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Keywords:

  • dry rot fungus;
  • invasive species;
  • microsatellites;
  • population genetics;
  • Serpula lacrymans;
  • vegetative incompatibility

Abstract

The dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans is a devastating basidiomycete occurring in wooden constructions in temperate regions worldwide. In this study, we compare the genetic structures of two invasive populations from Europe and Japan. Microsatellite data from 14 loci and DNA sequences from four loci demonstrated that the two populations were highly differentiated. Significant isolation by distance effect was observed in Europe and Japan. Higher genetic variation was observed within the Japanese population than within the European population, corresponding with the observed higher richness of vegetative compatibility types in Japan, indicating that there has been a higher level of gene flow from the Asian source populations to Japan than to Europe. The European population is genetically more homogenous with only six detected vegetative compatibility types. Various tests indicate that both the European and the Japanese populations have gone through population bottlenecks prior to population expansion. No identical multi-locus genotypes were observed within Japan and very few within Europe, indicating limited clonal dispersal. Deviations from Hardy Weinberg expectations were observed both in Europe and Japan and heterozygote excess were observed at several loci, especially in Europe. Possible explanations for this pattern are discussed.