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open-access-imgOpen AccessMolecular analyses identify hybridization‐mediated nuclear evolution in newly discovered fungal hybrids
Sillo Fabiano,
Gonthier Paolo,
Lockman Blakey,
Kasuga Takao,
Garbelotto Matteo
Publication year2019
Publication title
ecology and evolution
Resource typeJournals
Abstract Hybridization may be a major driver in the evolution of plant pathogens. In a high elevation Alpine larch stand in Montana, a novel hybrid fungal pathogen of trees originating from the mating of Heterobasidion irregulare with H. occidentale has been recently discovered. In this study, sequence analyses of one mitochondrial and four nuclear loci from 11 Heterobasidion genotypes collected in the same Alpine larch stand indicated that hybridization has increased allelic diversity by generating novel polymorphisms unreported in either parental species. Sequence data and ploidy analysis through flow cytometry confirmed that heterokaryotic ( n  +  n ) genotypes were not first‐generation hybrids, but were the result of multiple backcrosses, indicating hybrids are fertile. Additionally, all admixed genotypes possessed the H. occidentale mitochondrion, indicating that the hybrid progeny may have been backcrossing mostly with H. occidentale . Based on reticulate phylogenetic network analysis by PhyloNet, Bayesian assignment, and ordination tests, alleles can be defined as H. irregulare ‐like or H. occidentale ‐like. H. irregulare ‐like alleles are clearly distinct from all known H. irregulare alleles and are derived from the admixing of both Heterobasidion species. Instead, all but one H. occidentale alleles found in hybrids, although novel, were not clearly distinct from alleles found in the parental H. occidentale population. This discovery demonstrates that Alpine larch can be a universal host favouring the interspecific hybridization between H. irregulare and H. occidentale and the hybridization‐mediated evolution of a nucleus, derived from H. irregulare parental species but clearly distinct from it.
Subject(s)backcrossing , biology , botany , gene , gene flow , genetic variation , genetics , hybrid , larch , phylogenetic tree , ploidy , species complex
Keyword(s) forest pathogen , Heterobasidion , hybridization , rapid evolution
SCImago Journal Rank1.17

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