Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 18, Issue 4, 2016; Page No.(983-990)

FLAVOPARMELIA CAPERATA, A HOST FOR BEAUVERIA SP. IN SUBALPINE FOREST OF CHAKRATA DISTRICT, UTTARAKHAND, INDIA, AND NATURAL SELECTION IN B. BASSIANA

ASHUTOSH PATHAK, ROHIT K MISHRA, SHASHI KANT SHUKLA, RAJESH KUMAR, ANAND PANDEY, MADHU PANDEY AND ANUPAM DIKSHIT

Abstract

Lichen thallus, composed of photobiont, mycobiont and often other fungi and bacteria, can be considered as mini-ecosystem comprising several organisms. The present study was focused on the isolation and identification of the fungus associated with the corticolous lichen Flavoparmelia caperata collected from subalpine forest of Cedar (Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don) in Chakrata district, Uttarakhand, India; comparison of secondary metabolites produced from the isolated fungus and the lichen thallus via Thin Layer Chromatography; and examining the host range or habitats of isolated fungus via studying the effect of natural selection on molecular polymorphism (Tajima’s neutral theory of melocular evolution) in isolated fungus population. The fungus was isolated through whole tissue culture method on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) medium and identified morphologically and molecularly. Results suggested that Beauveria aff. bassiana, a soil borne entomopathogenic fungus, was associated with the lichen thallus and also produces certain compounds. The secondary metabolites produced in the lichen thallus was a combined product of lichenized fungus and the isolated fungus. F. caperata acts as a host for Beauveria aff.bassiana and the later associated with the thallus of former one produces secondary metabolites which might help in the antiherbivory and survival of lichen in forests. Due to the effect of natural selection, molecular polymorphism (Tajima’s D value= -0.386) exhibited by the Beauveria bassiana population across the globe explains the wide host range or habitats.

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