The Microbiome Structure of the Symbiosis between the Desert Truffle Terfezia boudieri and Its Host Plant Helianthemum sessiliflorum

Lakkakula Satish, Hana Barak, Guy Keren, Galit Yehezkel, Ariel Kushmaro, Eitan Ben-Dov, Varda Kagan-Zur, Ze’ev Barak, Yaron Sitrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The desert truffle Terfezia boudieri is an ascomycete fungus that forms ect-endomycorrhiza in the roots of plants belonging to Cistaceae. The fungus forms hypogeous edible fruit bodies, appreciated as gourmet food. Truffles and host plants are colonized by various microbes, which may contribute to their development. However, the diversity and composition of the bacterial community under field conditions in the Negev desert are still unknown. The overall goal of this research was to identify the rhizosphere microbial community supporting the establishment of a symbiotic association between T. boudieri and Helianthemum sessiliflorum. The bacterial community was characterized by fruiting bodies, mycorrhized roots, and rhizosphere soil. Based on next-generation sequencing meta-analyses of the 16S rRNA gene, we discovered diverse bacterial communities of fruit bodies that differed from those found in the roots and rhizosphere. Families of Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Actinobacteria were present in all four samples. Alpha diversity analysis revealed that the rhizosphere and roots contain significantly higher bacterial species numbers compared to the fruit. Additionally, ANOSIM and PCoA provided a comparative analysis of the bacterial taxa associated with fruiting bodies, roots, and rhizosphere. The core microbiome described consists of groups whose biological role triggers important traits supporting plant growth and fruit body development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1062
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Helianthemum sessiliflorum
  • Terfezia boudieri
  • bacterial diversity
  • desert truffles
  • mycorrhiza helper bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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