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Comparative methods for studying adaptive traits of fungal symbionts
Veselská, Tereza ; Kolařík, Miroslav (advisor) ; Voigt, Kerstin (referee) ; Dvořák, Miloň (referee)
The kingdom Fungi encompasses an estimated 2.2 to 6.2 million species that occupy diverse environments, including aquatic, extremely dry, and hot or frosty habitats all over the world. To cope with adverse environmental conditions, fungi have developed numerous adaptations and life strategies, including symbiosis with other organisms, ranging from close, reciprocally beneficial (mutualistic) associations to severe pathogenic infestations. These interactions have an enormous impact on ecosystem functioning, with implications for agriculture and human health. For this reason, understanding the mechanisms enabling the successful development of fungal interactions is necessary for their efficient management. Recent advances in different 'omics' approaches have enabled us to compare species responses to the environment in a more complex way than before and to gain deeper insights into the adaptive mechanisms underlying specific life strategies. My thesis is divided into four main sections. In the first section, I sum up findings about adaptations of fungal symbionts of plants and animals. Then, I introduce two fungal genera, Geosmithia and Pseudogymnoascus, to which I applied comparative methods for tracking adaptive traits. The ecological diversity of the genus Geosmithia allows to trace adaptive...