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Aman, Nourin [1], Khalid, Abdul Nasir [2], Moncalvo, Jean-Marc [3].

A study of truffles from Pakistan.

Truffles are fungi that produce enclosed fruiting bodies underground or slightly above ground and lack an active spore discharge mechanism. Some truffles, particularly those in the genus  Tuber, are highly prized in several regions of the world, such as  Tuber melanosporum  Vittad. native from southern Europe which is sold for several hundred dollars a pound in the market. Truffles have been documented and studied from many regions of the world, including Kalahari Africa, the Algerian Sahara, Mexico, North America and China. In Pakistan, some truffles are known for their edibility for ages but scientific studies are lacking for this region of the world and their taxonomy is unclear although two species have been reported so far,  Mattirolomyces spinosus  (Harkn.) Kovács, Trappe & Alsheikh (earlier  Terfezia spinosa  Harkn.) and  Terfezia leonis  (Tul. & C. Tul.) Tul. & C. Tul. (now  Terfezia arenaria  (Moris) Trappe), both from Sheikhupura near Lahore. This study aimed to identify truffle specimens recently collected from two different locations in semi-arid and arid regions of Pakistan (Jhok Forest in Lahore and spate irrigated areas of DG Khan), place them phylogenetically, and name them. We confirmed the presence of  Mattirolomyces spinosus  in Pakistan and described  Ahmadea  Aman, Khalid & Moncalvo, a monotypic truffle genus morphologically distinct that classifies in the family Pezizaceae (Pezizales, Ascomycota) based on phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences obtained from the large subunit nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (LSU). Its type species,  Ahmadea  dalanensis  Aman & Khalid, is found in arid and semi-arid regions of Punjab, Pakistan, often occurring in  Sorghum vulgare  crop fields and consumed locally. Relationships of  Ahmadea, with the related truffle genera  Stouffera  Kovács & Trappe,  Temperantia  K. Hansen, Healy & Kovács,  Hydnobolites  Tul. & C. Tul. and  Delastria  Tul. & C. Tul. are discussed, as well as the presence of ITS paralogues in these taxa. This study should play a significant role in the sales of this newly discovered truffle species both locally and internationally, and possibly also foster interest in its cultivation.

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1 - University of the Punjab/Royal Ontario Museum, Botany/Mycology, 100 Queens park, Toronto, ON, M5S2C6, Canada
2 - University of the Punjab, Department of Botany, Lahore, Punjab, 54000, Pakistan
3 - Royal Ontario Museum/University of Toronto, Mycology/Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 100 Queens park, Toronto, ON, M5S2C6, Canada


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: MYP1, Mycology Posters I
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MYP1003
Abstract ID:171
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Poster Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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