Diversity, population genetics, and evolution of macrofungi associated with animals
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Macrofungi refers to all fungi that produce visible fruiting bodies. These fungi are evolutionarily and ecologically very divergent. Evolutionarily, they belong to two main phyla, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, and many of them have relatives that cannot form visible fruiting bodies. Ecologically, macrofungi can be associated with dead organic matter, plants, and animals. Here we review our current understanding of population structure and biogeography of macrofungi associated with animals. Their interactions, functions, and patterns of coevolution are described and discussed. Our focus is on studies using molecular markers. Our analyses suggest that the types of fungi-animal associations play an important role in the structure of these animal-associated fungal populations.
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