The key difference between ascolichen and basidiolichen is that in ascolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen belongs to ascomycetes, while in basidiolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen belongs to basidiomycetes.
Lichen is a composite organism. It arises from the mutualistic relationship between algae or cyanobacteria with a fungal species. Generally, lichens have different properties from their component organisms. Lichens come in many different colours, sizes, and forms. Sometimes, they are like plants. However, they are not plants. It is estimated that there are about 6-8% lichens on the Earth’s land surface. Moreover, there are about 20000 known species. Ascolichen and basidiolichen are two types of lichens.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Ascolichen
3. What is Basidiolichen
4. Similarities – Ascolichen and Basidiolichen
5. Ascolichen vs Basidiolichen in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Ascolichen vs Basidiolichen
What is Ascolichen?
Ascolichen is any lichen whose fungal partner is an ascomycete fungal species. Ascolichen forms two types of fruiting bodies: apothecia (disc-liked) and perithecia (flask-shaped). The other partner in the lichen is algae or cyanobacteria. One well-known ascolichen genus is Parmelia. Parmelia is a genus of medium to large foliose lichens. There are about 40 species in this genus. The species of this lichen genus have a global distribution extending from the Arctic to the Antarctic continent. But normally, they are concentrated in temperate regions. Recently, this genus has been subdivided into a number of smaller genera according to thallus morphology and phylogenetic relatedness.
A member of this genus is a foliaceous lichen resembling a leaf in shape. The upper surface is bluish-gray in colour with a network of web-like ridges. The lower surface is black and has rootlets called rhizines. Rhizines anchor this lichen member to its substrate. Furthermore, the upper surface also contains reproductive organs. In between these two layers, there is a medulla that contains an algal component of lichen. The fruiting body of the members of Parmelia genus is disc-shaped. However, there is another example for ascolichen in which the fruiting body is flask-shaped (genus Dermatocarport).
What is Basidiolichen?
Basidiolichen is any lichen whose fungal partner is a basidiomycete fungal species. Only a small number of basidiolichens are found in the world (1% of total lichens). The fruiting bodies of basidiolichens come in several forms, but in many species, the thalli are not immediately obvious.
Dictyonema is a genus of tropical basidiolichens in the family Hygrophoraceae. Dictyonema is distributed in tropical to subtropical regions of the world. The species that belong to the Dictyonema genus produce easily visible thalli that are semi-circular in shape and growing in rosettes. Most species in this genus grow on soil, rock, moss, or rotting logs. But one species of this genus grows on the leaves of trees. Moreover, Corella is another genus of basidiolichens.
What are the Similarities Between Ascolichen and Basidiolichen?
- Ascolichen and basidiolichen are two types of lichens.
- Both lichen types were first classified by Zahlbruckner in 1926 based on the fungal partner.
- Both lichen types can be found in temperate regions.
- The fungal partners of both lichen types show sexual as well as asexual reproduction.
What is the Difference Between Ascolichen and Basidiolichen?
In ascolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen is a ascomycetes species, while in basidiolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen is a basidiomycetes species. Thus, this is the key difference between ascolichen and basidiolichen. Moreover, ascolichen is a more common type, while basidiolichen is a less common type.
The below infographic presents the differences between ascolichen and basidiolichen in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Ascolichen vs Basidiolichen
Lichen is a symbiotic association between algae or cyanobacteria with a fungal partner. Ascolichen and basidiolichen are two types of lichens that were first classified by Zahlbruckner in 1926. In ascolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen is a ascomycetes species, while in basidiolichen, the fungal partner of the lichen is a basidiomycetes species. So, this is the difference between ascolichen and basidiolichen.