Characterization of Morphology, Volatile Profiles, and Molecular Markers in Edible Desert Truffles from the Negev Desert

Madhu Kamle, Einat Bar, Dalia Lewinsohn, Elinoar Shavit, Nurit Bejerano, Varda Kagan-Zur, Zeev Barak, Ofer Guy, Eliyahu Zaady, Efraim Lewinsohn, Yaron Sitrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T. nivea were 1-octen-3-ol and hexanal; however, volatiles of the latter species further included branched-chain amino acid derivatives such as 2-methylbutanal and 3-methylbutanal, phenylalanine derivatives such as benzaldehyde and benzenacetaldehyde, and methionine derivatives such as methional and dimethyl disulfide. The least aromatic truffle, P. lefebvrei, contained low levels of 1-octen-3-ol as the main volatile. Axenic mycelia cultures of T. boudieri displayed a simpler volatile profile compared to its fruit bodies. This work highlights differences in the volatile profiles of desert truffles and could hence be of interest for selecting and cultivating genotypes with the most likable aroma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2977-2983
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2017


  • Helianthemum sessiliflorum
  • Picoa lefebvrei
  • Terfezia boudieri
  • Tirmania nivea
  • desert truffles
  • volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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