Plant-fungal symbioses include many familiar antagonistic and mutualistic associations and some model cases of coevolution. The relationship between coevolution at the different evolutionary scales has remained an open question. Widespread host specificity and documented host switches offer conflicting indications of what to expect from comparisons of plant and fungal phylogenies. This study sought to establish the role of plant phylogeny in determining fungal phylogeny and the relative contributions of codivergence and host switching by comparing tree topologies for 15 plant-fungal symbioses. Second it attempted to characterize the relationship between phylogenetic congruence and switching. Trees were estimated from published sequences and reconciliation analysis was applied in the form of cophylogeny mapping using “jungles”. This provided an exhaustive account of all possible switches capable of reconciling two associated phylogenies. A continuum of cophylogenetic dynamics was identified, ranging from mostly codivergence (e.g., Exobasidium) to mostly switching, (e.g., Erysiphe). Surprisingly, congruent solutions do not necessarily have fewer switches when using cophylogeny mapping, but a significant negative relationship between congruence and the distance of switches proved to be a useful indicator. According to reconciliation analysis, the contribution of host phylogeny varies widely across plant-fungal symbioses, making host specificity and coadaptation poor indicators of macroevolutionary trends because they are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions.
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Vol. 58 • No. 9