Just bought the new edition of the book wrote by Jean-Marc Olivier, Jean-Charles Savignac and Pierre Sourzat, Truffe et Trufficulture. Ed Fanlac. 2012. ISBN 978-286577-274-2, 38,50€. Note that the first edition was in 1996.
It’s one of those reference books worth having in your basic truffle library . The photographs are outstanding, most from Pierre, who loves to take pictures with the “fisheye lens” that give a fantastic effect over plantations and brules.
The book is fully updated, and as a proof this picture of the truffe life cycle, incorporating the polarity of “sexs” or “mating types” (MAT1-1-1 vs MAT 1-2-1)
We have already mentioned in several posts that truffles, although belonging to the Ascomycetes fungi requires compatible mycelia to form the fruiting body, which is not common in this group but mostly seen in the Basidiomycetes ( porcini, saffron milk cap, etc.)
Here another image that I sometimes use in my talks to illustrate this feature and that partly explains why there are so many sterile brules in the truffle plantations. A recent research shows how both mating types compete with each other in the same plant, until one takes (exclude) the other, and this effect can be seen on 18 months seedlings! and as trees grow up in the field, this exclusion increases..
I leave the link to the website of the Truffle Station of Cahors (France) where Pierre Sourzat works and where you’ll be able to purchase this and other interesting books on truffle ecology and truffle farming:
all the best,
Marcos S. Morcillo