Genetic diversity and demographic history of Ganoderma boninense in oil palm plantations of Sarawak, Malaysia inferred from its regions.
Ganoderma boninense causes basal stem rot (BSR) and is responsible for substantial economic losses to Southeast Asia's palm oil industry. Sarawak, a major producer in Malaysia, is also affected by this disease. Emergence of BSR in oil palm planted on peat throughout Sarawak is alarming as the soil type was previously regarded as non-conducive. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a single species, G. boninense as the cause of BSR in Sarawak. Information on evolutionary and demographic history for G. boninense in Sarawak inferred through informative genes is lacking. Hence, a haplotype study on single nucleotide polymorphisms in internal transcribed spacers (SNPs-ITS) of G. boninense was carried out. Sequence variations were analysed for population structure, phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships. The internal transcribed spacers (ITS) region of 117 isolates from four populations in eight locations across Sarawak coastal areas revealed seven haplotypes. A major haplotype, designated GbHap1 (81.2%), was found throughout all sampling locations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were observed mainly in the ITS1 region. The genetic structure was not detected, and genetic distance did not correlate with geographical distance. Haplotype network analysis suggested evidence of recent demographic expansion. Low genetic differences among populations also suggested that these isolates belong to a single G. boninense founder population adapting to oil palm as the host.