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Soil temperature and hydric potential influences the monthly variations of soil Tuber aestivum DnA in a highly productive orchard

Abstract : Tuber aestivum, also known as the summer or Burgundy truffle, is an ectomycorrhizal Ascomycete associated with numerous trees and shrubs. Its life cycle occurs in the soil, and thus soil parameters such as temperature and water availability could influence it. T. aestivum cultivation has started in several countries, but ecological and agronomic requirements for the establishment and management of orchards are largely unknown. The aims of this work were: 1) to design a specific qPCR protocol using genomic data to trace and quantify T. aestivum DNA in the soil; and 2) to assess the monthly soil DNA dynamic according to soil parameters (i.e. soil hydric potential and temperature) in this orchard. The study was conducted in a highly productive T. aestivum orchard (hazels, oaks, pines, lime and hornbeam). The production started five years after the plantation and then increased exponentially to reach a maximum of 320 kg/ha in 2017. The soil hydric potential and temperature partially explained the monthly T. aestivum soil DNA variability. The data presented here offer new insights into T. aestivum ecology and cultivation. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, i.e., which live in symbiosis with tree and shrubs, play important roles in forest functioning and biogeochemical cycles 1. In boreal forests, 50-70% of the carbon stored in the soil is derived from roots and root-associated microorganisms such as ectomycorrhizal fungi 2. Besides forest ecosystems, ectomycorrhizal trees were also implanted in agroforestry ecosystems and in dedicated orchards for producing non-wood products such as edible fungi. The inoculation of tree seedlings with selected ectomycorrhizal fungi in nurseries (i.e., controlled mycorrhization) started hundred years ago, and this technique has been used extensively to grow truffles since the 1970s 3. True truffles (Tuber spp.) are ectomycorrhizal Ascomycetes producing hypogeous fruiting bodies. The genus Tuber is present globally in temperate areas including over 200 species 4,5. Of these, at least 30 species are naturally present in Europe 6 , but only a few have remarkable organoleptic properties and social value 7-9. The most valuable truffle species are Tuber melanosporum Vittad, the Périgord black truffle; Tuber magnatum Pico, the white Italian truffle; and Tuber aestivum Vittad, the summer and Burgundy truffle. Since the first commercialization of seedlings inoculated with T. aestivum and T. melanosporum in 1973, considerable progress has been made to improve the quality of the inoculated plants 3,10. T. melanosporum plantations are found not only in the Mediterranean area but also outside their native range including Australia, New Zealand, South-Africa, South-America, and West USA 10. T. aestivum is the second most cultivated truffle species worldwide 3. Versus T. melanosporum, it has the most extensive natural habitat from Morocco to Sweden and from Ireland to Azerbaijan 11-13. Its wide natural distribution and long harvest season-make this species very promising for cultivation 12,14-16. The entire truffle life cycle occurs in the soil, and therefore soil parameters such as temperature and water availability could influence plantation success. However, information about ecological and agronomic requirements for the establishment and management of T. aestivum orchards (e.g. soil tillage, irrigation, and tree pruning) are largely unknown. To the best of our knowledge, there is no long-term data on T. aestivum ascocarps
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Flora Todesco, Simone Belmondo, Yoann Guignet, Liam Laurent, Sandrine Fizzala, et al.. Soil temperature and hydric potential influences the monthly variations of soil Tuber aestivum DnA in a highly productive orchard. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9, ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-49602-2⟩. ⟨hal-02913042⟩

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