Population Genetics of the Westernmost Distribution of the Glaciations-Surviving Black Truffle Tuber Melanosporum

Mycorrhiza. 2014 Apr;24 Suppl 1:S89-100. doi: 10.1007/s00572-013-0540-9. Epub 2013 Nov 23.

Abstract

The black truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittad.) is an important natural resource due to its relevance as a delicacy in gastronomy. Different aspects of this hypogeous fungus species have been studied, including population genetics of French and Italian distribution ranges. Although those studies include some Spanish populations, this is the first time that the genetic diversity and genetic structure of the wide geographical range of the natural Spanish populations have been analysed. To achieve this goal, 23 natural populations were sampled across the Spanish geographical distribution. ISSR technique demonstrated its reliability and capability to detect high levels of polymorphism in the species. Studied populations showed high levels of genetic diversity (h N = 0.393, h S = 0.678, Hs = 0.418), indicating a non threatened genetic conservation status. These high levels may be a consequence of the wide distribution range of the species, of its spore dispersion by animals, and by its evolutionary history. AMOVA analysis showed a high degree of genetic structure among populations (47.89%) and other partitions as geographical ranges. Bayesian genetic structure analyses differentiated two main Spanish groups separated by the Iberian Mountain System, and showed the genetic uniqueness of some populations. Our results suggest the survival of some of these populations during the last glaciation, the Spanish southern distribution range perhaps surviving as had occurred in France and Italy, but it is also likely that specific northern areas may have acted as a refugia for the later dispersion to other calcareous areas in the Iberian Peninsula and probably France.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ascomycota / genetics*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • Gene Flow
  • Mycorrhizae / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Population Dynamics
  • Spain

Substances

  • DNA, Fungal