Genetic diversity and mating type distribution of tuber melanosporum and their significance to truffle cultivation in artificially planted truffiéres in Australia

C. C. Linde*, H. Selmes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Tuber melanosporum is a truffle native to Europe and is cultivated in countries such as Australia for the gastronomic market, where production yields are often lower than expected. We assessed the genetic diversity of T. melanosporum with six microsatellite loci to assess the effect of genetic drift on truffle yield in Australia. Genetic diversity as assessed on 210 ascocarps revealed a higher allelic diversity compared to previous studies from Europe, suggesting a possible genetic expansion and/or multiple and diverse source populations for inoculum. The results also suggest that the single sequence repeat diversity of locus ME2 is adaptive and that, for example, the probability of replication errors is increased for this locus. Loss of genetic diversity in Australian populations is therefore not a likely factor in limiting ascocarp production. A survey of nursery seedlings and trees inoculated with T. melanosporum revealed that <70% of seedlings and host trees were colonized with T. melanosporum and that some trees had been contaminated by Tuber brumale, presumably during the inoculation process. Mating type (MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1) analyses on seedling and four- to ten-year-old host trees found that 100% of seedlings but only approximately half of host trees had both mating types present. Furthermore, MAT1-1-1 was detected significantly more commonly than MAT1-2-1 in established trees, suggesting a competitive advantage for MAT1-1-1 strains. This study clearly shows that there are more factors involved in ascocarp production than just the presence of both mating types on host trees.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6534-6539
    Number of pages6
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Volume78
    Issue number18
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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