Isolation of symbionts and GC-MS analysis of lichens collected from Obudu mountain resort, south-South, Nigeria.
In Nigeria, a good number of lichen species have been recorded and so far not much work has been done to isolate or identify the symbionts. The utility of lichen comes from a range of secondary compounds produced by them. In view of this, two lichen samples, foliose (Parmalia reticulata Taylor) and fruticose Usnea subflorida Zahlbr. Motyka) were collected from Obudu Mountain Resort, Calabar, Nigeria and their symbionts successfully isolated using standard method. The foliose lichen, Parmelia reticulata was identified to consist of mycobiont (fungus) and photobiont (green alga). The fruticose lichen; Usnea subflorida consist of mycobiont (fungus), Stigonema (cyanobacterium) and Trebouxia. Major components of these two lichens were identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis. Result showed presence of 3,5-Dihydroxytoluene (84.67%) and Benzoic acid 2,4-dihydroxy-3,6-dimethyl-methyl ester (6.23%) in Parmelia reticulata. In Usnea subflorida, Benzoic acid 2,4-dihydroxy-3,6-dimethyl-methyl ester (32.62%) was the major compound followed by urs-12- en-24-oic acid, 3-oxo- methyl ester, (+)- (21.56%) and 12-Oleanen-3-yl acetate,(3.alpha.) (7.97%). The presence of Resorcinol, (a dye-producing compound) in Parmelia reticulata is a pointer to the various ways in which this lichen can be utilized in Nigeria for the production of dyes for use in the manufacturing industry.
Keyword: Lichen, Permalia reticulata, Usnea, symbionts, GC-MS, Algae, Fungi.