• host specificity;
  • spore bank;
  • Rhizopogon;
  • Pinus;
  • California


  • • 
    Our primary goal was to determine whether detection of Rhizopogon internal transcribed spacer (ITS) groups is affected by the pine species used in seedling bioassays. Our secondary goal was to investigate composition of Rhizopogon spore banks in the Eastern Sierra Nevada of California, a previously unsampled region.
  • • 
    We used seedlings of Pinus contorta, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, and Pinus muricata as bioassay plants and identified the Rhizopogon retrieved by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis.
  • • 
    We found that each of the pine species retrieved all of the abundant Rhizopogon ITS groups, but there were significant differences among pines in the richness of Rhizopogon ITS groups recovered. Pinus muricata recovered all ITS groups found in this study and was significantly better than P. lambertiana. Rhizopogon communities from the five sampled sites contained six to eight ITS groups per site, with two unique sequence groups and a higher abundance of the Rhizopogon ellenae and Rhizopogon arctostaphyli groups than at previously sampled sites.
  • • 
    These results show high cross-receptivity between Rhizopogon and pine species, and regional patterns in spore bank composition.