Contributions to the understanding of diversity and evolution in the genus Coreomyces

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Lindahlssalen, Gamla Zoofysiologen (Hus 5), Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Sundberg, Henrik
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Systematisk biologi
  • Kontaktperson: Sundberg, Henrik
  • Disputation

Disputation

The Laboulbeniales is an order of enigmatic ascomycete fungi that are obligate microscopic parasites of arthropods, which are usually non-detrimental. They typically display a high degree of host specificity, and the genus Coreomyces, which is the recurring theme of this thesis, is no exception. Coreomyces is a small aquatic genus parasitising water boatmen (Corixidae). Members in this genus present something that is unique for Laboulbeniales, position specificity. This means that a parasite is restricted to a specific position on the host. This thesis aims at elucidating the patterns of host and position specificity present in the genus Coreomyces by the use of molecular markers. A second aim is to describe new taxa encountered during the course of the project. Finally we wanted to reveal what mating system is present in a member of the Laboulbeniales, something that has never been done before. Understanding the mode of sexual reproduction and to get insights into mating type organisation can give important clues to how the species patterns we observe may have evolved. To achieve these goals we first had to develop a robust and simple molecular methodology that made use of as little material as possible, preferably a single thallus. Our results showed that position specificity indeed exists in this genus, but that it is not as strict as previously presumed, all species we analysed occupied more than one position. Further we were able to show that thalli found in the same position on different hosts constitute the same species, and also that two sister species utilise the same position. We conclude that, in most cases, growth position is more important than host species or host sex in species delimitation. We confirmed the presence of four discrete taxa, two of which were described as new species, Coreomyces confusus H. Sundb. et al. and C. dextrorsus H. Sundb. et al. Finally we were able to show that C. macropus and C. confusus are likely to display a homothallic breeding system.