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J Biotechnol. 2007 Jan 30;128(1):14-23. Epub 2006 Sep 23.

Quantitative detection of Lactarius deliciosus extraradical soil mycelium by real-time PCR and its application in the study of fungal persistence and interspecific competition.

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  • 1IRTA, Departament de Protecció Vegetal, Ctra. Cabrils, km. 2, 08348 Cabrils, Barcelona, Spain.


Real-Time PCR has been applied to quantify extraradical soil mycelium of the edible ectomycorrhizal fungus Lactarius deliciosus in an interspecific competition experiment under greenhouse conditions. Couples of Pinus pinea seedlings inoculated with either L. deliciosus, Rhizopogon roseolus, or non-inoculated (control) were transplanted into pots filled with two types of soil in all the possible combinations. Total DNA was extracted from soil samples at 3 and 6 months after transplantation to perform real-time PCR analysis. DNA extractions from soil mixed with known amounts of mycelium of L. deliciosus were used as standards. Six months after transplantation, the percentage of mycorrhizas of L. deliciosus and seedling growth were significantly affected by the soil type. Extraradical soil mycelium of L. deliciosus was positively correlated with the final percentage of mycorrhizas and significantly affected by the sampling time and soil depth. The competition effect of R. roseolus was not significant for any of the measured parameters, probably due to the sharp decrease of the mycorrhizal colonization by this fungus. We conclude that real-time PCR is a powerful technique for extraradical mycelium quantification in studies aimed at evaluating the persistence of introduced strains of L. deliciosus in field plantations.

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