Reply – If I only Knew Then What I Know Now
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If I only Knew Then What I Know Now
— by patrickfiorentino patrickfiorentino
This is my first ever post on NATGA.  This is year four of my endeavor.  I will keep it brief.

First I like to give my point of view of the Truffle Industry.  Many believe it to be agriculture/ farming.  Many think, truffles to be a food.  I do not think you can survive on the nutritional value of truffles. Truffles are rich in vitamin D but I do not think I would survive on a life raft with a bag of truffles.

 I see the Truffle Industry more in line with pharmaceuticals, a drug.  Eat fresh eggs and they taste great, put truffles on them and it is the best thing you have ever eaten.  Thus my drug analogy, something in the truffles does something to the taste buds, brain etc.

If one can show they can reproducibly produce truffles you become a drug maker.  Compared to the money one can make selling truffles to establishing yourself as a drug maker, you want to be a drug maker.   So if you look at the trading multiples of pharmaceutical companies a small truffle producer is worth beaucoup as a company.

So I set off to make truffles, built a modular lab with DNA ability.  Early on we hit the jack pot. These videos best explain; (Link may not work, cut and paste)

It really is not boy and girls, as in the video. The Tuber melanosporum is a haploid genome, half a gene.  DNA sequence for identifying the Tube melanosporum mating types, is referred to as ((MAT1-2-1), (MAT1-1-1)). Since God made boys were made first we refer to MAT1 as boys and MAT2 as girls.

The T. melanosporum genome also reveals that the fungus reproduces sexually, in which two haploid cells from a single fungus — each with one copy of the genome — fuse to form the diploid fruiting body (the truffle), which has two copies.

It is a bit more complicated the matting types compete that eventually it becomes an issue.  But understanding and using this mating type competition, by accelerating it one can produce gender specific inoculated hosts.  By tracking the strains (DNA) you can isolate the trait/gene that favors sexual reproduction. The 125-megabase pair’s black truffle genome is four times bigger than many fungi. The strain that produces truffles, that has the specific genes you want.  I have a DNA voucher of every generation.

Luck and doing everything right we produced truffles in year 3.  Lots of them, my only focus was what does it take to produce truffles.  The intent is to rapidity grow the fungus in restricted conditions to single mating types per host at a very high density of root tips.

But doing it so fast something has to give!

The host suffered, approximately 4500 trees with inoculated with Perigord Black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) and Summer Burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum).  Planting trees in infinite real estate for the roots to grow it takes a long time to create sufficiently high fungi density for sexual reproduction. You call this the brule.  It is an indication the high sulfuric compound that is produced that nothing else grows.
This was accelerated by root pruning the trees. Cutting the roots mechanically, causing branching (more root tips) and limiting real estate higher density.  The result was dwarfing the tree.

So what happens when you produce lots of truffles on trees that cannot support the carbohydrate (sugar) requirement for them to mature. You get black 'primordia' a precursor to truffle production, “it dies as a baby” because there are too many of them and not enough food.

So I looked at the carbohydrate (sugar) and umbilical cord of how the nourishment is exchanged.  

If I see interest I will continue.

Patrick Fiorentino
Cell (305)588-6880