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Genetic Variation Within and Among Mats of the Reindeer Lichen, Cladina subtenuis
Lichenologist (1996)
  • Karen H. Beard, Utah State University
  • P. T. DePriest
Cladina subtenuis is the most commonly found 'reindeer lichen' in the southeastern United States. In the present study C. subtenuis was examined for polymorphism in the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) within and among small clumps of podetia, here referred to as mars, from five geographical locations. Polymorphism in the SSU rDNA was not detected among podetia within mars, but polymorphism was detected among mars from a single location. Therefore, mars of C, subtenuis may represent a single genetic individual, although genetically distinct mats may occur in close proximity. Their proximity could encourage sexual reproduction between genetically distinct individuals, which would maintain variation in these populations. The SSU rDNA types represented three different lengths and restriction-site patterns, reflecting the presence of sequence insertions of at least 200 nucleotides in the SSU rDNA coding region. The insertions, differing in position, number and sequence, are group I introns similar to those previously reported in the Cladonia chlorophaea complex. The intron variation among the SSU rDNA types indicates that molecular evolution has occurred within this species, perhaps since its divergence from related taxa and dispersal across the southeastern United Stares. (C) 1996 The British Lichen Society
  • group-I introns,
  • ribosomal DNA,
  • identification,
  • systematics,
  • fungus,
  • RDNA
Publication Date
March, 1996
Citation Information
Beard, K.H. and P. T. DePriest. 1996. Genetic variation within and among mats of the reindeerlichen, Cladina subtenuis (des abb.) Hale & W.Culb. Lichenologist 28(2):171-182.