Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Predicting the unpredictable: How host specific is the mycobiota of bark and ambrosia beetles?

Miller, Kirsten E.; Inward, Daegan J. G.; Gomez-Rodriguez, Carola; Baselga, Andres; Vogler, Alfried P.


Bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) are known for their symbioses with fungi and play a key role in the dispersal of phytopathogens. The scolytine community of eight pine stands along a latitudinal gradient in the UK was surveyed and beetle-associated fungal communities (mycobiota) were assessed using ITS2 metabarcoding (304 specimens, 12 species). Distribution patterns among 2,257 detected fungal Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) revealed that beetle species identity was an important predictor of mycobiotic richness and composition, while the effects of environmental and spatial variables were negligible. Network-based specificity analysis suggested that a relatively small subset of OTUs (75 in total) exhibit an affinity for a subset of beetle species and that these include many Microascales and Saccharomycetes. Notably though, of the OTUs belonging to the family Ophiostoma-taceae, relatively few display host specificity. Our results add to the complex picture of host-associated fungal communities and suggest that host range limits are unlikely to restrict the spread of economically important phytopathogens. Crown Copyright (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mycobiota; Metabarcoding; Bark-beetles; Host-microbe interactions

Published in

Fungal Ecology
2019, Volume: 42, article number: 100854

    UKÄ Subject classification


    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)