Relationships between Serpula lacrymans and S. himantioides isolates of ‘wild’ Himalayan woodland and building (European and
Australian) origin were examined using RAPD–PCR and ITS rDNA sequence comparison. GelCompar analysis of the genetic
fingerprints of eighteen isolates using four RAPD-primer combinations clearly distinguished S. lacrymans and S. himantioides. Little
intraspecific variation was observed in S. lacrymans (including isolates of Himalayan woodland origin), relative to S. himantioides.
Despite previously reported differences in growth rates and decay capabilities of ‘wild’ Himalayan woodland S. lacrymans isolates
and those from buildings, RAPD fingerprints and ITS sequences indicated they were genetically similar. Interspecific ITS sequence
polymorphisms were consistent with other studies and clearly demonstrated S. himantioides and S. lacrymans were distinct taxa.
Evolutionary questions regarding the origins of S. lacrymans are discussed.