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.

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Date Published:

10 June 2016


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.

Last updated on 04/25/2019