Natural production of Tuber aestivum in central Spain: Pinus spp. versus Quercus spp. brûlés

Luis G. Garcia-Montero, Domingo Moreno, Vicente J. Monleon, Fernando Arredondo-Ruiz


Aim of study: Tuber aestivum is the most widespread edible truffle, with increasing commercial interest. This species can produce carpophores with conifer hosts, in contrast with the inability of Pinus spp. to induce fruiting in other truffle species such as Tuber melanosporum. Therefore the objective is to compare the characteristics and carpophore production of T. aestivum brûlés associated with Pinus spp. versus Quercus spp.

Area of study: We studied the natural habitats of T. aestivum in the Alto Tajo Nature Reserve in central Spain.

Material and methods: During 5 years, we monitored the production of carpophores and brûlé size of 145 T. aestivum brûlés associated with Pinus nigra subsp. salzmanni and P. sylvestris and Quercus ilex subsp. ballota and Q. faginea hosts. Statistical treatment was performed using the Statistica Program v. 6.

Main Results: The size of brûlés associated with Pinus was significantly smaller than that of brûlés associated with Quercus. However, carpophore production per brûlé, and especially for brûlés of similar size, was greater when the host plant was a pine. After accounting for brûlé size, the production of brûlés associated with Pinus spp. was 2.23 (95% CI, between 1.35 and 3.69) and 1.61 (95% CI, between 1.02 and 2.54) times greater than the production of brûlés associated with Quercus faginea and Q. ilex subsp. ballota, respectively.

Research highlights: The considerable ability of Pinus nigra subsp. salzmanni and P. sylvestris to form effective brûlés and to produce carpophores of Tuber aestivum in natural conditions was clearly demonstrated, and suggest that those species can be of use in the culture of T. aestivum.

Key words: Summer truffle; Tuber aestivum; truffle culture; truffle ecology; Pinus spp.; Quercus spp.

Full Text:



Amaral Franco J, 1986. Pinus. In: Flora Ibérica: Plantas Vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares Vol. I (Castroviejo S). Real Jardín Botánico C.S.I.C, Madrid, Spain. 406 pp.

Arredondo-Ruiz F, García-Montero LG, Díaz P, 2014. A review of research on Tuber aestivum (Summer truffle) focused on its culture. Forest systems (submitted).

Benucci GMN, Bonito G, Baciarelli LF, Bencivenga M, 2012. Mycorrhization of Pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) with commercial truffle species: Tuber aestivum Vittad. and Tuber borchii Vittad. Mycorrhiza 22: 383-392.

Benucci GMN, Raggi L, Albertini E, Grebenc T, Bencivenga M, Falcinelli M, Di Massimo G, 2011. Ectomycorrhizal communities in a productive Tuber aestivum Vittad. orchard: composition, host influence and species replacement. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 76: 170-184.

Chevalier G, 2009. The truffle of Europe (Tuber aestivum Vitt.): ecology and possibility of cultivation. In: First Conference on the European Truffle Tuber aestivum/uncinatum (Centre of Biodiversity, ed). University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Chevalier G, Frochot G, 1997. La truffe de Bourgogne, Tuber uncinatum Chatin. Petrarque, Levallois-Perret, France.

García-Montero LG, Kuyper T, Moreno D, Monleon V, Myrold D, Trappe J et al., 2014. Could ectomycorrhizae perform "ecosystem engineering" on the host plant’s rhizosphere? A possible process associated to the calcium carbonates and oxalates. In: Micosylva+ Conference in Cataluña. Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya, Monasterio de Poblet, Spain.

García-Montero LG, Díaz P, Di Massimo G, García-Abril A, 2010. A review of research on Chinese Tuber species. Mycol Progress 9: 315-335.

García-Montero LG, Díaz P, Martín-Fernandez S, Casermeiro MA, 2008. Soil factors that favour the production of Tuber melanosporum carpophores over other truffle species: A multivariate statistical approach. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil and Plant Science 58: 322-329.

García-Montero LG, Manjón JL, Pascual C, García-Abril A, 2007. Ecological patterns of Tuber melanosporum and different Quercus Mediterranean forests: Quantitative production of truffles, burn sizes and soil studies. Forest Ecology and Management 242: 288-296.

García-Montero LG, Quintana A, Valverde-Asenjo I, Díaz P, 2009 Calcareous amendments in truffle culture: a soil nutrition hypothesis. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41: 1227-1232.

Granetti B, De Angelis A, Materozzi G, 2005. Umbria, terra di tartufi. Regione Umbria, Terni, Italy.

Hall I, Yun W, Amicucci A, 2003. Cultivation of edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms. Trends in Biotechnology 29: 433-438.

Montecchi A, Sarasini M, 2000. Funghi ipogei d'Europa. Associazione Micologica Bresadola (eds), Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Oria JA, 1989. Silvicultura y ordenación de montes productores de hongos micorrizógenos comestibles. Boletín de la Sociedad Micológica de Madrid 13: 175-188.

Oria JA, 1991. Bases para la selvicultura y evaluación de montes productores de hongos micorrizógenos comestibles. Montes 26:48-55.

Pacioni G, 1987. El cultivo moderno y rentable de la trufa. De Vecchi, Barcelona, Spain.

Plattner I, Hall I, 1995. Parasitism of non host plants by the mycorrhizal fungus Tuber melanosporum. Mycological Research 99: 1367-1370.

Pomarico M, Figliuolo G, Rana G, 2007. Tuber spp. biodiversity in one of the southernmost European distribution areas 16: 3447-3461.

R Core Team, 2013. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL

Ramsey FL, Schaffer DW, 1997. The Statistical Sleuth. Duxbury Press, Belmont, USA.

Riousset L, Riousset G, Chevalier G, Bardet ME, 2001. Truffes d'Europe et de Chine. INRA, Dijon, France.

Rivas-Martínez S, 1987. Memoria del mapa de series de vegetación de España. I.C.O.N.A. (ed), Madrid, Spain.

Stobbe U, Egli S, Tegel W, Peter M, Sproll L, Büntgen U, 2013. Potential and limitations of Burgundy truffle cultivation. Mini-Review. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97: 5215-5224.

Wang G, Li Y, Li D, Tang Y, 2008. Determination of 5 alpha-androst-16-en-3 alpha-ol in truffle fermentation broth by solid-phase extraction coupled with gas chromatography-flame ionization detector/electron impact mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B -Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences 870: 209-215.

Wedén C, Pettersson L, Danell E, 2009. Truffle cultivation in Sweden: Results from Quercus robur and Corylus avellana field trials on the island of Gotland. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 24: 37-53.

Zambonelli A, Rivetti C, Percudani R, Ottonello S, 2000. TuberKey: A delta-based tool for the description and interactive identification of truffles. Mycotaxon 74: 57–76.

DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014232-05112