Boletus edulis Bull. is one of the most economically and gastronomically valuable fungi worldwide. Sporocarp production normally occurs when symbiotically associated with a number of tree species in stands over 40 years old, but it has also been reported in 3-year-old Cistus ladanifer L. shrubs. Efforts toward the domestication of B. edulis have thus focused on successfully generating C. ladanifer seedlings associated with B. edulis under controlled conditions. Microorganisms have an important role mediating mycorrhizal symbiosis, such as some bacteria species which enhance mycorrhiza formation (mycorrhiza helper bacteria). Thus, in this study, we explored the effect that mycorrhiza helper bacteria have on the efficiency and intensity of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis between C. ladanifer and B. edulis. The aim of this work was to optimize an in vitro protocol for the mycorrhizal synthesis of B. edulis with C. ladanifer by testing the effects of fungal culture time and coinoculation with the helper bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens Migula. The results confirmed successful mycorrhizal synthesis between C. ladanifer and B. edulis. Coinoculation of B. edulis with P. fluorescens doubled within-plant mycorrhization levels although it did not result in an increased number of seedlings colonized with B. edulis mycorrhizae. B. edulis mycelium culture time also increased mycorrhization levels but not the presence of mycorrhizae. These findings bring us closer to controlled B. edulis sporocarp production in plantations.
Keywords: Ectomycorrhizal fungi cultivation; MHB; Mycelium culture; Mycorrhizal plants; Sporocarps.