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Home > Truffle guide. White & Black Truffles.  >  A NEW KIND OF TRUFFLES


A NEW KIND OF TRUFFLES

IN AUSTRALIA THERE IS FOUND A NEW KIND OF TRUFFLES WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE SECOND ON THE PLANET UNIQUE KIND OF TRUFFLES BELONGING TO THE FAMILY OF POISONOUS MUSHROOMS

The new kind of truffles discovered in Western Australia belongs to a new species. The discovery has agitated mushroom experts all over the world, but the specimens found are so few in number that nobody dared to subject them to a close research.

Amarrendia oleosa truffle was found in a regenerating forest during development of a bauxite mine near the city of Pert by Doctor Neil Bower, chief researcher of Department of Forestry and Forest Products of CSIRO. "These mushrooms are extremely important in ecosystems", - said Bower who specializes in mycology - studying mushrooms. "They revealed for us the processes that support decay and return nutrients back to the soil".

Truffles are underground mushrooms. Truffles of Amarrendia genus are white and have size of a dove's egg, though some specimens reach the size of a chicken egg. This was so far the only genus of truffles related to the family of "toadstools" (poisonous mushrooms).

The discovery of the new kind of truffles was made approximately a year ago, and since then Bower who was working together with Doctor Theresa Lebal from Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, published their results of researching the new kind of mushrooms in the Australian magazine Australian Systematic Botany in the end of last year. So far nobody knows how edible or poisonous these truffles are, because only a part of the specimens found was passed to scientific collections for research.

Department of Forestry and Forest Products of CSIRO has one of the largest mushroom collections in Australia - more than 12,000 mushroom herbaria.

For a long time scientists have been suspecting that there must be kinds of truffles related to the family of "toadstools", and now one of them was found in Australia, where truffles are a relatively common and frequent phenomenon. Until now 90 kinds of truffles were found in Australia, and, according to Bower, this is only 10-20 % of the total number of their kinds all over the world.

For example, in Europe there are known 50 kinds of truffles.

While nobody has performed chemical analysis of the specimens of the newly found truffles, they really have the specific smell typical for truffles. This smell is a part of their survival system - truffles rely on animals, so that they would find them by the attractive smell, dig them out of the ground, eat and therefore disseminate their spores through excrements.

In Europe pigs are used for truffle search, since they are very greedy of this delicacy; in Tasmania (Australia) dogs are used. But on Australian continent some of domestic kinds of truffles have developed symbiosis with the unique fauna of the country - marsupials, who got accommodated to eating truffles and disseminating their spores.

If the new kind of truffles is poisonous then the quantity of such mushrooms will be very small, because for their dissemination they will need only some certain kind of animals, which is not vulnerable to their poison.




 



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