Immunoassays of ectomycorrhizae
In collaboration with Dr.
Eric Danell, we anticipate contracting with immunoassay development
companies to develop monoclonal antibody reagents (Miller
et al. 1998, Neuner-Plattner et al.
1999) that will allow us to quickly assay the percentage of
ectomycorrhizae in stands colonized by either chanterelles or
matsutake. Our immunoassays will be designed for specificity to
the genus Cantharellus, and for matsutake we will plan
reagents specific to the unique odor molecule (methyl cinnimate,
Yajima et al. 1981) produced
by the several species of Tricholoma that are harvested
as "matsutake" around the world.
Olfactory surveys of matsutake mats
Chanterelle mycelia grow diffusely in the soil so directly estimating their mass or volume is not currently feasible. American matsutake (Tricholoma magnivelare) mycelia, however, grow in dense mats near the surface of the mineral soil and the mats exude the distinctive odor of matsutake. Charles LeFevre, as a part of his graduate thesis, has developed, tested, and refined olfactory sampling procedures for estimating the areal extent of matsutake mycelia in a forest stand.
Percentage occurrence in productivity plots
As a backup to both of these approaches to estimating site occupancy, we plan to sample mushroom productivity using numerous systematically located small plots. The percentage of plots that are occupied by either chanterelles or matsutake will give us a less direct, but hopefully still useful, estimate of the site occupancy for each species.