TED Talks – DNA: the science behind growing truffles

TED Talks - DNA: the science behind growing truffles

In May, Sebastian Kraves, a molecular neurobiologist, was invited to give a TED Talk about the miniPCR DNA Discovery System that his team had developed.

During his talk Sebastian discusses how Dr Paul Thomas has utilised this DNA coding technology to ensure that the truffle spores we work with are the genuine truffle species we require. This scientific approach to truffle cultivation is what makes Mycorrhizal Systems technological leaders in truffle culivation.

An extract from the TED Talk by Sebastian Kraves:

The Truffle Farmer That Needed DNA Analysis

People often ask us where this revolution in accessibility might take us, or how the world will change. However, it is notoriously hard to predict how new technology will transform society. For example, when we first developed miniPCR, we could not have predicted that a truffle farmer would have a use for DNA analysis. Dr. Paul Thomas grows truffles for a living, and here we see him pictured holding the first UK cultivated truffle.

 

First UK truffle - cultivated

 

Truffles are a delicacy that stems from a fungus growing on the roots of living trees, and it’s a really rare fungus: some species may fetch between $3,000 to $7,000 per kilogram, or even more. We’ve learned from Thomas that the stakes for a truffle farmer can be really high: When he sources new truffles to grow on his plantations, Thomas is exposed to knock-offs that even to an expert’s eye can look and feel like the real thing. Even under a microscope, these lower quality truffle spores can look authentic. So in order to select the right truffles to grow on his farm, the ones that chefs all around the world will fight over, Thomas has to use DNA analysis. This is mind-blowing, and it’s hard now for us to look at a black truffle risotto without thinking of its genes.

 

You can watch the full TED Talk video here:

https://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_kraves_the_era_of_personal_dna_testing_is_here

You can also read the full article here:

https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/minipcr-enabling-the-era-of-personal-dna

 

For more information on how you can establish a truffle tree plantation then please visit our partnerships page or contact us via the contact form and we’ll be happy to help.

In May, Sebastian Kraves, a molecular neurobiologist, was invited to give a TED Talk about the miniPCR DNA Discovery System that his team had developed.

During his talk Sebastian discusses how Dr Paul Thomas has utilised this DNA coding technology to ensure that the truffle spores we work with are the genuine truffle species we require. This scientific approach to truffle cultivation is what makes Mycorrhizal Systems technological leaders in truffle culivation.