawksworth DL, Volkmann-Kohlmeyer B (2004) Observations on two marine and maritime "borderline" lichens: Mastodia tessellata and Collemopsidium pelvetiae. Mycological Progress 3: 51-56.

Pérez-Ortega S, de los Rios A, Crespo A, Sancho L (2010) Symbiotic lifestyle and phylogenetic relationships of the bionts of Mastodia tessellata (Ascomycota, Incertae sedis). American Journal of Botany 97: 738-752.

Garrido-Benavent I, Pérez-Ortega S, de los Ríos A (2017a) From Alaska to Antarctica: Species boundaries and genetic diversity of Prasiola (Trebouxiophyceae), a foliose chlorophyte associated with the bipolar lichen-forming fungus Mastodia tessellata. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 107: 117-131.

Garrido-Benavent I, de los Ríos A, Fernández-Mendoza F, Pérez-Ortega S (2017b) No need for stepping stones: Direct, joint dispersal of the lichen-forming fungus Mastodia tessellata (Ascomycota) and its photobiont explains their bipolar distribution. Journal of Biogeography 2017: 1-12.

Type & Location:
Other Specimens:
On rocky seashores in the splash zone, nitrophilous (ornitocoprophilous), usually occurring at bird perches.
Bipolar. Antarctica, subantarctic Islands (Kerguelen, Falkland, Signy Island), Chile, Australia (Tasmania), New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere; Canada (British Columbia), U.S.A. (Alaska), and Russia in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pertinent Literature:
NOTES: Kohlmeyer et al. (2004) disentangled the nomenclature of this monotypic genus. The unusual photosynthetic partner and the observation of unitunicate asci led to the description on the family Mastodiaceae. Pérez-Ortega et al. (2010) showed that asci are actually bitunicate, with exotunica disappearing in early stages. Using two markers these authors also showed that M. tessellata is a relative of marine Verrucariaceae, closely related with members of the genus Wahlenbergiella, thus reducing Mastodiaceae into synonymy with Verrucariaceae. Recent molecular studies have shown that there exist two molecularly different, so far cryptic, species: the first is restricted to Antarctica and the second occurs in Tierra del Fuego, Alaska, British Columbia and some populations also reach Antarctica (Garrido-Benavent et al. 2017a, b).


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