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At The Fungal Farmer's Market, Only The Best Cyanobacteria Are For Sale

Lichens are the classic example of a symbiotic relationship. Both the fungal and photobiont components of the lichen benefit from the relationship and often are unable to survive without each other. Recent research by Dr. Robert Lücking (The Field Museum, Chicago), Dr. James Lawrey (George Mason University, Virginia) and a team of colleagues from around the world has put a new spin on this relationship.

In a paper published in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Botany, Lücking et al. explore the possibility of lichens as domesticators, similar to early farmers domesticating grains. By investigating the evolutionary history of a group of cyanobacteria associated with lichens, Lücking and Lawrey and their team have made some surprising conclusions.
 
 

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