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Patterns of vegetative growth and gene flow in Rhizopogon vinicolor and R. vesiculosus (Boletales, Basidiomycota)


Annette M. Kretzer, Fax: +1-315-470 6934; E-mail:


We have collected sporocarps and tuberculate ectomycorrhizae of both Rhizopogon vinicolor and Rhizopogon vesiculosus from three 50 × 100 m plots located at Mary's Peak in the Oregon Coast Range (USA); linear map distances between plots ranged from c. 1 km to c. 5.5 km. Six and seven previously developed microsatellite markers were used to map the approximate size and distribution of R. vinicolor and R. vesiculosus genets, respectively. Genetic structure within plots was analysed using spatial autocorrelation analyses. No significant clustering of similar genotypes was detected in either species when redundant samples from the same genets were culled from the data sets. In contrast, strong clustering was detected in R. vesiculosus when all samples were analysed, but not in R. vinicolor. These results demonstrate that isolation by distance does not occur in either species at the intraplot sampling scale and that clonal propagation (vegetative growth) is significantly more prevalent in R. vesiculosus than in R. vinicolor. Significant genetic differentiation was detected between some of the plots and appeared greater in the more clonal species R. vesiculosus with ΦST values ranging from 0.010 to 0.078*** than in R. vinicolor with ΦST values ranging from −0.002 to 0.022** (*P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001). When tested against the null hypothesis of no relationship between individuals, parentage analysis detected seven likely parent/offspring pairs in R. vinicolor and four in R. vesiculosus (α = 0.001). Of these 11 possible parent/offspring pairs, only two R. vinicolor pairs were still supported as parent/offspring when tested against the alternative hypothesis of being full siblings (α = 0.05). In the latter two cases, parent and offspring were located at approximately 45 m and 28 m from each other. Challenges to parentage analysis in ectomycorrhizal fungi are discussed.