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Contrasting Patterns of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Armillaria mellea sensu stricto in the Eastern and Western United States

July 2010 , Volume 100 , Number  7
Pages  708 - 718

Kendra Baumgartner, Renaud Travadon, Johann Bruhn, and Sarah E. Bergemann

First author: United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616; second author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis; third author: Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, 109 Waters Hall, Columbia 65211; and fourth author: Middle Tennessee State University, Biology Department, P.O. Box 60, Murfreesboro 37132.

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Accepted for publication 16 March 2010.

Armillaria mellea infects hundreds of plant species in natural and managed ecosystems throughout the Northern hemisphere. Previously reported nuclear genetic divergence between eastern and western U.S. isolates is consistent with the disjunct range of A. mellea in North America, which is restricted mainly to both coasts of the United States. We investigated patterns of population structure and genetic diversity of the eastern (northern and southern Appalachians, Ozarks, and western Great Lakes) and western (Berkeley, Los Angeles, St. Helena, and San Jose, CA) regions of the United States. In total, 156 diploid isolates were genotyped using 12 microsatellite loci. Absence of genetic differentiation within either eastern subpopulations (θST = --0.002, P = 0.5 ) or western subpopulations (θST = 0.004, P = 0.3 ) suggests that spore dispersal within each region is sufficient to prevent geographic differentiation. In contrast to the western United States, our finding of more than one genetic cluster of isolates within the eastern United States (K = 3), revealed by Bayesian assignment of multilocus genotypes in STRUCTURE and confirmed by genetic multivariate analyses, suggests that eastern subpopulations are derived from multiple founder sources. The existence of amplifiable and nonamplifiable loci and contrasting patterns of genetic diversity between the two regions demonstrate that there are two geographically isolated, divergent genetic pools of A. mellea in the United States.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society