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Interfertility between North American and European strains of Phlebiopsis gigantea

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Thirteen homokaryotic strains of Phlebiopsis gigantea from Canada, six strains from the US and 10 strains from Europe were paired in all possible combinations in order to determine the degree of interfertility between them. The diagnosis of interfertility was based on the production of heterokaryotic fruit bodies in the pairings. Among the resulting 406 pairings, 253 (62%) fruited. Within the strains originating from Canada, USA and Europe, 64, 80 and 64% of the pairings fruited, respectively. The fruiting frequency in pairings between the Canadian and US strains was 65%, between the Canadian and European strains 55%, and between the US and European strains 67%. True hybridization between the European and North American P. gigantea was shown by analysing the single-spore progeny using DNA fingerprinting. In spite of the relatively low interfertility in pairings within and between continents, no clear indication of the existence of intersterility groups was found. The low interfertility is probably due to the ageing of the pure cultures and to deficient fruiting ability of certain heterokaryons on agar medium. The results strongly suggest that although the North American and European strains of P. gigantea show some differentiation they can be regarded as belonging to the same biological species.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0329.2005.00399.x

Affiliations: (for correspondence), Email: k.korhonen@metla.fi

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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