Symbiotic interplay of fungi, algae, and bacteria within the lung lichen Lobaria pulmonaria L. Hoffm. as assessed by state-of-the-art metaproteomics

Christine Eymann, Christian Lassek, Uwe Wegner, Jörg Bernhardt, Ole Arno Fritsch, Stephan Fuchs, Andreas Otto, Dirk Albrecht, Ulf Schiefelbein, Tomislav Cernava, Ines Aschenbrenner, Gabriele Berg, Martin Grube, Katharina Riedel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lichens are recognized by macroscopic structures formed by a heterotrophic fungus, the mycobiont, which hosts internal autotrophic photosynthetic algal and/or cyanobacterial partners, referred to as the photobiont. We analyzed structure and functionality of the entire lung lichen </i>Lobaria pulmonaria</i> L. Hoffm. collected from two different sites by state-of-the-art metaproteomics. In addition to the green algae and the ascomycetous fungus, a lichenicolous fungus, as well as a complex prokaryotic community (different from the cyanobacteria) was found, the latter dominated by methanotrophic Rhizobiales. Various partner-specific proteins could be assigned to the different lichen symbionts, e.g. fungal proteins involved in vesicle transport, algal proteins functioning in photosynthesis, cyanobacterial nitrogenase and GOGAT involved in nitrogen-fixation, and bacterial enzymes responsible for methanol/C1-compounds metabolism as well as CO-detoxification. Structural and functional information on proteins expressed by the lichen community complemented and extended our recent symbiosis model depicting the functional multi-player network of single holobiont partners. Our new metaproteome analysis strongly supports the hypothesis (i) that interactions within the self-supporting association are multifaceted and (ii) that the strategy of functional diversification within the single lichen partners may support the longevity of </i>L. pulmonaria</i> under certain ecological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2160-2173
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2017


  • Journal Article


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