Cordyceps tenuipes is an entomopathogenic fungus that infects mostly pupae of several lepidopteran families. In Colombia the species has been reported in non-disturbed tropical rain forests and more recently in butterfly gardens. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity in populations of C. tenuipes present in natural (forests) and artificial (e.g. butterfly gardens) environments in the department of Quindío, Colombia, using three molecular nuclear markers ITS, TEF-1α and RPB1. All the samples evaluated corresponded morphologically and phylogenetically to C. tenuipes. The butterfly garden of Quindio Botanical Garden (QBG) showed the highest genetic diversity among all sampling localities and was very similar to that of its adjacent forest. The Amaranta Butterfly Garden (ABG), located north of QBG, showed lower genetic diversity as well as little genetic differentiation with QBG, consistent with the hypothesis of a pathogen transfer from QBG to ABG. Higher FST values were observed for TEF-1α and ITS, revealing genetic differentiation between all demes and the southern forest population. Our research constitutes the first study of the intraspecific diversity of C. tenuipes in Colombia and can serve as the first step in identifying diversity reservoirs and management of epizootic episodes caused by this fungal species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Infectious Diseases