Article: article from journal or magazin.
Significant genetic and phenotypic changes arising from clonal growth of a single spore of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus over multiple generations.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are highly successful plant symbionts. They reproduce clonally producing multinucleate spores. It has been suggested that some AMF harbor genetically different nuclei. However, recent advances in sequencing the Glomus irregulare genome have indicated very low within-fungus polymorphism. We tested the null hypothesis that, with no genetic differences among nuclei, no significant genetic or phenotypic variation would occur among clonal single spore lines generated from one initial AMF spore. Furthermore, no additional variation would be expected in the following generations of single spore lines. Genetic diversity contained in one initial spore repeatedly gave rise to genetically different variants of the fungus with novel phenotypes. The genetic changes represented quantitative changes in allele frequencies, most probably as a result of changes in the frequency of genetic variation partitioned on different nuclei. The genetic and phenotypic variation is remarkable, given that it arose repeatedly from one clonal individual. Our results highlight the dynamic nature of AMF genetics. Even though within-fungus genetic variation is low, some is probably partitioned among nuclei and potentially causes changes in the phenotype. Our results are important for understanding AMF genetics, as well as for researchers and biotechnologists hoping to use AMF genetic diversity for the improvement of AMF inoculum.
Alleles, Cell Nucleus/genetics, Cell Nucleus/metabolism, DNA, Fungal/genetics, Gene Frequency, Genetic Variation, Giant Cells/metabolism, Inheritance Patterns/genetics, Mycorrhizae/genetics, Mycorrhizae/growth & development, Phenotype, Spores, Fungal/genetics, Spores, Fungal/growth & development, Symbiosis
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