Blastosporella zonata is one of the few basidiomycete fungi that produce asexual spores (conidia) on the mushroom. The role of these conidia in the fungal lifecycle is not known. We tested whether conidia are being utilized in local dispersal by looking for signatures of clonality in 21 samples from three localities separated by about three kilometres in Murillo, Colombia. To identify clonally related individuals, we sequenced three polymorphic markers at two unlinked loci (nuclear rRNA: ITS and LSU, and TEF1α) for all collections plus three herbarium samples. We identified two sets of clonally related individuals growing closely together in one of the three localities, and only one pair shared between localities. In all three localities we observed multiple non-clonally related dikaryons showing that sexual reproduction is also important. Our results indicate that the conidia on the mushroom are primarily important for local dispersal. Unexpectedly, our results also indicate two reproductively isolated populations, possibly representing cryptic biological species.

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi

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Naturalis journals & series

van de Peppel, L.J.J., Baroni, T. J., Franco-Molano, A.E., & Aanen, D. K. (2022). Genetic population structure of the agaric Blastosporella zonata (Lyophyllaceae) reveals cryptic species and different roles for sexual and asexual spores in dispersal. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 49, 195–200. doi:10.3767/persoonia.2022.49.06