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Data from: Genetic analysis of Boletus edulis suggests that intra-specific competition may reduce local genetic diversity as a woodland ages

Cite this dataset

Litzke, Vivienne et al. (2021). Data from: Genetic analysis of Boletus edulis suggests that intra-specific competition may reduce local genetic diversity as a woodland ages [Dataset]. Dryad.


Ectomycorrhizal fungi are key players in terrestrial ecosystems yet their mating systems and population dynamics remain poorly understood. We investigated the fine-scale relatedness structure and genetic diversity of Boletus edulis, one of the world’s most commercially important wild mushrooms. Microsatellite genotyping of fruiting bodies from 14 different sites around Bielefeld in Germany revealed little in the way of population structure over a geographic scale of several kilometers. However, on a more local scale we found evidence for elevated relatedness as well as inbreeding. We also observed a significant negative association between the genetic diversity of fruit and the age of the trees under which they were sampled. Taken together, our results suggest that as genets mature, they compete and potentially create conditions under which further spores struggle to become established. By implication, even though this species is widely picked, propagules remain common enough to create strong competition when new habitats become available.


A total of 134 B. edulis sporocarps were sampled during 2015 from around Bielefeld in northwest Germany. In order to sample the sporocarps as comprehensively as possible, all of the sites were visited between two and four times a week from mid-August until mid-October 2015. We downloaded the B. edulis genome sequence version 1.0 from and searched for perfect di- tri- and tetranucleotide motifs using MISA-web. Primers were designed for microsatellites with unusually large numbers of repeats (B. edulis tends to have short microsatellites, so in practice this meant more than eight pure repeats for dinucleotides, and more than four pure repeats for tri- and tetranucleotides). Primers were designed using Primer3Plus. Testing was then conducted in multiplexes on a panel of 96 B. edulis samples, and primers revealing three or more alleles were combined into multiplexes for genotyping. Total genomic DNA was extracted using a standard proteinase K digestion followed by glass milk extraction. For each PCR reaction, 1µl of DNA was added to 3µl H2O and 4µl Qiagen 2X multiplex PCR mastermix to which PCR primers had already been added. Resulting PCR products were subsequently resolved by electrophoresis and allele sizes were called using GeneMarker version 2.6.2 (SoftGenetics®: State College, Pennsylvania, USA).


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: Project Number: 316099922

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: Project Number: 396774617–TRR 212