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Inter-kingdom host jumping in Clavicipitales

Cordyceps is an ascomycete genus that includes parasites of arthropods as well as other ascomcyetes that form truffles (Elaphomyces sp.)

Nikoh and Fukatsu analyzed nuclear and mitochondrial rDNA sequences in Cordyceps species on diverse hosts, and mapped host associations onto the phylogenetic trees

Results suggest that host associations are generally stable, but that there have been some switches.

The Elaphomyces parasites are nested in a clade of Cordyceps species that parasitize the underground larvae of cicadas, suggesting that the common habitat facilitated the switch from an insect to a fungal host.


Nikoh, N., and T. Fukatsu. 2000. Interkingdom host jumping underground: phylogenetic analysis of entomoparasitic fungi of the genus Cordyceps. Mol. Biol. Evol. 17: 629-638.


All content © 2005 AFTOL (Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life Project). Website managed by Jason Slot. AFTOL logo designed by Michal Skakuj. Contact Dr. David Hibbett with any questions. This page was last modified on 08/31/05. Development of this site is being supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation for research in fungal evolutionary biology (NSF award number DEB-0228657).