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Environmental population genetics of fungi
John W. Taylor, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley,
Elizabeth Turner, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley,
Anne Pringle, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley,
Jeremy Dettman, Department of Botany, University of Toronto,
Hanna Johannesson, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University
When it comes to fungal species and speciation, it is hard to find anything to say that has not already been said in several excellent recent reviews. The most comprehensive source of information is Burnett's recent book (Burnett, 2003), which expands upon the themes from his British Mycological Society Presidential Address (Burnett, 1983). In addition to reviewing mycological species concepts and speciation, he describes enough about basic mycology and the methodology of evolutionary studies to make chapters on defining fungal individuals and populations, or on the processes of evolution in fungi, useful for mycologists interested in evolution and for evolutionary biologists interested in fungi. Burnett's review of the early literature in fungal speciation is particularly helpful in the present age, when it seems as if literature that is not online is forgotten. A second source of information is Brasier (1997), who explored three of what he considered to be the four main elements contributing to fungal speciation: original interbreeding populations, natural selection on populations and reproductive isolation between populations. He left a discussion of mating systems to others. Brasier's discussion of natural selection is particularly good, and his figure comparing the narrow range of growth rates of dikaryotic hyphae taken from Schizophyllum commune fruiting bodies to the much broader range of growth rates for dikaryons synthesized from their haploid progeny is as clear a demonstration of the effects of selection as one could want.
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