Tuber oligospermum (Ascomycota) is an edible truffle growing in some Mediterranean countries. In Morocco, this truffle is regularly harvested and it is exported to Italy. Although T. oligospermum produces fruiting bodies of good quality, in Italy, it is fraudulently passed off as the most precious Italian white truffle (Tuber magnatum) and “bianchetto” truffle (Tuber borchii). In this work, a specific primer able to discriminate T. oligospermumfrom T. borchii and T. magnatum by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was designed and tested for selective amplifications. Moreover, T. oligospermum ectomycorrhizas were obtained under greenhouse conditions by spore inoculation of Quercus robur seedlings and their morpho-anatomical characters were described and compared with those of T. borchii and T. magnatum. The degree of T. oligospermum root colonization was higher than that obtained for the other 2 truffle species but differences in mycorrhizal morphology were only found in terms of cystidia type and dimensions. Our results suggest that, T. oligospermum cultivation might represent an interesting agricultural activity for North African countries.
Key words: Internal transcribed spacer (ITS), mycorrhizal morphotyping, molecular identification, Tuber oligospermum, Tuber borchii, Tuber magnatum, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
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