The AD-type ectomycorrhizas, one of the most common morphotypes present in truffle fields, result from fungi belonging to the Trichophaea woolhopeia species complex
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- Rubini, A., Belfiori, B., Passeri, V. et al. Mycorrhiza (2011) 21: 17. doi:10.1007/s00572-010-0308-4
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Belowground ectomycorrhizal communities are often species rich. Characterization of the ectomycorrhizas (ECMs) underneath native truffle areas and/or cultivation sites is particularly relevant to identifying fungal species that might interfere with or promote truffle propagation and fruiting. Fungal identification at the genus/species level can now be achieved by combining detailed morphological and anatomical descriptions with molecular approaches. In a survey of the mycorrhizal biodiversity of Tuber melanosporum orchards and inoculated host plants in nurseries, we repeatedly sampled ECMs with morphological features resembling those of the ECMs widely known as the AD type. Despite the fact that the AD type is regarded as one of the most competitive fungal species towards Tuber spp., its taxonomical rank has yet to be resolved. By analyzing the 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA regions, here, we show that AD-type ECMs result from host plant colonization by the pyronemataceous species Trichophaea woolhopeia. Further to this, the 28S and ITS phylogenetic trees built from the AD-type ECMs analyzed sustain the hypothesis that T. woolhopeia is a species complex.