Choiromyces venosus 120613-1 v1.0
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Choiromyces venosus
Fruiting body of the pig truffle Choiromyces venosus (credits: Claude Murat (INRA))

Choiromyces venosus, the pig truffle

Within the framework of the JGI Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative (MGI), we are sequencing a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse suite of mycorrhizal fungi (Basidiomycota and Ascomycota), which include the major clades of symbiotic species associating with trees and woody shrubs. Analyses of these genomes will provide new insights into the diversity of mechanisms for the mycorrhizal symbiosis, including ericoid-, orchidoid- and ectomycorrhizal associations. A large collaborative effort led by PI of this project, Francis Martin (INRA), aims for master publication(s) of the MGI data analysis. Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished MGI genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the MGI master paper(s).

The ascomycete truffle Choiromyces venosus (Fr.) Th. Fr. (synonym: Choiromyces meandriformis Vittad.), the so-called pig truffle, is an ectomycorrhizal species belonging to the Tuberaceae family in the Pezizomycetes. C. venosus forms hypogeous, tuberculate fruiting bodies (ascomata) with a strong, distinctive odour. Gastronomic value of this whitish truffle is considered differently through Europe. This symbiotic species is associated with deciduous and coniferous trees, and prefer clayey soils.

The comparison of the genome from C. venosus, together with the available genomes of the ectomycorrhizal Black truffle of Perigord (Tuber melanosporum), and the saprotrophic Ascobolus immersus and Pyronema confluens, will provide considerable insight into the evolution of the symbiotic lifestyle amongst the Pezizomycetes, an early-diverging lineage of filamentous ascomycetes. The genome sequence of C. venosus will also provide new opportunities for studies on the developmental mechanisms involved in the development of the hypogeous fruiting bodies.