Plant Diversity ›› 2009, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (S16): 1-3.

• Articles •     Next Articles

Achievements and Challenges of Rrsearch on Truffles in China

WANG Yun1 , 2, LIU Pei-Gui1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography , Kunming Institute of Botany , Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204 , China; 2 New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, Private Bag 4707 , Christchurch 8104 , New Zealand
  • Online:2009-12-25 Published:2009-12-25
  • Contact: WANG Yun,LIU Pei-Gui

Abstract: Research on truffles has made a good progress in China since the last two decades . Before 1989 only 8 Tuber species were recorded . Since then , 25 species in Tuber and 1 in Paradoxa have been identified in China , of which are more than 50% new to science . More than 50 desert truffle species have also been recorded . These results suggest that China has a rich truffle flora and might be one of centres of truffle diversification and distribution . Chinese black truffles, the T. indicum complex , T. aestivum and T. pseudoexcavatum have been collected for consumption and trade locally for many years . But they were not scientifically described in China until recently .While Chinese black truffles they were virtually unknown internationally until the early 1990s when exports to international markets commenced . This has aroused great
concern and interest in the study of Chinese black truffles . Research results indicated that T. indicum is the predominate truffle species exported to the international markets and a small amount of T. pseudoexcavatum mixed with them. Genetic and morphological variations of Chinese black truffle species are huge . T. indicum , T. sinense and T. himalayense are too closely related to each other that they are indistinguishable morphologically . The three species might be better called“the T. indicum complex”. Harvesting and trading in Chinese black truffles is a multi-million dollar industry that has created
considerable income for small rural communities and farmers . Unfortunately , natural forests and plantations in which truffles grow naturally have been damaged so much that created a big concern about their resources in danger . Protection of the precious resources is urgent ! The first truffle plantation was established in Taiwan in 1989 and produced truffles in 1996. Other truffle plantations have been established in Hunan , Guizhou , Sichuan and Yunnan Province recently . It is said the first group of truffle ascocarps were produced at the Guizhou plantation in 2008 , but the other plantations have not produced truffles yet . The production of truffle-infected trees and establishment of truffle plantations are underway and have considerable
potential in China .

Key words: China

CLC Number: