Genetic Diversity and Structure of Chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.) in Hyrcanian Forest Using SSR Markers

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Environmental science, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor, Mazandaran, Iran

2 Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor, Mazandaran, Iran



Cantharellus is one of the most widely used ectomycorrhizal fungus in the world, which forms mycorrhizal communities with various plant species and plays a major ecological role in forest ecosystems. The present study is the first report to know the extent of genetic diversity and differentiation of Zarde-Kija mushroom populations using microsatellite markers within the internal transcribed spacer (ITS). In this study, 70 fungal samples were collected from six populations of this species in the Hyrcanian Forest (Gorgan, Neka, Sari, Noor, Chalous, and Rasht populations) and its genetic diversity and structure were measured. The number of observed alleles ranged from 5 to 7 and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.320 to 0.864. AMOVA analysis showed that the largest portion of the genetic variation was among individuals within the population (95%), whereas 5% was among populations. The mean coefficient of differentiation (FST) was 0.096, which indicates the medium genetic differentiation between the populations under study. The mean inbreeding value (FIS) and gene flow (NM) were 0.853, 2.509, respectively. Most loci showed deviation from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium due to the excess of heterozygotes in all populations. The genetic landscape shape plot revealed that high pairwise genetic distances among individuals in central populations of the Hyrcanian forest. This study revealed that the effective population size of Zarde-Kija has been decreased in the Hyrcanian forest and emphasizes the need to develop an effective strategy for the conservation of this species. However, it is suggested that research on this species be repeated using stronger markers and more populations to increase the accuracy of the results.


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