We investigate the geographic pattern of adaptation of a fungal parasite, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, on two host species, Phaseolus vulgaris and P. coccineus for two parasite fitness traits: infectivity (ability to attack a host individual) and aggressivity (degree of sporulation and leaf surface damage). Using a cross-inoculation experiment, we show specialization of the fungus on its host species of origin for both traits even when fungi, which originated from hosts growing in sympatry, were tested on sympatric host populations. Within the two host species, we compared infectivity and aggressivity on local versus allopatric plant–fungus combinations. We found evidence for local adaptation for the two traits on P. vulgaris but not on P. coccineus. There was no significant correlation between the degrees of local adaptation for infectivity and aggressivity, indicating that the genetic basis and the effect of selection may differ between these two traits. For the two fitness traits, a positive correlation between the degree of specialization and the degree of local adaptation was found, suggesting that specialization can be reinforced by local adaptation.
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Vol. 61 • No. 1