My microbe is once again Canoparmelia texana or shield lichen found in Arabia mountain Georgia. One strange quirk of my microorganism is that as a lichen is a symbiotic organism of both fungi and algae with an asexual and sexual phase. The lichen’s life begins when the fungal mycobiont grows around an algal photobiont and cyanobacteria. The fungal part forms most of the structure creating the thallus or main body structure of the lichen and envelopes it with hyphae (it may even penetrate it). Next comes 3 forms of growth and reproduction a lichen may take. Which is listed as follows
- Vegetative or where the thallus just grows which is slow.
- For my microbe the growth rate is about 0.5mm- 0.5m but it lives for a relatively long time of 500-5000 years.
- Asexual reproduction by releasing tiny fragments of itself in 3 ways
- Sexual reproduction which involves
- The male, flask shaped sex organ the Spermogonium which produces spermatia from small pores or ostioles inside the sex organ
- The female sex organ or Carpogonium which is a stalk like projection with the lower coiled ascogonium and upper tricoghyne
- Finally, the spermatia enter the tricoghyne and fertilizes the ascogonium and starts a new thallus growth
The lichen lifecycle can be seen in the following youtube video