SSR-based identification of genetic groups within European populations of Tuber aestivum Vittad

Abstract

Tuber species are ectomycorrhizal ascomycetes establishing relationships with different host trees and forming hypogeous fruiting bodies known as truffles. Among Tuber species, Tuber aestivum Vittad. has a wide distributional range being found naturally all over Europe. Here, we performed large-scale population genetic analyses in T. aestivum to (i) investigate its genetic diversity at the European scale, (ii) characterize its genetic structure and test for the presence of ecotypes and (iii) shed light into its demographic history. To reach these goals, 230 ascocarps from different populations were genotyped using 15 polymorphic simple sequence repeat markers. We identified 181 multilocus genotypes and four genetic groups which did not show a clear geographical separation; although, one of them was present exclusively in Southeast France, Italy and Spain. Fixation index values between pairs of genetic groups were generally high and ranged from 0.29 to 0.45. A significant deficit of heterozygosity indicated a population expansion instead of a recent population bottleneck, suggesting that T. aestivum is not endangered in Europe, not even in Mediterranean regions. Our study based on a large-scale population genetic analysis suggests that genetically distinct populations and likely ecotypes within T. aestivum are present. In turn, this study paves the way to future investigations aimed at addressing the biological and/or ecological factors that have concurred in shaping the population genetic structure of this species. Present results should also have implications for the truffle market since defining genetic markers are now possible at least for some specific T. aestivum genetic groups.

DOI: 10.1007/s00572-015-0649-0

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@article{Molinier2015SSRbasedIO, title={SSR-based identification of genetic groups within European populations of Tuber aestivum Vittad}, author={Virginie Molinier and Claude Murat and Martina Peter and Armelle Gollotte and Herminia de la Varga and Barbara Meier and Simon Egli and Beatrice Belfiori and Francesco Paolocci and Daniel Wipf}, journal={Mycorrhiza}, year={2015}, volume={26}, pages={99-110} }