Ph.D, Institute of Plant Physiology
Ilse Kranner visited the Field Museum in July 1999. This visit was part of a long-term co-operation with François Lutzoni within her research projects on desiccation tolerance of plants and lichens (“Antioxidants and desiccation tolerance: A new approach to mycobiont-photobiont symbiotic associations”). One of the project goals was to study the role of the antioxidant system in the evolution of lichens.
The main purposes of Ilse Kranners visit to the lab of François Lutzoni were to perform desiccation experiments with the lichenized mushroom Omphalina hudsoniana and its isolated Coccomyxaphotobiont, and with the non-lichenized species Omphalina veluptipes when grown in axenic culture. In addition, they also organized a trip to the subarctic station at Schefferville (Canada) to collect the lichen material required for the experiments.
In a joint paper, Kranner and Lutzoni (1999) conclude that only such fungal lineages that possess outstanding antioxidant systems are capable of undergoing the transition from the non-lichenized to the lichenized state.