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Lichens = fungus+alga+...yeast?

Just to prove life is full of surprises, even life you thought you knew about pretty well...

Lichens aren't quite what we thought, shocked scientists discover

New yeasts found to be secret partners with known fungi and algae

By Emily Chung, CBC News Posted: Jul 21, 2016 2:35 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 22, 2016 8:42 AM ET

Most people know lichens, such as this wolf lichen, as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark. You probably learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae, but many lichens have now been found to include a third partner, a yeast.

Most people know lichens as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark, and learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae.

But lichen scientists have made the shocking new discovery that many lichens are also made up of a previously undiscovered third partner — a new kind of yeast.

Not only does that potentially alter the fundamental definition of what a lichen is, but it "should change expectations about the diversity and ubiquity" of the organisms that form them, says a new study published Thursday in Science.  (more)



See also the Christian Science Monitor article here.