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Evolution of ectomycorrhizal symbioses.

Ectomycorrhizal fungi represent diverse lineages of homobasidiomycetes

Hibbett et al. performed phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial rDNA sequences in diverse homobasidiomycetes

Transitions between mycorrhizal and free-living lifestyles were “mapped” onto the phylogeny using parsimony and maximum likelihood methods

Results suggest that there have been at least six origins of mycorrhizal symbioses in homobasidiomycetes, as well as about four reversals to the free-living condition.

These findings contradict the view that “mutualisms” are evolutionarily stable.


Hibbett, D. S., L.-B. Gilbert, and M. J. Donoghue. 2000. Evolutionary instability of ectomycorrhizal symbioses in homobasidiomycetes. Nature 407: 506-508.


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).