Man As A Vector

There is definite evidence for man vectoring fungi over long distances. One well-established case is the movement of European Armillaria species to South Africa (Coetzee et al., 2001). Dead and dying oak (Quercus) and other woody ornamental trees and shrubs showing signs and symptoms of Armillaria root rot were identified in the Company Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa, which were established in the mid-1600s. Molecular markers and pairing tests indicated that the infection centre consisted of a single genet belonging to the European clade of

A. mellea. The size of the genet suggested that the fungus was introduced into the gardens in Cape Town from Europe, perhaps on potted plants, such as grapes or citrus, more than 300 years ago.

Another case was first described by Gonthier et al. (2004). Using a phyloge-netic approach, H. annosum of the North American clade was detected west of Rome, Italy, centred round a military camp established during the Second World War. The fungus subsequently spread to some of the surrounding Pinus pinea forests probably by spore infections in thinning operations.

Construction wood is another possibility for establishing decay. The genetic population structure of the dry-rot fungus S. lacrymans indicates that it has been spread by western civilization to buildings in temperate and boreal regions throughout the world (Kauserud et al., 2007). One route may have been infected sailing ships that were unsuitable for further sailing and were instead partly used for house construction.

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