American Chemical Society
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Unlocking the Puzzling Biology of the Black Périgord Truffle Tuber melanosporum

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posted on 2013-12-06, 00:00 authored by Mohammad Tawhidul Islam, Abidali Mohamedali, Gagan Garg, Javed Mohammed Khan, Alain-Dominique Gorse, Jeremy Parsons, Peter Marshall, Shoba Ranganathan, Mark S. Baker
The black Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittad.) is a highly prized food today, with its unique scent (i.e., perfume) and texture. Despite these attributes, it remains relatively poorly studied, lacking “omics” information to characterize its biology and biochemistry, especially changes associated with freshness and the proteins/metabolites responsible for its organoleptic properties. In this study, we have functionally annotated the truffle proteome from the 2010 T. melanosporum genome comprising 12 771 putative nonredundant proteins. Using sequential BLAST search strategies, we identified homologues for 2587 proteins with 2486 (96.0%) fungal homologues (available from A combined 1D PAGE and high-accuracy LC–MS/MS proteomic study was employed to validate the results of the functional annotation and identified 836 (6.5%) proteins, of which 47.5% (i.e., 397) were present in our bioinformatics studies. Our study, functionally annotating 6487 black Périgord truffle proteins and confirming 836 by proteomic experiments, is by far the most comprehensive study to date contributing significantly to the scientific community. This study has resulted in the functional characterization of novel proteins to increase our biological understanding of this organism and to uncover potential biomarkers of authenticity, freshness, and perfume maturation.