Canadian Forest Service Publications

Molecular approach to characterize ectomycorrhizae fungi from Mediterranean pine stands in Portugal. 2013. Ragonezi, C.; Caldeira, A.T.; Martins, M.R.; Salvador, C.; Santos-Silva, C.; Ganhao, E.; Klimaszewska, K.; Zavattieri, A. Braz. J. Microbiol. 44:663-670.

Year: 2013

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35141

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Stone pine (Pinus pinea L.), like other conifers, forms ectomycorrhizas (ECM), which have beneficial impact on plant growth in natural environments and forest ecosystems. An in vitro co-culture of stone pine microshoots with pure mycelia of isolated ECM sporocarps was used to overcome the root growth cessation not only in vitro but also to improve root development during acclimation phase. Pisolithus arhizus (Scop.) Rauschert and Lactarius deliciosus (L. ex Fr.) S.F. Gray fungi, were collected, pure cultured and used in in vitro co-culture with stone pine microshoots. Samples of P. arhizus and L. deliciosus for the in vitro co-cultures were collected from the pine stands southwest Portugal. The in situ characterization was based on their morphotypes. To confirm the identity of the collected material, ITS amplification was applied using the pure cultures derived from the sporocarps. Additionally, a molecular profile using PCR based genomic fingerprinting comparison was executed with other genera of Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes. Our results showed the effectiveness of the techniques used to amplify DNA polymorphic sequences, which enhances the characterization of the genetic profile of ECM fungi and also provides an option to verify the fungus identity at any stage of plant mycorrhization.

Plain Language Summary

Ectomycorrhizae fungi that live in the soil surrounding the roots of trees play an important role for the plants with which they live in symbiosis. Trees, for example, have better growth when these fungi are present. Although this phenomenon is known, very little research has been done to determine what type of fungus is associated with which type of tree. This study aimed to address this question for pine stands in Portugal. The researchers first isolated the fungus associated with pine trees from microorganisms living in the soil surrounding the roots and identified it using molecular techniques. Once identified, the fungus can be used in nurseries in seedling soil mixes to promote their growth.

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