Recent publication by Jason Hoeksema

In a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology (available now in the OnlineEarly issue of JEB), Drs. Jason Hoeksema (NESCent postdoctoral fellow) and John Thompson (professor, University of California of Santa Cruz) present results from a study of the geographic mosaic of coevolution between pines and their symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi on the West Coast of North America. Using an experiment with plant and fungal genotypes from a broad geographic gradient between Mexico and Alaska, they show that symbiotic compatibility varied at multiple spatial scales, and in different patterns for the host and fungus. Though the fungus (the false truffle Rhizopogon occidentalis) exhibited evidence of clinal local adaptation to its pine hosts over large distances, pines did not exhibit adaptation to local fungus genotypes at any scale. Both the plants and the fungi showed strong variation in performance with latitude. These results are exciting because they represent some of the only data to date on how compatibility evolves at multiple spatial scales in widespread putatively mutualistic symbioses such as the plant-ectomycorrhizal interaction.
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