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Genetics. 2001 Jan;157(1):149-61.

Polymorphism at the ribosomal DNA spacers and its relation to breeding structure of the widespread mushroom Schizophyllum commune.

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  • 1Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0338, USA.


The common split-gilled mushroom Schizophyllum commune is found throughout the world on woody substrates. This study addresses the dispersal and population structure of this fungal species by studying the phylogeny and evolutionary dynamics of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) spacer regions. Extensive sampling (n = 195) of sequences of the intergenic spacer region (IGS1) revealed a large number of unique haplotypes (n = 143). The phylogeny of these IGS1 sequences revealed strong geographic patterns and supported three evolutionarily distinct lineages within the global population. The same three geographic lineages were found in phylogenetic analysis of both other rDNA spacer regions (IGS2 and ITS). However, nested clade analysis of the IGS1 phylogeny suggested the population structure of S. commune has undergone recent changes, such as a long distance colonization of western North America from Europe as well as a recent range expansion in the Caribbean. Among all spacer regions, variation in length and nucleotide sequence was observed between but not within the tandem rDNA repeats (arrays). This pattern is consistent with strong within-array and weak among-array homogenizing forces. We present evidence for the suppression of recombination between rDNA arrays on homologous chromosomes that may account for this pattern of concerted evolution.

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