The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of distribution of mating type (MAT) genes of Tuber indicum in ectomycorhizosphere soils from natural T. indicum-producing areas and cultivated truffle orchards and ascocarp samples from different regions. Quantitative real-time PCR and multiplex PCR were used to weight the copy numbers of MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 in natural truffle soils and cultivated orchard soils. The effect of limestone on the pattern of truffle MAT genes and the correlation between soil properties and the proportion of MAT genes were also assessed. These results indicated that an uneven and nonrandom distribution of MAT genes was common in truffle-producing areas, cultivated truffle orchards, and ascocarps gleba. The competition between the two mating type genes and the expansion of unbalanced distribution was found to be closely related to truffle fructification. Limestone treatments failed to alter the proportion of the two mating type genes in the soil. The content of available phosphorus in soil was significantly correlated with the value of MAT1-1-1/MAT1-2-1 in cultivated and natural ectomycorhizosphere soils. The application of real-time quantitative PCR can provide reference for monitoring the dynamic changes of mating type genes in soil. This study investigates the distributional pattern of T. indicum MAT genes in the ectomycorhizosphere soil and ascocarp gleba from different regions, which may provide a foundation for the cultivation of T. indicum.
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