Fine-scale genetic diversity and relatedness in fungi associated with the mountain pine beetle

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  • The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, 1902) forms beneficial symbiotic associations with
    fungi. Here we explored the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of three of those fungi using single nucleotide polymorphism. We found that single mated pairs of beetles carry not only multiple fungal species, but also multiple genotypes of each species into their galleries. We observed genetic diversity at a fine spatial scale. Most of the diversity was found within and among galleries with nonsignificant diversity among trees. We observed clonal propagation almost exclusively within galleries. Ophiostoma montium (Rumbold) Arx possessed a larger expected number of multilocus genotypes and lower linkage disequilibrium than Grosmannia clavigera (Rob.-Jeffr. & R.W. Davidson) Zipfel, Z.W. de Beer & M.J. Wingf. and Leptographium longiclavatum S.W. Lee, J.J. Kim & C. Breuil. More than 80% of fungal samples were genetically unrelated, a result that parallels what has been observed in the beetles. The proportion of genetically related samples within galleries was higher in O. montium (40%) than in G. clavigera (20%) or L. longiclavatum (6%), likely the consequence of within-gallery sexual recombination in O. montium. The underlying genetic diversity reported here and the differences among fungal species could enable the symbiont community to quickly respond to new environmental conditions or changes in the host, enhancing the maintenance of this multipartite relationship and allowing the MPB to colonize new habitats.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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    • Tsui, C.K.M., Beauseigle, S., Ojeda Alayon, D.I., Rice, A.V., Cooke, J.E., Sperling, F.A., Roe, A.D., Hamelin, R.C. 2019. Fine-scale genetic diversity and relatedness in fungi associated with the mountain pine beetle. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48(8): 933-941.