Visitors: Frank Kauff

Photo:Valérie Reeb

Frank Kauff

April 7 – July 17, 2000

FB Biologie, Abt. Allgemeine Botanik
Universitaet Kaiserslautern
D-67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany

During his final year of graduate study on the order Gyalectales (lichenized ascomycetes), Frank Kauff visited the Pritzer Lab for three months. He collaborated with François Lutzoni (Botany) to gather molecular data from the small (SSU) and the large (LSU) subunits of nuclear ribosomal DNA, and to increase our knowledge of the phylogeny of this interesting group of lichens. The order Gyalectales, with its monotypic family Gyalectaceae, is distributed worldwide, and is found mostly in temperate regions (except for the mainly tropical and subtropical genera Dimerella and Coenogonium).

Molecular data in combination with morphological and anatomical characters will be used to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Gyalectales and some of their relatives. Further investigations include the study of ascocarp ontogeny, which has not been investigated in detail for many genera, making their relationship to the Gyalectaceae uncertain. Similar kinds of ascocarp ontogeny are known in other taxa (such as Verrucariales, Ostropales, Porinaceae) but it is questionable if they can all be traced back to a common origin. In addition, the systematic position of the Gyalectales within the ascomycetes is unknown.