Spore dissemination by mycophagous adult drosophilids
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Although most fungal spores are transported by wind, some remain on lamellae even after fungal fruiting bodies start to decay. This raises the question: are these remaining spores useless or instead transported by other means? In this study, we accordingly investigated whether adult dipteran insects transport fungal spores. Our examination revealed that fungal spores were present in intestines of most drosophilid adults but almost completely absent from those of other dipteran adults. At least some spores excreted by Drosophila angularis and D. brachynephros retained the capacity to germinate. Structural damage to spores that passed through the digestive tract of these two drosophilid species varied among fungal species, with a greater number of colorless spores generally damaged than colored ones. These results suggest that adult drosophilid flies, but not other dipterans, can transport fungal spores.
KeywordsBasydiomycota Fungal reproduction Endozoochory Diptera quinaria species group
We thank Prof. M. T. Kimura for help with manuscript preparation.
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