Within-population genetic structure differs between two sympatric sister-species of ectomycorrhizal fungi, Rhizopogon vinicolor and R. vesiculosus

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  • Using spatial autocorrelation analysis, we examined the within-population genetic structure of Rhizopogon vinicolor and R. vesiculosus, two hypogeous ectomycorrhizal (EM) species that are sympatric sister taxa known to differ in their clonal structure. We collected 121 sporocarps and 482 tuberculate EM of both species from a 20 ha forest stand dominated by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Field collections were identified to species with restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer. Five and six microsatellite markers were used to characterize the genetic diversity of EM and sporocarp samples from R. vesiculosus and R. vinicolor respectively. After correcting for genet structure, spatial autocorrelation analyses of the EM samples were used to test the null hypothesis that multilocus genotypes characterized from each species were randomly distributed within the study area. We detected positive and statistically significant fine-scale genetic structure up to 120 m within the R. vesiculosus sample. In contrast, no spatial genetic structure was evident for R. vinicolor, indicating that the genotypes characterized for this species were randomly distributed throughout the study area. Differences in statistical power or the nuclear count of basidiospores are unlikely agents of the genetic patterns observed. Our results suggest that differences in reproductive output or competitive ability may act individually or in combination to create clusters of similar genotypes for R. vesiculosus throughout the study area.
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  • Keywords: genet, Rhizopogon, ectomycorrhizal, genetic structure, spatial autocorrelation, fungi
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  • Dunham, S. M., Mujic, A. B., Spatafora, J. W., & Kretzer, A. M. (2013). Within-population genetic structure differs between two sympatric sister-species of ectomycorrhizal fungi, rhizopogon vinicolor and R. vesiculosus. Mycologia, 105(4), 814-826. doi:10.3852/12-265
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  • 105
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  • 4
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  • Our research was financially supported by NSF grant DEB-0137531 to Annette Kretzer.



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