Ahmadjian, Vernon Formerly, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.
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Symbiotic associations of fungi (mycobionts) and photosynthetic partners (photobionts). Lichens (Fig. 1) consist of fungi and algae or cyanobacteria growing together symbiotically. Lichen associations always result in a distinct morphological body termed a thallus that may adhere tightly to the substrate or be leafy, stalked, or hanging. A thallus consists of layers, that is, a cortex and medulla made up of the fungus, and a photosynthetic layer of algal or cyanobacterial cells that are closely associated with fungal hyphae. Rhizoids (rootlike structures) anchor thalli to their substrates. Some lichens (for example, Stereocaulon) with green photobionts have gall-like structures called cephalodia that contain cyanobacteria. See also: Algae; Cyanobacteria; Fungal ecology; Fungi; Mycology; Photosynthesis; Symbiosis
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