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The cyanobacterium Nostoc linckia was used to study the biotechnology of selenium nanoparticles synthesis for the first time. The experimental conditions of the nanoparticle production by the studied cyanobacteria in aqueous cobalt selenite solutions were examined. Neutron activation analysis allowed characterization of the dynamics of accumulation of the total selenium quantity by Nostoc linckia. Scanning Electron Microscope images demonstrated extracellular formation of amorphous nanoparticles. Released selenium nanoparticles ranged in size from 10 to 80 nm. The changes of essential parameters of biomass (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and phycobilin) content during the nanoparticle formation were assessed. During the first 24 h of nanoparticle synthesis, a slight decline of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates content in the biomass was observed. The most extensive was the process of phycobilin degradation. Furthermore, all biochemical component content as well as an antioxidant activity of the biomass extracts significantly decreased. The obtained substance of Nostoc biomass with selenium nanoparticles may be used for medical, pharmaceutical and technological purposes.


Closely related lichen-forming fungal species circumscribed using phenotypic traits (morphospecies) do not always align well with phylogenetic inferences based on molecular data. Using multilocus data obtained from a worldwide sampling, we inferred phylogenetic relationships among five currently accepted morphospecies of Peltigera section Peltidea (P. aphthosa group). Monophyletic circumscription of all currently recognized morphospecies (P. britannica, P. chionophila, P. frippii and P. malacea) except P. aphthosa, which contained P. britannica, was confirmed with high bootstrap support. Following their re-delimitation using bGMYC and Structurama, BPP validated 14 putative species including nine previously unrecognized potential species (five within P. malacea, five within P. aphthosa, and two within P. britannica). Because none of the undescribed potential species are corroborated morphologically, chemically, geographically or ecologically, we concluded that these monophyletic entities represent intraspecific phylogenetic structure, and, therefore, should not be recognized as new species. Cyanobionts associated with Peltidea mycobionts (51 individuals) represented 22 unique rbcLX haplotypes from five phylogroups in Clade II subclades 2 and 3. With rare exceptions, Nostoc taxa involved in trimembered and bimembered associations are phylogenetically closely related (subclade 2) or identical, suggesting a mostly shared cyanobiont pool with infrequent switches. Based on a broad geographical sampling, we confirm a high specificity of Nostoc subclade 2 with their mycobionts, including a mutualistically exclusive association between phylogroup III and specific lineages of P. malacea.

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