Evidence for Inbreeding and Genetic Differentiation among Geographic Populations of the Saprophytic Mushroom Trogia venenata from Southwestern China
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During the past 40 years, more than 400 Sudden Unexplained Deaths (SUDs) have occurred in Yunnan, southwestern China. Epidemiological and toxicological analyses suggested that a newly discovered mushroom called Trogia venenata was the leading culprit for SUDs. At present, relatively little is known about the genetics and natural history of this mushroom. In this study, we analyzed the sequence variation at four DNA fragments among 232 fruiting bodies of T. venenata collected from seven locations. Our ITS sequence analyses confirmed that all the isolates belonged to the same species. The widespread presence of sequence heterozygosity within many strains at each of three protein-coding genes suggested that the fruiting bodies were diploid, dikaryotic or heterokaryotic. Within individual geographic populations, we found significant deviations of genotype frequencies from Hardy-Weinberg expectations, with the overall observed heterozygosity lower than that expected under random mating, consistent with prevalent inbreeding within local populations. The geographic populations were overall genetically differentiated. Interestingly, while a positive correlation was found between population genetic distance and geographic distance, there was little correlation between genetic distance and barium concentration difference for the geographic populations. Our results suggest frequent inbreeding, geographic structuring, and limited gene flow among geographic populations of T. venenata from southwestern China.
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