A new truffles species unknown to science has been discovered at the Arnold Arboretum.
In a newly published study, Rosanne Healy, a 2013 recipient of the Arnold Arboretum Sargent Award, and her colleagues, first discovered the European species Tuber borchii on the roots of a native red oak in the arboretum. Due to that truffle being an economically valuable and edible truffle that is native to Europe, Healy and her colleagues set out to determine the extent of the truffle colonization.
“We also wanted to determine whether other non-native Tuber species had been inadvertently introduced into this 140-year-old Arboretum because many trees were imported into the site with intact soil and roots prior to the 1921 USDA ban on these horticultural practices in the USA. While T. borchii was not found on other trees, seven other native and exotic Tuber species were detected,” wrote Healy. “Among the North American Tuber species detected from ectomycorrhizae, we also collected ascomata of a previously unknown species described here as Tuber arnoldianum. This new species was found colonizing both native and non-native tree roots.”
The team examined eight truffle species found in the root communities of Arnold Arboretum trees, including the brand new species previously unknown to science. And as Healy wrote, the new species was named after the Arnold Arboretum — Tuber arnoldianum.