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Scientists reveal the sex wars of the truffle grounds
Date:10/25/2010

ath potentially productive soil patches.

The team then studied the dynamics of truffle strains on host plants, artificially inoculated with truffle spores and grown in a greenhouse, which showed that a competition occurs between strains to colonise the host plant roots even under controlled conditions.

The truffle fruiting season traditionally begins in late autumn but sexual reproduction is believed to occur in spring. The Italian team demonstrated that during the latter season strain of opposite gender are present in the soil samples next to colonised host plants and that the host plant colonising strain acts as maternal partner in the reproductive process.

These findings represent a breakthrough in the understanding of truffle reproduction tactics as well as the dynamics of black truffle strains in both open-field conditions and on host plants produced to boost truffle production.

"These results are of considerable practical use for optimising and increasing production in truffle fields," concluded Paolocci. "It is of paramount interest to artificial truffle plantations to encourage a balance of strains of both mating types. Future investigations will allow us to determine whether the distribution of mating types is a factor that truly limits truffle fruiting body production."


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Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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