Empirical or rational truffle cultivation? It is time to choose.

Gerard Chevalier, Jean C. Pargney


Aim of study: The aim of this study was to finalize a new method of truffle cultivation in order to obtain an earlier, more regular and  sizeable production of high quality fruiting bodies. 

Area of study: The experimentation was carried out in France (country of Dordogne, south-western  France)  and Italy (country of  Marches,   eastern central Italy) for more than one  decade.

Material and methods: For the first time the method is based on scientific data on truffle biology particularly: the dynamic system of mycorrhization by the truffle and by other fungi;  the saprophytic capability of the truffle; the ability of its mycelium for decomposing certain minerals and organic materials in the “brûlés”.

The basic principle concern the work of the soil and the upkeep of the root system: to work the soil  immediately after the plantation of mycorrhizal seedlings, deeply enough, with adapted tools,  in order to do not compact the soil,  aerate it,  favour the production of deep fruiting bodies not exposed to high temperatures, dryness, frost, parasites… ;  cut accurately  the roots in order to regenerate them and consequently to provide food for the truffle mycelium.

Main results: The result has been a new cultivation method designated “differentiated” and called “MRT”, with adapted work of the soil on the lines of plantation and upkeep of the grass between them,  to maintain the cohabitation between areas where the mycelium is present, from those where it is absent.

Research highlights: Research is going on to improve   the techniques and particularly finalize tools more precise and more adapted for working the soil and maintaining  the root system in a  best way.  

Keywords: truffle; production; nutrition; soil, root system; cultivation tools. 

Full Text:



Barry D, Callot G, Janex-Favre MC, Parguey-Leduc A, Pargney JC, 1993. Morphologie et structure des hyphes externes du péridium des Tuber à écailles: évolution au cours du développement de l' ascocarpe. Canadian Journal of Botany 71: 609-619. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/b93-070

Bencivenga M, Baciarelli Falini L, 2012. Manuale di tartuficoltura . Esperienze di coltivazione dei tartufi in Umbria. Regione Umbria, Spoleto, Italy. 130 pp.

Boumaza O, 2004. Etude de l'environnement édaphique de Tuber mesentericum: apports des observations structurales et micromorphologiques des lames minces d'un sol truffier de Meuse. Diplôme de Recherches Doctorales. Université H. Poincaré - Nancy I, France.

Callot G (coord.), Byé P, Raymond M, Fernandez D, Pargney JC, Parguey-Leduc A, et al., 1999. La truffe, la terre, la vie. INRA, Paris, France. 210 pp.

Chevalier G, 2008. La trufficulture en France: vers une nouvelle méthode de culture. In: La culture de la truffe dans le monde. Actes Colloque Brive-la-Gaillarde, 2 février 2007. Le Causse corrézien, Brive, France. pp: 59-77.

Chevalier G, 2009. La M.R.T. (méthode raisonnée de trufficulture). In: Les nouvelles techniques de trufficulture . Actes Colloque Fête internationale de la truffe, Sarlat, France, 16 janvier 2009, pp: 55-67.

Drenou C, 2006. Les racines, face cachée des arbres. Ed. IDF, Paris, France.

Dessolas H, Chevalier G, Pargney JC, 2007. Nouveau manuel de trufficulture. Miseenpages, Périgueux, France. 309 pp.

Garcia-Montero LG, Casermeiro MA, Manjon JL, Hernado I & J, 2007. Impact of active soil carbonate, exchangeable calcium and stoniness of soil on Tuber melanosporum carpophore production. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticoltural Science 35: 139-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01140670709510178

Granetti B, De Angelis A, Materozzi G, 2005. Umbria, terra di tartufi. Regione Umbria, Gruppo Micologico Ternano, Spoleto, Italy. 303 pp.

Gregori G, 2008. Truff iculture en Italie: expériences, problèmes et évolution possible . In: L' avenir de la truffe face au réchauffement climatique . Albin Michel, Paris, France. pp: 65-76.

Grente J, 1974. Perspectives pour une trufficulture moderne. Station de Pathologie végétale, INRA, Clermont-Ferrand, France. 65 pp.

Hall R, Brown GT, Zambonelli A, 2007. Taming the truffle. The history, lore and science of the ultimate mushroom. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, USA. 304 pp.

Le Tacon F, Zeller B, Plain C, Hossan C, Bréchet C, Robin C, 2013. Carbon transfer from the host to Tuber melanosporum mycorrhizas and ascocarps following using of 13C pulse-labelling technique. Plus One 8(5): 1-9.

Mannozzi-Torini L, 1970. Manuel de truff iculture. Edagricole, Bologna, Italy. 119 pp.

Mannozzi-Torini, 1988. Il tartufo e la sua coltivazione. Edagricole, Bologna, Italy. 102 pp.

Neel C, Chevalier G, Joussein E, 2007. Weathering of horticultural vermiculite and perlite by ectomycorrhizal fungi: effect of nutrient and metal cations. Abstract: Rhizosphère 2 International Conference, Montpellier, France, 26-31 août 2007. p. 179.

Olivier JM, Savignac JC, Sourzat P, 2012. Truffe et trufficulture. Fanlac, Périgueux, France. 398 pp.

Pargney JC, Chevalier G, Dessolas H, Vignon JY, Dessolas B, 2010. Osez cultiver la truffe autrement. Miseenpages, Périgueux, France. 94 pp.

Pargney JC, Chevalier G, Dupré C, Genet P, Jalade M, 2001a. Etude des stromas fongiques se développant sur les racines des plants mycorhizés par la truffe. Actes Vème Congrès international «Science et culture de la truffe», 4-6 mars 1999, Aix-en-Provence, France. pp: 167-172.

Pargney JC, Genet P, Chevalier G, 2001b. Localisation d'hyphes latentes dans les mycorhizes âgées de truffe (Tuber melanosporum Vitt.): étude ultrastructurale, cytochimique et microanalytique, 161-166. Actes Vème Congrès international «Science et culture de la truffe», 4-6 mars 1999, Aix-en-Provence, France. pp: 161-166.

Rebière J, 1967. La truffe du Périgord. Fanlac, Périgueux, France. 142 pp.

Rebière J, 1981. La truffe du Périgord. Fanlac, Périgueux, France. 201 pp.

Reyna S (coord.), Colinas C, De Miguel A, Gregori G, Honrubia M, Palazon C, et al., 2007. Truficultura. Fundamentos y técnicas. Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico. 688 pp.

Ricard JM, 2003. La truffe. Guide pratique de trufficulture. CTIFL, Paris, France. 268 pp.

Rimbault P, 2003. La physiologie et l'architecture des racines. 9ème Congrès de l'APEVC, octobre 2003, Igualada, Spain.

Sourzat P, 2002. Guide pratique de trufficulture. Ed. LPA, Le Montat, France. 119 pp.

Sourzat P, 2008. La truffe Tuber brumale. Synthèse des actions menées au cours des 11ème et 12ème Contrats de Plan Etat-Région, LPA Le Montat, France. 50 pp.

Sourzat P, 2012. Petit guide de trufficulture, 2eme édition, LPA Le Montat, France. 20 pp.

Weden C, 2008. Tryffel, mat för gudar, gutar, svin. Infobooks, Stockolm, Sweden. 144 pp.

DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014232-04964

Webpage: www.inia.es/Forestsystems