Population genetics of the wood-decay fungus Phlebia centrifuga P. Karst. in fragmented and continuous habitats


Rimvydas Vasaitis, Fax: +46 18 673599; E-mail: rimvydas.vasiliauskas@mykopat.slu.se


The basidiomycete Phlebia centrifuga is a wood-decay fungus characteristic for unmanaged old-growth forests of spruce, a habitat that has become increasingly fragmented due to forest management. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic population structures of P. centrifuga in both continuous and fragmented habitats, and estimate the potential impact of fragmentation on the genetic diversity of the fungus. Three hundred fifteen single spore isolates (representing 47 spore families and 33 single isolates) from eight populations across northern Europe (Russia, Finland, and Sweden) were screened with seven microsatellite markers and arbitrary primed polymerase chain reaction with the M13 minisatellite. The two molecular methods generally gave the same pattern for the genetic population structure. There were no significant differences between the observed and the expected heterozygosities, and the inbreeding coefficient (FIS) did not indicate any inbreeding. The fixation index (FST) revealed a general pattern with little to moderate genetic differentiation for the majority of populations, while the southernmost Swedish population Norra Kvill was the only one showing high differentiation from about half of the other populations. Swedish population Fiby with the shortest distance to the continuous habitat was moderately differentiated from most of the others and to the largest extent differed from geographically closest population of Norra Kvill. The results indicate that the fragmentation of old-growth forest in Russia and Finland is more recent than the fragmentation in Sweden, and the genetic population structures of P. centrifuga in northern Europe might be related to differences in forest landscape dynamics between the two areas.