Tuber melanosporum spores

Truffle trees are trees that host the truffle fungus on their root system. In order to create truffle trees a source of identified fungal material is needed. This source can be either cultured fungi or, more commonly, the spores of the truffle fungus.

The primary source for truffle spores, for Tuber melanosporum, Tuber aestivum syn uncinatum and others is the truffle (known as the fruiting body) itself.

Tuber melanosporum spores

Truffle trees are trees that host the truffle fungus on their root system. In order to create truffle trees a source of identified fungal material is needed. This source can be either cultured fungi or, more commonly, the spores of the truffle fungus.

The primary source for truffle spores, for Tuber melanosporum, Tuber aestivum syn uncinatum and others is the truffle (known as the fruiting body) itself.

When a truffle is cut open, the area hosting the spores can be clearly seen. In between the white veining are dark bands and it’s these areas that house the spores.

Despite the simplicity of finding spores, care must be taken when using them as an inoculums source. The spores should first be checked microscopically to assess for maturity and viability. Secondly, the exact species should be identified and the most accurate way to do this is with DNA testing.

Within this last week we have received reports from people who have established orchards that are producing the wrong species (thankfully, none are from our trees). These contaminating species have included a low value black truffle species (Tuber brumale) in Australia and Europe but also the Chinese truffle, Tuber indicum, which is quickly advancing.

The Chinese truffle is very low in value but has found its way into orchards worldwide via truffle tree nurseries. Most recently, a large orchard was destroyed in the USA when it was found to be hosting Chinese truffles.

Spore morphology is one way to identity truffle species, but due to the varied forms of several species, the only accurate way is DNA testing. Such testing is essential and as such, is standard in our own nurseries.

If you have more questions on spores, truffle species or DNA testing services, please get in contact on shop@plantationsystems.com

Tuber mycorrhiza
Tuber mycorrhiza

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