Tuber oligospermum

Tuber oligospermum

The whitish truffle (Tuber oligospermum (Tul. & C. Tul.) Trappe, (1979)) is an underground fungus belonging to the Tuberaceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Fungi Kingdom, Ascomycota Division, Pezizomycetes Class, Pezizales Order, Tuberaceae Family and therefore to the Tuber Genus and to the T. oligospermum Species.
The terms: Terfezia oligospermia Tul and C. Tul are synonyms and obsolete binomials. and Delastreopsis oligospermia Mattit ..

Etymology –
The term Tuber comes from tuber tuber, truffle in Pliny and other authors. The specific oligospermum epithet comes from the Greek oligos, little, poor and sperm, spore, seed: that is, with little seed.

Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
Tuber oligospermum is an underground fungus with discontinuous diffusion. Not very common in some areas, as in Morocco.
Its habitat is represented by warm climates of sandy sea coasts where it forms mycorrhizae with conifers, but also with Leccio or Roverella, with growth in autumn and also in spring in places with warmer climates.

Recognition –
Tuber oligospermum is recognized for having a generally gibbous and lumpy carpophore, lobed, normally suglobose in shape, with average sizes ranging from 2 to 4, maximum 6 cm.
The peridium is thin, with a thickness of about 0-3-0.5 mm, whitish in section, with the structure of filamentous hyphae, with a diameter of 3-7 pm, set, very sinuous and intertwined, so as to present here and there, in the areas where the hyphae are cut transversely, an apparent structure with rounded elements, but of small diameter.
The gleba is compact, initially whitish, then straw-ocher or beige, variegated by numerous sterile, lighter, very sinuous-twisted and fairly short veins.
The smell as a young man is not intense; agliaceo is pleasant and fruity, but in adults, who are easily attacked by larvae, it changes and becomes unpleasant.
Under the microscope, ax-like wings are generally seen with 2-3 spores but also with 3-4 spores, from pyriform to ovoid to subglobose, with short peduncle, with a wall thickness of 1-3 µm, and a greater length of 70-120 µm.
Spores are spherical, with a diameter of 24-38 µm measured without ornamentation, reticulated-alveolar with 4-5 µm high meshes, thick, 4-7 per diameter, more or less regular polygonal shape; yellowish, yellow-brown when fully ripe.

Cultivation –
Tuber oligospermum is a truffle that generally grows in coniferous forests and preferably with a warm Mediterranean climate, typically in sandy sea coasts. The fruiting period is from autumn to spring.

Uses and Traditions
This truffle is recognized not only for its macroscopic and microscopic characteristics, but also for its typical habitat of coastal areas and sandy substrates. It is a truffle of little edible value and edible especially when young.
It is sometimes sold mixed with the Tuber borchii, from which it is recognized by examining the peridium.
It is present in greater quantities in Morocco, which exports them in large quantities to Europe for the truffle canning industry as it is also traded with the Tuber magnatum.

Preparation Mode –
Tuber oligospermum is a truffle that has a mediocre edibility as raw; instead it becomes good, or according to some, excellent, cooked.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. The mushrooms from life, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is assumed for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.



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