Tag Archives: bbc

Invasion of not so tasty truffles.

(Truffle picture from BBC.com)

The BBC (link) has an interesting article about a  Chinese Black truffle being found as an invasive species in Italy. The Italian’s and European truffle aficionados are worried that the Chinese Black Truffle will outcompete the Perigord Black truffle, which is supposed to be very tasty and the second most expensive truffle by weight, behind only the Piedmont White Truffle.

The scientific journal article (link) the BBC cites is present in the new phytologist and was authored by a lab from the “Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell’Università di Torino. Looks like the Chinese truffle species could be a good invasive species model and also economically important.

Truffles are interesting its amazing people would pay so much for a mushroom, sadly I can’t say if one tastes better than the other since I have not had the chance to try of the truffles mentioned above.

Fungal remediation of contaminated war zones

Depleted uranium (DU) from spent ammunition used in the conflicts in Iraq and the Balkans poses a health risk to the inhabitants of those regions. This paper in Current Biology from Marina Fomina et al shows that several species of fungi including one from the mycorrhizal genus Rhizopogon (a favorite subject of study for our neighbors in the Bruns lab) are capable of sequestering DU into a less mobile mineral form.

doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.03.011

Also picked up by the BBC.