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Tuber borchii
Fruiting bodies of White Truffle (Tuber borchii Vittadini). Credit: Claude Murat, INRA.

Within the framework of the Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative (MGI) (CSP 305) and the 'Metatranscriptomics of Forest Soil Ecosystems' project (CSP 570), we are sequencing a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse suite of mycorrhizal fungi, which include the major clades of symbiotic species associating with trees and woody shrubs. Analyses of these genomes will provide insight into the diversity of nutritional and developmental transitions in mycorrhizal fungi. In addition, genomes of species harvested on long-term observatories are providing sufficient taxonomic coverage of fungal genomes to identify and analyze DNA and RNA samples sequenced from environmental samples.

Tuber borchii -- the "bianchetto"

The White Truffle or bianchetto (Tuber borchii Vittadini) belongs to the Tuberaceae (Pezizales, Pezizomycetes). This ectomycorrhizal ascomycete is considered as the Tuber species having the widest ecological range in Europe. T. borchii associates with a wide range of broadleaf trees, including oak (Quercus spp.), hazel (Corylus avellana L.), poplar (Populus spp.), and linden (Tilia spp.), and coniferous species such as pine (Pinus spp.). It is less known that the Black Truffe of Périgord (T. melanosporum) and the White Truffle of Alba (T. magnatum), but it is becoming increasingly renowned as a delicacy in Italy, thanks to its valued gourmet quality. T. borchii can be used to inoculate seedlings for establishing truffle orchards in environments unsuitable for T. melanosporum. T. borchii is among the best-studied truffle species as it is amenable to laboratory manipulations.

The comparison of the T. borchii genome to the genomes of the Burgundy truffle (T. aestivum), the Black Truffle of Périgord (T. melanosporum), the White Truffle of Alba (T. magnatum) and the Pig Truffle (Choiromyces venosus) will provide novel insights into the evolution of the symbiotic life-style in the Pezizales, an early diverging lineage of ascomycetes.

As always, please contact the MGI PI (Francis Martin, INRA) for permission prior to the use of any data associated with unpublished genomes in publications.

Genome Reference(s)