Our New Truf-Up Spanish Wells Substrate

Truf-up spanish wells product to boost truffles

During the last decade we’ve been running at Micofora several Research and Development projects. Some of their results and conclusions have been posted in this blog. Three of these projects have been:

a) Isolation of bacterias from highly productive truffieres

b) Assays to develop a truffle farming fertilizer

c) Response of truffle mycelium of different doses of spores and time of inoculation for the spanish wells 

All these plus the results of an old project to develop a technology to inoculate mature hazels trees with truffles have led to finally develop two commercial products:

  • Truf-Up Spanish Wells Substrate

    ,with an specific formula to add in form of wells or ditches around the truffle trees, so we improve truffle shape, so you get more round fruit bodies, better soil structure, tree fertility, enhance truffle mycelium concentration, plus add the “male factor” to boost truffle fruiting.

  • Truf-Up Bioestimulant

    with specific bacteria strains and other active compounds to increase truffle mycelium in soil and improve tree fitness.

Truf-Up micofora truffle products

These products are now being released in Spain and Europe and will be soon available for truffle growers overseas.

Any doubt about them write us at micologiaforestal@micofora.com


Marcos S. Morcillo



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How we produce our truffle inoculum at micofora?

tuber magnatum inoculum at micofora
At Micofora, Barcelona, we produce truffle inoculum weekly during the harvesting season. We select the optimum spores from the best truffles using a compound and a stereo microscopes as well as DNA test. The aim of these analysis is to detect potential contaminants species, other that the desired, and also to check the maturity of the spores.  We have and agreement with our truffle suppliers, we return to them the ascocarps that didn’t passed the test (usually more than 50% of the truffle are returned to the supplier, especially early in the season when the spores are not mature yet).
Tuber melanosporum inoculum analysis microscope
We don’t know which factors are involved that will regulate the truffle size, probably there are several, e.g. a genetic trait; Micofora always prefer to use large fruit bodies to produce inoculum.

We run a DNA test for each truffle to be used as inoculum, as a double check in order to avoid the presence of other Tuber than the desired species on the inoculum.

DNA analysis truffle micofora
DNA truffles for inoculum at micofora

Micofora can supply pure inoculum to nurseries and truffle plantation. This product was checked under microscopes, the species confirmed with DNA, sterilized, lyophilized (freeze-dried), grounded and sieved, all these process was done under the supervision of highly trained and experienced staff.

In our experience sending freeze-dried inoculum overseas is cheaper and easier because the low weight of the mail order. Around 80% of the truffle weight is water, sending our prepared product will reduce the weight from 1kg of fresh truffle to 200gr.

freeze drying Tuber magnatum for inoculum at micofora
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New places available for our truffle growing technical seminars in Barcelona

truffle farming seminars in Spain

We are just preparing the new edition of our Barcelona Truffle Tour workshops, that will be running during the week of 12th-17th next month, February 2018.

The Tour was full before Christmas, so we told growers there were no places left, but due to last minute cancellations, we have 4 places available!

So if you were eager to join, and learn the latest truffle farming techniques, see the best machinery and implements to use, learn about the marketing and value chain of truffles, plus participate in our hands on workshop on aromas and post harvest packaging of fresh truffles, this is your chance.

See you in Barcelona!


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truffle growing all over the World in 2017

World black truffle farming by micofora

Last December the largest truffle fair in Spain was in Teruel, it is called FITRUF. We helped to create this infographics for the main newspaper in Teruel, who made an special number about truffles and truffle growing.

Apologize but it has not been edited in english language.

Every year new countries join the club of the ones who have been successful growing black truffles, like Israel in 2017.

Happy New Year from Barcelona!

Marcos S. Morcillo




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How do truffles feed and get its Nitrogen?

how do truffle feed by micofora

The tree and the truffle form a symbiotic relationship. The tree uses the mycelial web of the fungus as a fishing net that allows it to absorb water and nutrients that by itself can not assimilate or would do it in much smaller amount. The truffle obtains sugars from the tree, which it produces through photosynthesis. This exchange takes place in the roots of the trees through some organs called mycorrhizae, the symbiotic structure. At a cellular level, the fungus absorbs basically inorganic phosphorus (P) from the soil, in the form of polyphosphates and nitrogen mineral (N) in the form of nitrates. On the other hand, the starch stored in the tree is transformed into sucrose that breaks down into glucose and fructose, forms that the fungus can assimilate.

Nitrogen is one of the essential compounds of living organisms, necessary for the synthesis of proteins. Tuber melanosporum contains on average 5% N. This can come from the soil or atmospheric fixed by the bacteria that inhabit the same truffle. Each gram of truffle contains up to 100 million microorganisms!

In the case of T. magnatum it has been demonstrated how these nitrogen-fixing bacteria play an important role (Barbieri 2010), although this has not been demonstrated for melanosporum.
In the case of the black truffle, the mycelium that explores the soil is able to absorb the nitrate from the soil and reduce it. The forms of glutamate, glutamine and asparagine are the main amino acids transferred from the mycorrhizae to the tree. They could also be transferred from same mycorrhizae to the growing truffles.
The fruiting bodies, the truffles, can not directly absorb the nitrates from the soil, but these come from the mycorrhizae at all times.
In mycorrhizae, nitrate can be reduced to ammonium, which is then transferred to the truffle.
In conclusion, the soil organic nitrogen, which comes from litter and soil organic matter, gets transformed into ammonium and nitrate, which is taken by mycorrhizae, and from there, a part is used to feed the host tree and the other to the truffle.
Cheers and Merry Christmas!
Marcos Morcillo
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How many baby truffles are formed per square meter?

Tuber melanosporum sexuality reproduction by micofora

We just wrote a chapter for a new book that will be published soon about pests and diseases of truffle trees in Spain. We wanted to update the truffle sexuality figure we made for our last book “Truffle Farming Today” with the new discoverings on truffle reproduction, and you can see here the new one!

In a mature truffle plantation, at a root level, there is a non-random distribution of the MATs (sexually compatible mycelia), that is, the mycorrhizae of a tree tend to belong to the same MAT.
Moreover, the mycelium that forms the mycorrhizae acts always as a maternal part.
In the enlargement it is observed how the truffles are formed, mostly, when a spore germinates and the mycelium acts as a paternal part fertilizing the maternal mycelium associated with a mycorrhiza of the complementary MAT.

We talked in an earlier post about how in some large multilobulated fruit bodies, each lobe belongs to a different paternal individual, that mostly comes from truffle spores.

Most truffles are formed sometime between May and July. It seems that at more latitude (colder areas), fertilization occurs later. But do we know how many baby truffles get formed per square meter? you´ll get surprised to know that a new research not published yet found, sieving the soil, that 104 truffle primordia were found per m2!

Unfortunately, most of these baby truffles get eaten by insects, dry up or get rotten before they mature properly.

This has been done by Pacioni, the same author who used the ground penetrating radars to screen the soil looking for baby truffles.


Marcos S. Morcillo


Pacioni G et al. 2014 Instrumental monitoring of the birth and development of truffles in a Tuber melanosporum orchardMycorrhiza.


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a new book about truffles has been published

new book about truffles Le Tacon


Just finished to read this great new book about truffles, wrote by our friend:

François Le Tacon: Les truffes – Biologie, écologie et domestication

It must be difficult to try to compile 40 years of research on truffles, but he found a way to make a rigorous text while easy to read at the same time. He combines some of the latests papers published i.e. about how truffle feeds with the fundamentals and basic functioning of the mycorrhiza.

I enjoyed as en example, the “principle of the hydraulic elevator” that explains how transport of nocturnal water from the deep layers of the ground to the most superficial takes place thanks to the roots maintaining a good hydric state of the fungal structures.

It is completely updated on the sexual reproduction of the truffle, plus there is a chapter on the different stages of development of the fruit body with lovely microscope pictures of each one.

Half of the book is about truffle farming and devotes several pages to irrigation and control the water status of truffle plantations. A chapter about growing burgundy and sumer truffle, with figures about real yields per hectare from several plantations.

By now it is just edited in french, but probably there will be an english edition soon.

Congrats François! I learnt a lot!

Marcos S. Morcillo


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Mél. : martine.geremia@agroparistech.fr



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New data on the hazel and Tuber borchii project in Catalonia

hazel mycorrhized with white truffle micofora

We have just analyzed root samples of in vitro produced Dundee hazel trees that we inoculated two years ago with Tuber borchii.

Dundee hazels are an in vitro hybrid between the europen hazel (Corylus avellana) and the turkish one (C. colurna), that is more vigorous and almost does not produce suckers.

“This is an experimental test in order to get hazel mycorrhized trees under non sterile conditions. Note our standard commercial trees are always produced under sterile conditions in pots in a controlled environment like following pic of these Dundee right after repotting”:

dunde hazels at micofora´s truffle nursery .jpg-large

We did 2 tests: Some hazels spent a year in a pot before planted out in soil at Coselva´s nursery (see pic above); and a second group were directly planted on the soil during 2 years. The results indicate a higher percentage of mycorrhizae in the hazelnuts that were first potted (48-72%) than in those that were placed directly on the soil (0-38%).

A third test was done, using 2 yrs. old commercial hazels without truffle that were inoculated with a T. borchii “root dip” at the out planting time in spring 2015. In this case we sampled hazelnuts to which they had applied fertilizer and another group in which they did not. The results have been a persistence and even increase of borchii mycorrhizal levels detected a year ago, being higher in the case of non-fertilized hazelnuts (65-80%) than in fertilized hazelnuts (30-43%).


Xavier Vilanova





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Can Rhizoculture Improve Agricultural and Forestry Systems?

paper about rhizoculture - micofora

We are happy to announce that has been published the paper we collaborated to write about rhizoculture as a chapter from the book: M. Lukac, P. Grenni and M. Gambon i (eds.), Soil biological communities and ecosystem resilience, 46–74. © 2017 Springer.
Towards Integrated Understanding of the Rhizosphere Phenomenon as Ecological Driver: Can Rhizoculture Improve Agricultural and Forestry Systems?. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319671308_Towards_Integrated_Understanding_of_the_Rhizosphere_Phenomenon_as_Ecological_Driver_Can_Rhizoculture_Improve_Agricultural_and_Forestry_Systems [accessed Oct 19 2017].




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How 2017 black truffle season has gone in the Southern Hemisphere?

truffle growing countries in the South Hemisphere


The Australian harvest has been quite impressive, even the driest winter in some areas and warmest in early winter, but it looks truffles were not affected and growers are watering well. Feedback from growers was extremely good across the country with lots of reports of people doubling their production this year.

Growers conservatively estimate production for the season to be more than 20 tones.  This a impressive compared to the 13 tones from last year.  This high production has not been without problems, growers complain about getting smaller truffles than previous seasons and particularly with dumping of truffles at low prices by provedores in both Australia and overseas.  
I think I already post a link to this french report on prices on truffles, with australian prices imports, just in case here is again:


West Australians expect an additional 20 – 40 tonnes will be produced in Australia within 5-10 years. This is what Spain produces in a good year!

Thanks for the updates to some growers from the http://trufflegrowers.com.au

Here a link of the Wine and Truffle Co newsletter with some interesting articles about the last season


There are over 60 truffle growers, 30 of them into the Chilean Truffle Growers association. Over 600 hectares planted.
The estimate production for the season has been 500kilos in total. 300kg has been exported to USA and Brasil mainly and 200kg sold on domestic market or used for inoculum.
The Growers association thinks next year production may double and in 5 years chilean production may raise up to 5-7 tons.
Truffles harvested with plenty of aroma, good quality in general.
A nice article in this link: http://revistagrupoagro.cl/trufas/




There is a 50 hectare plantation that has started production.  25 ha of that one have plants of up to 5 years and the other 25 ha where the oldest plants are 3 years old. Both plantations have 50% Quercus Robur and 50% Quercus Ilex. The hazelnuts did not adapt well.

Total Argentina is estimated about 85 ha planted with estimated total crop for this season   35 kilos. Thank you for update to Trufas del Nuevo Mundo, the producer with the largest planted area in the country.



Season 2017 has been very encouraging for farmers, harvested a total of 14,5 kg’s across the 5 producing farms, two of the farms are in second year production.
Production is improving steadily from last year, although growers are suffering from pests damage (slugs and millipedes) to the truffles. Note most farms in the area have mild winters so insect activity is higher.
All the production was sold locally to restaurants, chefs and hotels.  The selling price was 900 Euro/kg.
There are planted over 80 hectares and expecting to plant a further 120 hectares next year.
Thanks to Miros family and Mosbec Truffle Farms for their updates on this country.
Marcos S. Morcillo
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