• ectomycorrhiza;
  • genet;
  • inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR);
  • Larix kaempferi;
  • mycelium extension;
  • population;
  • spore dispersal;
  • Suillus grevillei

Clones of ectomycorrhizal fungi can colonize new areas through production of vegetative mycelium or spore dispersal, but the relative importance of these processes in nature is not known. In this study, sporocarps of an ectomycorrhizal fungus, Suillus grevillei, were mapped and sampled from a Larix kaempferi stand at the foot of Mt Fuji. DNA was extracted directly from each sporocarp, and DNA polymorphism was analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) regions primed by (GTG)5, (GCC)5 and (GACA)4. Different sensitivities to detect polymorphism were found among the three primers, with (GACA)4 showing the highest sensitivity. Forty seven sporocarps were analysed by the three ISSR primers and divided into 34 genets based on combination of PCR fingerprints. In the population 28 genets were represented by individual sporocarps. In most cases, sporocarps grown in aggregation (within a circle of 50 cm diameter) showed some different ISSR band patterns. These results suggest that genets of S. grevillei at the test site are relatively small. The genetic similarities between the 34 genets were also calculated and similarity groups were determined by the criterion that all similarity F values of genets within a group were not <80%. In general, the genets within a similarity group located close to each other. The results of multiple different but highly related genets in a small area suggest that the population of S. grevillei in this stand is not spread and maintained by clonal mycelium extension but is reproduced by spore dispersal.