Genetic mosaics in the massive persisting rhizosphere colony “shiro” of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Tricholoma matsutake
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The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Tricholoma matsutake produces commercially valuable fruit bodies “matsutake” on a massive persisting rhizosphere aggregate of mycelia and mycorrhizas called “shiro.” Using inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism analysis, we attempted to explore the potential diversity within the population of T. matsutake isolated from small Pinus densiflora woodlands located in various parts of Japan. In general, random phylogenetic relationship was noted among T. matsutake tested. The population from each limited sampling area was highly heterogeneous. Even some isolates from fruit bodies produced in the same shiro and those from spores in the same fruit bodies were found to be genetically diverse, indicating the occurrence of genetic mosaics in shiro. In a mosaic shiro, heterologous genets produced their fruit bodies concurrently. Data suggested that the dispersal of spores through sexual reproduction may have been more prevalent than generally accepted in T. matsutake to bring mosaicism and coordination of heterologous genets within the shiro. Implementation of management taking such diversity into consideration is urgently needed for the restoration of devastated matsutake fields in Japan. Exploration of individual clones in mosaic fungal resources that promote colonization and fruit body production is necessary for it.