Low intraspecific genetic diversity indicates asexuality and vertical transmission in the fungal cultivars of ambrosia beetles

L.J.J. van de Peppel*, D.K. Aanen, P.H.W. Biedermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ambrosia beetles farm ascomycetous fungi in tunnels within wood. These ambrosia fungi are regarded asexual, although population genetic proof is missing. Here we explored the intraspecific genetic diversity of Ambrosiella grosmanniae and Ambrosiella hartigii (Ascomycota: Microascales), the mutualists of the beetles Xylosandrus germanus and Anisandrus dispar. By sequencing five markers (ITS, LSU, TEF1α RPB2, β-tubulin) from several fungal strains, we show that X. germanus cultivates the same two clones of A. grosmanniae in the USA and in Europe, whereas A. dispar is associated with a single A. hartigii clone across Europe. This low genetic diversity is consistent with predominantly asexual vertical transmission of Ambrosiella cultivars between beetle generations. This clonal agriculture is a remarkable case of convergence with fungus-farming ants, given that both groups have a completely different ecology and evolutionary history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
JournalFungal Ecology
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Ambrosia fungus
  • Ambrosiella
  • Anisandrus
  • Asexuality
  • Clonal fungiculture
  • Genetic diversity
  • Symbiosis
  • Vertical transmission
  • Xylosandrus

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Low intraspecific genetic diversity indicates asexuality and vertical transmission in the fungal cultivars of ambrosia beetles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this