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Home • Picoa lefebvrei Pl1701 v1.0
Picoa lefebvrei [Image credit: AsunciĆ³n Morte]
Picoa lefebvrei [Image credit: Asunción Morte]

In the "1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya" project (CSP1974), we aim to sequence additional sampling of genomic diversity within keystone lineages of plant-interacting fungi and saprophytic fungi that are of special ecological importance for understanding terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, comparative genome analysis with saprotrophic, mycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific and conserved adaptations associated with each fungal lifestyle.

Picoa lefebvrei PI1701

Picoa species produce edible hypogeous ascomata that can be found in semi-arid and desert ecosystems of most countries around the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. They establish ectendomycorrhizal associations with several xerophytic host plants in the Cistaceae family, especially those in the genus Helianthemum in alkaline soils (1). These plants and their associated fungi may play a major role in the maintenance of Mediterranean shrublands and grasslands and help prevent erosion and desertification. The sequenced species Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire is characterized by its semi-arid bioclimatic origin and putative annual and perennial host plants (2). This species shares habitats and host plants with Terfezia claveryi, another edible desert truffle, but it fruits earlier in spring and is not as affected by severe drought as T. claveryi in forming truffles and in the growth of its mycelium (3). In addition to its high content of protein, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants make it highly valued as a food (4). This makes it a valuable species to grow in semi-arid and arid areas on a wide range of soil types. The P. lefebvrei genome sequence will reveal factors required to mediate sexual reproduction and to improve our understanding of the interaction between this desert truffle and its host plants.

Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished CSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the CSP master paper(s).


  1. Gutiérrez A, Morte A, Honrubia M (2003) Morphological characterization of the mycorrhiza formed by Helianthemum almeriense Pau with Terfezia claveryi Chatin and Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire. Mycorrhiza 13(6):299-307. doi: 10.1007/s00572-003-0236-7.
  2. Zitouni-Haouar Fel-H, Alvarado P, Sbissi I, Boudabous A, Fortas Z, Moreno G, Manjón JL, Gtari M (2015) Contrasted Genetic Diversity, Relevance of Climate and Host Plants, and Comments on the Taxonomic Problems of the Genus Picoa (Pyronemataceae, Pezizales). PLoS One 10(9): e0138513. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138513.
  3. Navarro-Ródenas A, Lozano-Carrillo MC, Pérez-Gilabert M, Morte A (2011) Effect of water stress on in vitro mycelium cultures of two mycorrhizal desert truffles. Mycorrhiza 21(4):247-53. doi: 10.1007/s00572-010-0329-z.
  4. Murcia MA, Martínez-Tomé M, Jiménez AM, Vera AM, Honrubia M, Parras P (2002) Antioxidant activity of edible fungi (truffles and mushrooms): losses during industrial processing. J Food Prot. 65(10):1614-22. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-65.10.1614.