Soil pH and mineral nutrients strongly influence truffles and other ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with commercial pecans (Carya illinoinensis)
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Background and aims
Pecan truffles (Tuber lyonii) have high commercial value and the potential to be produced in a dual-cropping system with pecan. However, little is known about the linkages among ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal diversity, community structure, and environmental factors in pecan orchard ecosystems. Our aim is to investigate how soil pH and other edaphic factors influence the richness and composition of ECM fungi.
We characterized the soil factors and ECM fungal community associated with pecan and adjacent native trees with 454 pyrosequencing at a regional scale, and tested whether the effects of pH and soil factors altered the ECM fungal communities.
Overall ECM fungal diversity associated with pecan trees was high and about a third of all taxa were shared with native trees adjacent to orchards. The community structure was correlated significantly with soil variables including K, Ca, Mg, Mn, P, Zn and soil pH, but not organic matter. Soil pH was positively correlated with species diversity in the /tuber-helvella, /galactinia, /pachyphloeus-amylascus, and /pisolithus-scleroderma lineages.
pH and soil factors play a key role in regulating the ECM fungal communities in pecan orchards. The frequency and abundance of the pecan truffle and related species is positively and significantly correlated with higher soil pH.
KeywordsCarya illinoinensis Tuber lyonii Ectomycorrhizal fungi Fungal community Juglandaceae Soil pH
We gratefully acknowledge the many pecan farmers who graciously allowed us to sample on their properties. This work was financially supported by a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant (OS13-082, to MES) and a UF Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences Early Career Seed Funding grant (to MES) with additional support from University of Florida. ZG is partially supported by the NSFC (No. 31461143031). GB is grateful to MSU and AgBioResearch for research support.
MS, GB, and ZG designed the research; MS, ZG and TB collected the samples; ZW gathered experimental data and carried out data analyses; ZG and MS drafted the manuscript; MS, GB, TB and ZG edited and improved the manuscript.
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