, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 781–792 | Cite as

Mycorrhizal detection of native and non-native truffles in a historic arboretum and the discovery of a new North American species, Tuber arnoldianum sp. nov.

  • Rosanne A. HealyEmail author
  • Hannah Zurier
  • Gregory Bonito
  • Matthew E. Smith
  • Donald H. Pfister
Original Article


During a study comparing the ectomycorrhizal root communities in a native forest with those at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts (USA), the European species Tuber borchii was detected on the roots of a native red oak in the arboretum over two successive years. Since T. borchii is an economically important edible truffle native to Europe, we conducted a search of other roots in the arboretum to determine the extent of colonization. We also wanted to determine whether other non-native Tuber species had been inadvertently introduced into this 140-year-old Arboretum because many trees were imported into the site with intact soil and roots prior to the 1921 USDA ban on these horticultural practices in the USA. While T. borchii was not found on other trees, seven other native and exotic Tuber species were detected. Among the North American Tuber species detected from ectomycorrhizae, we also collected ascomata of a previously unknown species described here as Tuber arnoldianum. This new species was found colonizing both native and non-native tree roots. Other ectomycorrhizal taxa that were detected included basidiomycetes in the genera Amanita, Russula, Tomentella, and ascomycetes belonging to Pachyphlodes, Helvella, Genea, and Trichophaea. We clarify the phylogenetic relationships of each of the Tuber species detected in this study, and we discuss their distribution on both native and non-native host trees.


Tuber borchii Root mantle cystidia Urban landscape Fungal introduction 



Zurier received funding for this project from the Microbial Science Initiative at Harvard University. Healy received funding from the Sargent Award through the Arnold Arboretum. Matthew E. Smith received funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number FLA-PLP-005289 and his participation was also made possible via support by the Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences at University of Florida. Bonito thanks Michigan State University’s AgBioResearch for research support. Charles Lefevre of New World Trufflieres Inc. is thanked for his helpful discussion regarding the likelihood of Tuber borchii introduction to New England through inoculated roots. Peter Avis is thanked for help with methods. Michael Dosmann, Kathryn Richardson, and Faye Rosin of the Arnold Arboretum are thanked for facilitating this project. The Farlow Herbarium curators are thanked for help with vouchers.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosanne A. Healy
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hannah Zurier
    • 1
  • Gregory Bonito
    • 3
  • Matthew E. Smith
    • 2
  • Donald H. Pfister
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Farlow HerbariumHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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