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Terfezia claveryi
Ascocarp of Tefezia claveryi Chatin (by Antonio Rodriguez - University of Murcia)

This genome was sequenced as part of the JGI CSP "1KFG - Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya" and more specifically as a part of the Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative, which seeks to densely sample members of diverse lineages of mycorrhizal fungi to examine functional diversity of ECM fungi with a shared evolutionary history.

The desert truffle, Terfezia claveryi

The hypogeous fungus Terfezia claveryi Chatin (Pezizaceae, Ascomycota) is an edible desert truffle whose fruit bodies crack the ground, making them easy to find without dogs. It forms a mycorrhizal symbiosis with perennial and annual Helianthemum species (Cistaceae) in alkaline soils and is widespread throughout semiarid and arid areas in the Mediterranean Basin as well as in the Near and Middle East. It was the first desert truffle species cultivated in Spain (in 1999), using Helianthemum almeriense as the principal host plant. It has a good taste and unique texture, high antioxidant activity and medicinal properties against many bacteria. T. claveryi forms an "ectendomycorrhiza continuum" with intra- and intercellular hyphae, which are not always observed together in the same root cross section, but always occur along the same root. There is no clear cut-off between the two types of hyphal colonization, although it is clear that the availability of water modifies the relative amount of intra- and intercellular hyphae along this morpho-anatomical continuum - the scarcer the water, the more intracellular colonization. The presence of T. claveryi in Helianthemum roots is essential for the plant to survive. An aquaporin (TcAQP1) from T. claveryi, with high water and CO2 conductivity, has been identified, whose expression increases as mycorrhizal plant photosynthesis decreases, but only in drought conditions. T. claveryi genome sequence will facilitate the characterization of gene networks required for the establishment and maintenance of this symbiosis, the formation of fruit bodies and how climate change might affect the biology of this fungus.

Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished CSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the CSP master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

Genome Reference(s)