Identification of some lichenised fungi from James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) using nrITS markers

HALICI M. G., Bartak M., GÜLLÜ M.

NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF BOTANY, vol.56, no.3, pp.276-290, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/0028825x.2018.1478861
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.276-290
  • Keywords: Antarctica, lichens, nrITS, polar lichens, FLORA
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) is one of the lichen rich islands of Antarctica because of its large deglaciated area, with over 140 species of lichenised fungi being reported from the island. Because of its rich lichen biodiversity we decided to study the lichen biodiversity of James Ross Island in more detail, using molecular techniques in addition to morphological characters. Collections made from James Ross Island in the 2016-2017 season by the first and second authors showed that lichen biodiversity of Antarctica is still poorly known and that molecular studies should be carried out to determine the lichen mycota of the white continent. For this research we selected five species and, after morphological and anatomical studies, we also worked with the nrITS gene regions of the selected specimens. Aspicilia virginea and Peltigera ponojensis are new to Antarctica and we provide nrITS data for Candelaria murrayi and Flavoparmelia gerlachei for the first time. Austroplaca frigida was only known from continental Antarctica and we report this species from maritime Antarctica for the first time. Detailed descriptions, habitat preferences and nrITS phylogenies of these species are provided. We believe that the lichen biodiversity of Antarctica will be much better known if molecular techniques are used in the classification of lichenised fungi.