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Evaluation of Morphology, Cytology and Mycorrhizal Relationships of Desert Truffles (Terfezia boudieri) in Iran

Author(s): Ali Ammarellou | Hosein Saremi | Fahretin Gucin

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1028-8880

Volume: 10;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 1486;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Terfezia | mycorrhizal associations | sedges

Wild edible fungi are collected for food and to earn money in more than 80 countries. In one of these countries, Iran, several species of edible truffle can be found growing in Bandar-e Abbas, Tabriz, Qazvin and Zanjan provinces. They are normally harvested during mid-winter and early spring, particularly from January to March. Experinced harvesters identify the location of the truffles from crevices that appear in the surface of the soil above the truffles. A yellowish species grows solitary in the soil, is about the size of a large potato and has affirm texture. This species forms 5-10 cm below the soil surface and is yellowish inside. The truffles that had been collected from these areas were investigated in laboratories. Cytological evaluations showed that each ascus contains 8 ascospores. According to morphologic and cytological characteristics, this species was identified Terfezia boudieri. This species is not ectomycorrhizal with trees. Because the vegetation in the area consists of moss, lichen and perennial sedges. The field and laboratory studies showed that Kobresia bellardii have ectomycorrhizal associations with Terfezia boudieri in studied areas.
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