Drainage isolation and climate change-driven population expansion shape the genetic structures of Tuber indicum complex in the Hengduan Mountains region
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The orogenesis of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the Quaternary climate changes have played key roles in driving the evolution of flora and fauna in Southwest China, but their effects on higher fungi are poorly addressed. In this study, we investigated the phylogeographic pattern of the Tuber indicum species complex, an economically important fungal group distributed in the Hengduan Mountains region. Our data confirmed the existence of two distinct lineages, T. indicum and T. himalayense, within this species complex. Three geographic groups (Groups W, N and C) were revealed within T. indicum, with Group W found in the paleo-Lancang River region, while Groups N and C corresponded to the two banks along the contemporary Jinsha River, suggesting that rivers have acted as barriers for gene flow among populations from different drainages. Historical range expansion resulted from climate changes was inferred in Group C, contributing to the observed gene flow among geographic populations within this group. Although no significant geographic structure was identified in T. himalayense, evidence of drainage isolation for this species was also detected. Our findings demonstrate that both topographic changes and Quaternary climate oscillations have played important roles in driving the genetic structures of the T. indicum species complex.
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