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

About trufflefarming

CEO of Micofora. Truffles and edible wild mushroom science and farming. Researcher, truffle farmer & mycologist
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1 Response to How do truffles feed and get its Nitrogen?

  1. zdravko says:


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