The structure and interrelationship of fungal populations in native and cultivated soils


Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA


Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes have been characterized for 120 isolates of the asexual fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Sixty of these isolates were obtained from soil in a native grassland in the San Joaquin Valley of California, including 20 isolates from each of six different sampling locations. The same sampling strategy was used to obtain 60 additional isolates from an agricultural field of the same soil type directly adjacent to the native soil. Twenty-three different mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were identified among the 120 isolates, including 11 haplotypes represented by two or more isolates and 12 that were unique. The five most common mitochondrial DNA haplotypes accounted for 93 (78%) of the 120 isolates. Isolates representing each of these five mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were found both in the cultivated and in the native soil. Seventy-two per cent of the isolates found in the cultivated soil were associated with the same mitochondrial DNA haplotype as one or more isolates in the native soil. The remaining isolates in the cultivated soil were associated with comparatively rare mitochondrial DNA haplotypes, most of which showed a close relationship to one of the haplotypes found in the native soil. Hierarchial gene diversity analysis indicated that a significant proportion of the mitochondrial DNA haplotype diversity was attributable to differences between sampling sites in the native soil but not in the cultivated soil. This may reflect significant spatial structuring of genetic diversity in populations of F. oxysporum in a native soil. The proportion of mtDNA haplotype diversity attributable to differences between populations in the native and cultivated soils was not significant. This suggests that our entire collection, encompassing strains from both native and cultivated soils, is representative of a single population of F. oxysporum.