Speciation in Fungi

Fungal Genet Biol. 2008 Jun;45(6):791-802. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Feb 14.


In this review on fungal speciation, we first contrast the issues of species definition and species criteria and show that by distinguishing the two concepts the approaches to studying the speciation can be clarified. We then review recent developments in the understanding of modes of speciation in fungi. Allopatric speciation raises no theoretical problem and numerous fungal examples exist from nature. We explain the theoretical difficulties raised by sympatric speciation, review the most recent models, and provide some natural examples consistent with speciation in sympatry. We describe the nature of prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive isolation in fungi and examine their evolution as functions of temporal and of the geographical distributions. We then review the theory and evidence for roles of cospeciation, host shifts, hybridization, karyotypic rearrangement, and epigenetic mechanisms in fungal speciation. Finally, we review the available data on the genetics of speciation in fungi and address the issue of speciation in asexual species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Fungal
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Fungi / physiology
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Species Specificity