Truffles Mycophagy

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Truffles are hypogeous (living below the ground) underground non photosynthetic versions of mushrooms, they don’t form a prominent stems, and their spore-bearing surfaces are enclosed. They rely on animals eating them (mycophagy) to distribute their spores, instead of air currents like treed mushrooms. Trees are essential for truffles ability to acquire nutrients and below ground fruiting habit of truffles is thought to be an adaptation to forest fires, or dry and or frosty periods, in which above other mushrooms above ground are more vulnerable. In fact a good season for grapes is a bad season for truffles.

Truffles and mushrooms are only the “fruit” of the fungus like an apple to an apple tree, and the main perennial fungal body exists as a web of filamentous hyphae in the soil. These are important to the chemistry and to the and soil life. All of the truffle fungi form mycorrhizae with the roots of vascular plants such as trees. When you slice a truffle you see the network web of spores in a mature state, each the truffle and it has its own distinctive chemistry. It is similar to the DNA of a person, and if you look at the finger of your hand you see each person own individual identity.

 

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