We are a research group focusing on the symbiotic associations in lichens

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Symbiotic organisms play a key role in natural communities.
Lichens are common symbiotic organisms composed of a fungal partner, the mycobiont,
and one or more photosynthetic partners, the photobiont, that may be either a green alga or cyanobacterium.

Our research focuses on various aspects of lichen symbiosis:

  • Diversity of symbiotic algae within various lichen genera.
  • Diversity of free-living symbiotic algae.
  • Ecological drivers of lichen symbiosis: The effect of climatic and habitat factors in shaping the relationships between the fungal and algal partners.
  • Niche dimensions of algal partners.
  • Formation and ontogeny of lichen symbiosis: From vegetative propagules to mature thalli.
  • Dispersal of symbiotic partners.
  • Spatial and temporal dynamics of lichen symbiotic associations.

Research Team

Principal investigators

Jana Steinová

jana.steinova[at]gmail.com www

Pavel Škaloud

skaloud[at]natur.cuni.cz www


Ivana Černajová

ivkacerka[at]gmail.com PhD student

Eliška Konečná

el.konecna[at]seznam.cz PhD student

Veronica Malavasi

veronica.malavasi80[at]gmail.com PhD student

Zuzana Škvorová

zuzka.skvorova[at]centrum.cz PhD student

Lucie Vančurová

vancurova.l[at]volny.cz PhD student

Heda Ghlimová

ghlihe[at]seznam.cz MSc student

Jana Schmidtová

jana.schmidtova[at]post.cz MSc student

Veronika Veselá

v.vesela2[at]seznam.cz MSc student

External collaborators

  • Ondřej Peksa (Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)
  • Francesco Dal Grande (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Institute, Germany)
  • Patricia Moya (University of Valencia, Spain)
  • Lucia Muggia (University of Trieste, Italy)


Peksa, O.,Gebouská, T.,Škvorová, Z.,Vančurová, L. & Škaloud, P. (2022)
The guilds in green algal lichens—an insight into the life of terrestrial symbiotic communities.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology 98: 1-17.
Steinová, J., Holien, H., Košuthová, A. & Škaloud, P. (2022)
An exception to the rule? Could photobiont identity be a better predictor of lichen phenotype than mycobiont identity?
Journal of Fungi 8: 275.

Černajová, I., Schiefelbein, U. & Škaloud, P. (2022)
Lichens from the littoral zone host diverse ulvophycean photobionts.
Journal of Phycology (published online).

Škvorová, Z., Černajová, I., Steinová, J., Peksa, O., Moya, P. & Škaloud, P. (2022)
Promiscuity in lichens follows clear rules: partner switching in Cladonia is regulated by climatic factors and soil chemistry.
Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 781585.

Vančurová, L., Malíček, J., Steinová, J. & Škaloud, P. (2021)
Choosing the right life partner: Ecological drivers of lichen symbiosis.
Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 769304.

Moya, P., Molins, A., Škaloud, P., Divakar, P.K., Chiva, S., Dumitru, C., Molina, M.C., Crespo, A. & Barreno, E. (2021)
Biodiversity patterns and ecological preferences of the photobionts associated with the lichen-forming genus Parmelia.
Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 765310.

Černajová, I. & Škaloud, P. (2020)
Lessons from culturing lichen soredia.
Symbiosis 82: 109-122.

Vančurová, L., Kalníková, V., Peksa, O., Škvorová, Z., Malíček, J., Moya, P., Chytrý, K., Černajová, I. & Škaloud, P. (2020)
Symbiosis between river and dry lands: Phycobiont dynamics on river gravel bars.
Algal Research 51: 102062.

Černajová, I. & Škaloud, P. (2019)
The first survey of Cystobasidiomycete yeasts in the lichen genus Cladonia; with the description of Lichenozyma pisutiana gen. nov., sp. nov.
Fungal Biology 123: 625-637.

Steinová, J., Škaloud, P., Yahr, R., Bestová, H. & Muggia, L. (2019)
Reproductive and dispersal strategies shape the diversity of mycobiont-photobiont association in lichen symbioses.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 134: 226-237.

Vančurová, L., Muggia, L., Peksa, O., Řídká, T. & Škaloud, P. (2018)
The complexity of symbiotic interactions influences the ecological amplitude of the host: a case study in Stereocaulon (lichenized Ascomycota).
Molecular Ecology 27: 3016-3033.

Moya, P., Chiva, S., Molins, A., Jadrná, I., Škaloud, P., Peksa, O. & Barreno, E. (2018)
Myrmecia israeliensis as the primary symbiotic microalga in squamulose lichens growing in European and Canarian terricolous communities.
Fottea 18: 72-85.

Škaloud, P., Moya, P., Molins, A., Peksa, O., Santos-Guerra, A. & Barreno, E. (2018)
Untangling the hidden intrathalline microalgal diversity in Parmotrema pseudotinctorum: Trebouxia crespoana sp. nov.
The Lichenologist 50: 357-369.

Lichen Symbiosis Research Group

Department of Botany
Faculty of Science
Charles University
Benatska 2, 12800 Praha 2
Czech Republic


+420 221 951 648