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Experimental evidence for genetic variation in compatibility between the fungus atkinsonella hypoxylon and its three host grasses



Experimental evidence for genetic variation in compatibility between the fungus atkinsonella hypoxylon and its three host grasses



Evolution 43(4): 825-834



Variation in compatibility has been documented within and among several natural plant populations infected by fungal pathogens. In this study, seeds and isolates of the fungus Atkinsonella hypoxylon (Ascomycetes, Clavicipitaceae) were collected from three populations of the grass Danthonia spicata, two populations of D. compressa, and four populations of Stipa leucotricha. Each fungal strain was reciprocally inoculated into seedlings grown in aseptic culture from its original host population, into seedlings from other conspecific host populations, and into seedlings from the other two host species. There were three distinct patterns of compatibility, as evidenced by the ability of the fungus to grow on the seedling and to colonize new tillers. Fungal strains from one host genus were incompatible with seedlings from the other host genus. Strains from the two Danthonia species were broadly compatible among Danthonia populations and had very high rates of infection, while strains from Stipa also were broadly compatible among Stipe populations but had relatively low rates of infection. Literature surveys indicate that in contrast to pathogenic microorganisms, mutualistic microorganisms typically exhibit broad patterns of compatibility among hosts, which lack resistance to infection. The effect of A. hypoxylon on host fitness is most detrimental in Stipa, where the fewest seedlings became infected, and most beneficial in Danthonia where most seedlings became infected.

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Accession: 007331389

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DOI: 10.2307/2409310



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Experimental evidence for genetic variation in compatibility between the fungus, Atkinsonella hypoxylon. Evolution 43(4): 825-834, 1989

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