At the last International Congress of truffle (www.tuber2013.com) I did a lecture on a research we are doing in Portugal. We studied the diversity of fungi in Tuber borchii orchards and how this diversity can improve the health of the plantation.
There are few papers that have studied this issue, and one of them, analyzed a natural bianchetto truffiere with molecular tools. All fungi found just underneath where the truffle had been collected and 1m away from the same point were detected. They found up to 70 different species, although Tuber borchii formed 20% of mycorrhizae, sharing the rest of the roots with Inocybe and Thelephora species.
A peculiarity was the presence of borchii was higher where the roots of pines and oaks were mixed. young oaks could help to maintain bianchetto colonization in the pines. In this sense, would it be worth to mix the host trees when growing this variety of white truffle? Instead of making separate plantations, as in the photo, with Pinus radiata on the left and Quercus robur on the right…
I hope in the next months I’ll be able to give more data and information on the project we are developing in this direction with borchii.
FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2010 May, 72 (2) :250-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00844.x. Epub 2010 Jan 28.
The ectomycorrhizal community in Natural Tuber borchii grounds.
Iotti M, Lancellotti E, Hall I, A. Zambonelli
All the best,
Marcos S. Morcillo