Diversity and evolution of ectomycorrhizal host associations in the Sclerodermatineae (Boletales, Basidiomycota)


Author for correspondence:
Andrew W. Wilson
Tel: +1 847 835 6986
Email: awilson@chicagobotanic.org


  • This study uses phylogenetic analysis of the Sclerodermatineae to reconstruct the evolution of ectomycorrhizal host associations in the group using divergence dating, ancestral range and ancestral state reconstructions.
  • Supermatrix and supertree analysis were used to create the most inclusive phylogeny for the Sclerodermatineae. Divergence dates were estimated in BEAST. Lagrange was used to reconstruct ancestral ranges. BayesTraits was used to reconstruct ectomycorrhizal host associations using extant host associations with data derived from literature sources.
  • The supermatrix data set was combined with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) data sets for Astraeus, Calostoma, and Pisolithus to produce a 168 operational taxonomic unit (OTU) supertree. The ensuing analysis estimated that basal Sclerodermatineae originated in the late Cretaceous while major genera diversified near the mid Cenozoic. Asia and North America are the most probable ancestral areas for all Sclerodermatineae, and angiosperms, primarily rosids, are the most probable ancestral hosts.
  • Evolution in the Sclerodermatineae follows the biogeographic history of disjunct plant communities associated with early Cenozoic mesophytic forests and a boreotropical history. Broad geographic distributions are observed in the most promiscuous Sclerodermatineae (those with broad host ranges), while those with relatively limited distribution have fewer documented ectomycorrhizal associations. This suggests that ectomycorrhizal generalists have greater dispersal capabilities than specialists.