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I first saw a show on the food network that got me interested in truffles then I did a little research and now I want to try growing some... I know that it's "impossible" to cultivate truffles because they growing in a mutual relationship with tree roots or something like that, but I'd still like to try. Even if I failed in getting them to grow in the "lab" I could still try an outdoor project. I was hoping someone could direct me to a spore lender where I could get truffle spores (if one even exist)?
Definitely buy a nice fresh truffle specimen to start with. Then you can pulverize it and soak the mush in a few gallons of water, you now have truffle spore mass slurry. Or you can probably clone it to agar. Several options with this. I would grow a tray of hazelnut or oak seedlings. Once you've got some nice roots developing, dip the roots into the liquid and plant in a medium that resembles the French truffeieres, pH texture, nutrients and availability. There's also a technique called spore adhesion, where you'd actually dip the seeds of the oak or hazelnut into the spore slurry. The spores stick to the seeds, and they germinate together. I think it'd be neat to make a cloning gel or something of the sort to either take hold during the cloning of the plant, or to actually paint the gel onto the roots of a seedling. You can inspect the roots under a microscope or take them to a local university to ensure they are in fact symbiotically engaged with both the truffles and the oak/hazelnut...
See this page for pictures of liquid inoculation outdoors of truffles into olive seedlings also has what the infected roots should look like;
Wow that's amazing. But it would be hard for a truffle connoisseur to whiz up a truffle for spore slurry. lol And the photo on that link showing the infected roots is way too small to really see anything.
Hopefully this sort of thing will become more widespread. Too bad they don't use that concept when replanting tree plantations after log cutting.