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Mechanical Hybrids

 
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7052
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Mechanical Hybrids Reply with quote

Sexual reproduction by the exchange of genetic material between species is unknown in lichens. Just the same however, lichen thalli may grow together and fuse, this may happen between populations of the same species, different species of the same genus or it may occur between different genera, thus creating "mechanical hybrids." In this image the lichen is mostly the dull grayish green resulting from the mycobiont and the photobiont union. However there are some reddish orange pigments that are occuring along some portions or sections of the thalli, in the following image. In the texts that I have been reading these pigments are refered to as being yellow and such pigmentation is said to be that of the pigment parietin, as in Xanthoria parietina, which often occurs together with grey Physcia and related species.

Although there may or may not be any mechanical hybridization occuring here in this photograph, I still cannot help but to ponder the possiblity of that being the case. However, there is indeed something happening here because for the most part the lichen is the dull grayish green that is most commonly found in my area, while this particular portion of the thallus is notably changing color and does display small pigments within the fiberous structure of the mycobiont. Smile



I have circled the area of the lichen thallus to show where the enlarged image to the right in the composite is located. For those of you who may find all this lichen stuff to be mundane or rather a bore, be of good cheer this is my last post for the day in this particular forum. Dancing Then too, there is always the next day and the one after that and the one after.... Twisted Evil
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I be likein the lichen. ...Very interesting stuff Ken....I have to get me a book & some time to read it on these things. I have a feeling that these things are what they are going to find on Mars when they get there!!
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7052
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny you should bring that up Doug. There is a form of lichen life known as "cryptoendoliths' (organisms hidden within rocks) and they remain dormant in that zone. They have been found in what is the most unfavorable environment on the face of the earth, the antarctic. To quote from the book "Lichens" by William Purvis;
Quote:
"Survival of antartic cryptoendoliths depends on a precarious balance between biological and geological factors. Any unfavorable shift in conditions may result in death and formation of micro fossiles. Indeed it has been suggested that the Antarctic environments are the closest terrestrial equivalents to Mars, leading to speculation that lichens might be found on Mars itself."


Pretty cool huh? We may already have aliens among us and we have not even realized it. Makes one want to treat them with a little more respect before they jump out of someones chest now, doesn't it? Thanks Doug! Wink
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