Investigations on Heterobasidion annosum s.lat. in central and eastern Asia with the aid of mating tests and DNA fingerprinting
To investigate the taxonomy of Heterobasidion in Eurasia, 49 specimens belonging to H. annosum sensu lato from Asia were identified with the aid of mating tests. Most of the specimens originated from north‐eastern and south‐western China and from the Altai region in southern Siberia, but a few isolates from Kirghizia, Japan and India were also tested. In addition to mating tests, the material from China was investigated with DNA fingerprinting. Heterobasidion annosum sensu stricto was identified only from the Altai region. Homokaryotic isolates from other specimens, except the Indian ones, were sexually compatible with H. parviporum, but they also showed a high degree of compatibility with H. abietinum and with the North American S group. The isolates from SW China (eastern Himalayas) mated with about equal frequency with the European strains of H. parviporum and H. abietinum. However, the DNA fingerprinting showed that these isolates were more closely related to H. parviporum, and hence they were tentatively included in this species. The North American S group was more distant from these Eurasian taxa. Four old isolates from India mated only weakly with the members of the H. annosum s.lat. According to the species concept presented, the distribution of H. parviporum extends from western Europe through southern Siberia to northern China, Japan and the eastern Himalayas. H. annosum s.str. is so far identified only from the Altai region outside Europe, and H. abietinum only from Europe.
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