Genetic signatures of variation in population size in a native fungal pathogen after the recent intensive plantation of its host tree

Labbé, F., Fontaine, M. C., Robin, C. & Dutech, C. 20-Sep-2017 In : Heredity. 119, 6, p. 402-410 9 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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  • Genetic signatures of variation in population size in a native fungal pathogen after the recent massive plantation of its host tree

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Historical fluctuations in forests’ distribution driven by past climate changes and anthropogenic activities can have large impacts on the demographic history of pathogens that have a long co-evolution history with these host trees. Using a population genetic approach, we investigated that hypothesis by reconstructing the demographic history of Armillaria ostoyae, one of the major pathogens of the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), in the largest monospecific pine planted forest in Europe (south-western France). Genetic structure analyses and approximate Bayesian computation approaches revealed that a single pathogen population underwent a severe reduction in effective size (12 times lower) 1080–2080 generations ago, followed by an expansion (4 times higher) during the last 4 generations. These results are consistent with the history of the maritime pine forest in the region characterized by a strong recession during the last glaciation (~19 000 years ago) and massive plantations during the second half of the nineteenth century. Results suggest that recent and intensive plantations of a host tree population have offered the opportunity for a rapid spread and adaptation of their pathogens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-410
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date20-Sep-2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 20-Sep-2017


  • Approximate Bayesian computations, Armillaria ostoyae, fungal genetics, host-pathogen interactions, maritime pine, root rot disease

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