Development of Pisolithus tinctorius Ectomycorrhizae on Pine Seedlings Using Basidiospore-Encapsulated Seeds
Procedures for encapsulating seed of various pine species with basidiospores of Pisolithus tinctorius were developed. In container tests in 1979 with Pinus taeda, P. virginiana, P. elliottii var. elliottii, P. echinata, P. oocarpa, and P. caribaea, seed encapsulation with spores increased seed diameter by 1.5 mm and decreased seedling establishment by up to 60 percent. Only moderate amounts of Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae developed on most tree species. However, abundant P. tinctorius ectomycorrhizae were developed in 1980 on P. taeda seedlings in both containers and in microplots by using a coating that increased seed diameters by only 1 mm and by adjusting the watering schedule. Encapsulation with 1 or 2 mg of spores per seed reduced seedling establishment by 20 percent in microplots; 1 mg spores per seed did not reduce seedling establishment in containers. One mg of spores (1.1 x 106 spores) per seed was as effective as 2 mg of spores per seed in forming Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae. Dressing encapsulated seeds with thiram, captan, or benomyl had no detrimental effect on seedling establishment or P. tinctorius ectomycorrhizal development on P. taeda seedlings in microplots. Captan or thiram, however, increased and benomyl decreased Pisolithus ectomycorrhizal development in containers. Thiram or benomyl also decreased seedling establishment in containers. Encapsulated seeds should be watered daily for 1 week after sowing and on alternate days for the next 2 weeks. This watering regime aids seed germination and disintegration of the pelletizing matrix to release the spores. Expanded tests on the significance of spore encapsulated seed in conventional nurseries and direct seeding with various tree species are now warranted. Forest Sci. 30:897-907.
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