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First report of European truffle ectomycorrhiza in the semi%arid climate of Saudi Arabia
Seema R. Bajaj, Sandesh J. Marathe, Tine Grebenc, Alessandra Zambonelli, Salem Shamekh, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Tuber melanosporum Vittad. (Black or Périgord truffle) is a truffle native to the Mediterranean Southern Europe, popular for its unique flavor, and has great economic importance. The present work focused on assessing the possibility of cultivating T. melanosporum associated with Quercus robur L. in the desert climate of Saudi Arabia. The plantation was initiated in November 2018 by planting 271 oak seedlings in the Al-Qassim desert area and checked for survival and ectomycorrhiza development after 1.5 years of plantation maintenance. Amongst the 271 seedlings planted, 243 plants survived two harsh seasons (2019 and 2020), and the randomly selected and tested seedlings were still mycorrhized with T. melanosporum. The mycorrhization level with T. melanosporum was between 5 and 35% of all fine roots, and the share of contaminant ectomycorrhiza was low. In comparison to other areas where T. melanosporum is successfully cultivated, the Al-Qassim desert area has 10%15 °C higher average summer temperatures and a low total annual precipitation, which necessitates regular irrigation of the plantation. This work opens the avenue for an adapted, yet sustainable cultivation of T. melanosporum-inoculated oak tree in a desert climatic condition and introduces new opportunities of the agro-forest business in Saudi Arabia and GCC region.
Keywords: Tuber melanosporum, Quercus robur, Desert climate, Truffle cultivation, Ectomycorrhiza
Published in DiRROS: 26.01.2021; Views: 609; Downloads: 113
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PCR primers comparisons for a successful Tuber spp. DNA region amplification in routine identifications
Tina Unuk, Hojka Kraigher, Tine Grebenc, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Since late 20th century DNA sequencing became the method of choice method in precision species identification. The ITS region is one of the official fungal barcoding DNA markers, although in some cases sequencing of the ITS re-gion may, due to misidentification, mislabeling or nomen-clature errors in public databases, lead to incorrect or insuf-ficient identification, as is currently a case in the genus Tu b e r. The aim of this study was to test, which ITS primer pairs are most appropriate and optimal for Tu b e r species DNA region amplification. Thereby we (1) compared ampli-fication success for different Tu b e r species using fungal spe-cific primer pair ITS1f and ITS4 and (2) compared amplifi-cation success using different ITS primer pair combinations in amplifying DNA region an example species Tuber aesti-vum. Based on results, Tuber aestivum was one of the most reluctant Tu b e r species in this study and in most cases failed to amplify with the above primer pair. After comparing dif-ferent ITS primer pairs, we conclude that the primer pair ITS5 and ITS7 is the most appropriate primer pair for ampli-fication DNA region of T. ae stiv um as it resulted in high am-plification success from ectomycorrhizal root tips. Based on sequences, gained from public databases, we found that ITS1f and ITS6 primers have a mismatch in one base pair compared to the target sequence of Tuber aestivum, thus re-sulting in poor or no amplification success. Although prim-er pair ITS5 and ITS7 in our study was proven to be the most appropriate primer pair in amplifying DNA region Tu b e r aestivum species, further analysis about appropriateness of it for a general barcoding and identification of ectomycorrhiza in complex community samples is needed.
Keywords: Tuber spp., ITS region, PCR amplification, ITS primers
Published in DiRROS: 30.07.2020; Views: 1072; Downloads: 791
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