EFFECTS OF GASTEROID FRUITING BODY MORPHOLOGY ON DIVERSIFICATION RATES IN THREE INDEPENDENT CLADES OF FUNGI ESTIMATED USING BINARY STATE SPECIATION AND EXTINCTION ANALYSIS

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Abstract

Gasteroid fungi include puffballs, stinkhorns, and other forms that produce their spores inside the fruiting body. Gasteroid taxa comprise about 8.4% of the Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi) and have evolved numerous times from nongasteroid ancestors, such as gilled mushrooms, polypores, and coral fungi, which produce spores on the surface of the fruiting body. Nongasteroid Agaricomycetes have a complex mechanism of forcible spore discharge that is lost in gasteroid lineages, making reversals to nongasteroid forms very unlikely. Our objective was to determine whether gasteromycetation affects the rate of diversification of lineages “trapped” in the gasteroid state. We assembled four datasets (the Sclerodermatineae, Boletales, Phallomycetidae, and Lycoperdaceae), representing unique origins of gasteroid fungi from nongasteroid ancestors and generated phylogenies using BEAST. Using the program Diversitree, we analyzed these phylogenies to estimate character-state-specific rates of speciation and extinction, and rates of transitions between nongasteroid and gasteroid forms. Most optimal models suggest that the net diversification rate of gasteroid forms exceeds that of nongasteroid forms, and that gasteroid forms will eventually come to predominate over nongasteroid forms in the clades in which they have arisen. The low frequency of gasteroid forms in the Agaricomycetes as a whole may reflect the recent origins of many gasteroid lineages.

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