The microbiome of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria varies according to climate on a subcontinental scale

Bogale A.T., Braun M., Bernhardt J., Zühlke D., Schiefelbein U., Bog M., Scheidegger C., Zengerer V., Becher D., Grube M., Riedel K. & Bengtsson M.M.
Environmental Microbiology Reports
16: e13289 [14 p.]
The Lobaria pulmonaria holobiont comprises algal, fungal, cyanobacterial and bacterial components. We investigated L. pulmonaria's bacterial microbiome in the adaptation of this ecologically sensitive lichen species to diverse climatic conditions. Our central hypothesis posited that microbiome composition and functionality aligns with subcontinental-scale (a stretch of ~1100 km) climatic parameters related to temperature and precipitation. We also tested the impact of short-term weather dynamics, sampling season and algal/fungal genotypes on microbiome variation. Metaproteomics provided insights into compositional and functional changes within the microbiome. Climatic variables explained 41.64% of microbiome variation, surpassing the combined influence of local weather and sampling season at 31.63%. Notably, annual mean temperature and temperature seasonality emerged as significant climatic drivers. Microbiome composition correlated with algal, not fungal genotype, suggesting similar environmental recruitment for the algal partner and microbiome. Differential abundance analyses revealed distinct protein compositions in Sub-Atlantic Lowland and Alpine regions, indicating differential microbiome responses to contrasting environmental/climatic conditions. Proteins involved in oxidative and cellular stress were notably different. Our findings highlight microbiome plasticity in adapting to stable climates, with limited responsiveness to short-term fluctuations, offering new insights into climate adaptation in lichen symbiosis.
Monday, 24 June 2024 11:29