Evolutionary genetics of nonself recognition regarding social and sexual interactions of fungi
Both molds and mushrooms are produced by fungi, a group of organisms that are often unappreciated. As they grow through the soil they encounter individuals both friend and foe, not unlike we do in our daily lives. And just like us, they must make decisions on who to cooperate with, and who to compete against. In this thesis I discovered the first genetic variants used to make this decision in fungi that produce mushrooms. Suprisingly, these genes are similar to those found in fungi that produce molds, even though they are separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution. However different fungal individuals must work together during the sexual process, and this thesis also provides some first steps to understanding the relationship between fungal social and the sexual interactions.