Difference between Soredia and Isidia




Soredia and Isidia are two different types of reproductive structures produced by lichens. Both soredia and isidia play important roles in the reproduction and dispersal of lichens. However, they differ in their structure and function. In this post we discuss the Similarities and Difference between Soredia and Isidia with a comparison table. You can download the PDF of this article from the download link given at the endo of the article.

Difference between Soredia and Isidia



Soredia

Ø  Soredia (soredium) are the asexual spores of lichens.

Learn more: General Characters of Lichens

Ø  They are small powdery clusters of fungal and algal cells surrounded by a protective layer of lichen tissue.

Ø  Produced on the surface of the lichen thallus.



Ø  Sometimes soredia are produced specialized structure called Soralia.

Ø  Soredia are sessile structures (no stock).

Ø  Can be easily detached and dispersed by wind or water.

Ø  Allows the lichen to reproduce and colonize new areas.

Ø  Capable of growing into new lichens if the environmental conditions are suitable for the survival of both the fungal and algal partners.

Ø  Examples: Evernia prunastri, Variolaria

soredium

Isidia

Ø  Isidia are vegetative reproductive structures produced by some lichens.



Ø  They are elongated, stacked, branched or un-branched structures that are produced on the surface of the lichen thallus.

Ø  Isidia are similar to soredia in that they are composed of fungal and algal cells and both can be detached and dispersed to colonize new areas.

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Ø  However, isidia are much larger and more complex structures than soredia.

Ø  Isidia are typically produced by crustose and foliose lichens

Learn more: Economic Importance of LIchens

Ø  Play a significant role in the reproduction and dispersal of these lichens.

Ø  Examples: Parmotrema and Peltigera.

isidium

Difference between Soredia and Isidia

CharacteristicSorediaIsidia
ReproductionSoredia are asexual sporesIsidia are vegetative reproductive strucutres
StructureSmall clusters of fungal and algal cells surrounded bya protective layer of lichen tissueElongated structures produced on the surface of the lichen thallus
SizeSmallLarge and more compelx than soredia
AttachmentSessile (not stocked)Stacked
DispersionEasily detached and dispersed by wind or waterEasily detached and dispersed to colonize new areas
ReproductionCapable of growting into new lichensPlay significant role in the vegetative reproduction and photosynthesis of lichens
ExampleEvernia prunastriParmotrema, Peltigera

In conclusion, soredia and isidia are two different types of reproductive structures produced by lichens that play significant roles in the reproduction and dispersal of lichens. Soredia are small clusters of fungal and algal cells, while isidia are elongated structures that are produced on the surface of the lichen thallus.

Image Source

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderflechten/5349547377
  • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leptogium_cyanescens-5.jpg
  • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:05_10_anatomy_of_the_thallus,_details,_lichens,_Lichenes_%28M._Piepenbring%29.png

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