Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Isikhuemhen, Omoanghe

Abstract

Decline in Tuber borchii production has led to exploration of new cultivation strategies. Contemporary techniques including the use of spore slurry and root induction are both marred with low success rates, contamination, and are costly. Mycelia inoculation avoids the challenges of contemporary techniques, increases colonization rates, and increases the levels of mycorrization. In order to develop an optimized medium to culture T. borchii and use same for onward infection of Pinus taeda seedling, this research was conducted with two main intents: (1.) seeking the optimum growth conditions and concentrations of six strains of T. borchii on solid Modified Melin-Norkrans (MMN) media and (2.) assessing effect and mycorrization of mycelia generated T. borchii strains on P. taeda seedlings. For growth conditions studies, the optimum pH for most strains was basic (7.5 and 9.0), incubation at 20OC was optimum for most of the given strains, optimum carbohydrate source was starch in all strains and the nitrogen source preference varied. Starch and yeast extract concentration studies revealed that at 10 g/L Starch, the optimum concentration of yeast extract was 0.25 g/L for most strains and at 10 g/L of yeast extract, optimum starch concentration was strain dependent. In the T. borchii mycelia infection of Pinus taeda seedlings, morphological examination revealed positive mycorrhization. Statistical difference in shoot-root length ratio was observed at post infection sampling of three months. This was also revealed in the shoot-root weight ratio at four months sampling.

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