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Infection, Genetics and Evolution 2 (2003) 167172 Karyotypic similarity identifies multiple host-shifts of

Summary: Infection, Genetics and Evolution 2 (2003) 167172
Karyotypic similarity identifies multiple host-shifts of
a pathogenic fungus in natural populations
Michael E. Hood, Janis Antonovics, Hilary Heishman
Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
Received 15 March 2002; received in revised form 3 June 2002; accepted 11 July 2002
The detection of incipient host-shifts is important to the study of emergent diseases because it allows the examination of ecological and
genetic conditions that favor novel inter-species transmission. Mixed populations of Silene latifolia and Silene vulgaris were investigated
for the putative occurrence of host-shifts by the fungal plant pathogen Microbotryum violaceum (the cause of anther-smut disease) between
S. latifolia (a common host for the pathogen) and S. vulgaris (a rare host). Samples of the fungus from mixed and pure host populations were
studied for variation in their electrophoretic karyotypes. A karyotype distance matrix showed that fungal samples clustered by locality, but
not by host species. Fungal samples from S. vulgaris were indistinguishable from sympatric samples from S. latifolia in multiple cases. The
results indicated at least two independent host-shifts, one in the US and perhaps two in Italy. The karyotype and ecological data indicate
that the direction of the host-shifts is from S. latifolia to S. vulgaris.
2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Host-shift; Karyotype variation; Host range; Host specificity; Host race; Molecular epidemiology; DNA fingerprinting
1. Introduction
Host-shifts are currently of great concern as threats to
wild and agricultural populations and to human health


Source: Antonovics, Janis - Department of Biology, University of Virginia


Collections: Biology and Medicine