Fungal and bacterial communities in black truffle plantations in northern Spain

A team led by iuFor (University Institute for Sustainable Forest Management Research) in Spain has published a study that provides a comprehensive analysis of the fungal and bacterial communities linked to black truffle plantations.

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Photo: Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

The manuscript focused on one of the most important Mediterranean fungal species, with a very significant socio-economic role. Tuber melanosporum (Ascomycota, Pezizales) is an ectomycorrhizal fungus that produces highly appreciated hypogeous fruiting bodies called black truffles. The aim of the paper was to research the composition of ectomycorrhiza-associated fungal and bacterial communities in T. melanosporum oak plantations.

Results of this paper showed the competitive effect of T. melanosporum on other fungal species, especially other mycorrhizal and pathogenic species. T. melanosporum was shown to be associated mainly with bacteria, some of them important for their properties as mycorrhizal helper bacteria. A dendrogram analysis of co-occurrence showed that T. melanosporum tended to co-occur with the following bacteria species: Singulisphaera limicola, Nannocistis excedens and Sporosarcina globispora. In addition, it was linked to fungal species such as Mortierella elongata, M. minutissima, Cryptococcus uzbekistanensis, C. chernovii and C. aerius

This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the diversity, structure and composition of fungal and bacterial communities associated with T. melanosporum to improve the understanding of the biology, composition and role of these communities in truffle plantations. This information is crucial to preserve these fungal ecosystems for proper management and also provides a better understanding of T. melanosporum × Q. ilex systems, which can promote more economic benefits in this type of orchards.

This study was carried out through the funding from the Project ‘CLU-2019-01-iuFOR Institute Unit of Excellence’ of the University of Valladolid, funded by the Junta de Castilla and co-financed by the European Union (ERDF “Europe drives our growth”), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734907 and the Research Project 04/16/PA/0001 (Junta de Castilla y León).

Reference

Herrero de Aza, C.; Armenteros, S.; McDermott, J.; Mauceri, S.; Olaizola, J.; Hernández-Rodríguez, M.; Mediavilla, O. 2022. Fungal and Bacterial Communities in Tuber melanosporum Plantations from Northern Spain. Forests, 13, 385.