Assessing ectomycorrhizal fungal spore banks of truffle producing soils with pecan seedling trap-plants

Journal Article

Background and Aims: Recently, the truffle species Tuber lyonii Butters was found to be dominant in ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal communities of cultivated pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch). Many truffle fungi exhibit the trait of effectively colonizing plant roots via spores. We hypothesized that T. lyonii would be well represented in the spore bank of pecan orchard soils where it is found. Methods: We used axenically-grown pecan seedlings as trap-plants to bait for EcM associates in soils collected beneath truffle-producing pecan trees. EcM fungi on seedlings were characterized through rDNA sequencing and were compared to EcM communities of adult trees in these orchards. Results: Tuber lyonii mycorrhizas were well formed on seedlings inoculated with truffle spores, but were limited to just a few of the trap-plants grown in field soils. We compared EcM communities of adult pecan orchard trees to those on trap-plants and found distinct communities on each, with a high degree of similarity at the ordinal but not species level. Conclusions: Although species of Pezizales are abundant in pecan EcM communities and as propagules in their soil spore banks, only a low level of T. lyonii was detected in soil spore banks beneath orchard trees naturally colonized by T. lyonii. Other factors including land-use history or orchard management may better explain this truffle species presence and abundance in pecan EcM communities. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bonito, G; Smith, ME; Brenneman, T; Vilgalys, R

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 356 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 357 - 366

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0032-079X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11104-012-1127-5