Quality evaluation of nursery seedlings colonized by Truffle species

Once the decision has been made to establish a new truffle plantation, it is of the utmost importance that the farmer has an accurate idea of the average amount of truffle mycorrhizae present in the seedlings to be planted in the field. It is also essential to know if other contaminant mycorrhizal fungi are present in the seedlings and in which percentage.

Which mycorrhizal seedling parameters can endanger the success of your truffle plantations?

1. Low presence of the truffle fungus (low percentage of truffle mycorrhizae).
2. High amounts of contaminant fungi that compete for the root tips with the truffle fungus.
3. Presence of dangerous mycorrhizal fungi. Most usually other truffle species (Tuber aestivum, Tuber brumale) but also highly competitive fungi like Trichophaea woolhopeia.

In order to evaluate seedling quality, the root system is observed under the microscope using different techniques depending on the fungal species present. The client will be provided with a seedling evaluation report which will include:

• Percentage of roots colonized by the truffle fungus (Tuber melanosporum or Tuber aestivum/Tuber uncinatum).
• Total amount of colonized root tips.
• Percentage of roots colonized by other mycorrhizal fungi (contaminants).
• Species of contaminant fungi present.
• Forestry and health quality (following the parameters of morphological plant quality established by the European Directive 1999/105/CE).
• Conclusions and recommendations.

The evaluation method used by MicoLab is the one developed by Fisher and Colinas (University of Lleida).

Prior to engaging in any service, the client will be provided with a written budget describing the agreed services to be developed by MicoLab.

At the client’s request, MicoLab will provide the rates for any specific service.