Neiker-Tecnalia and the Black Truffle Association of Alava are promoting the cultivation of this prized fungus and seeking to improve its quality
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development Neiker-Tecnalia and the Black Truffle Association of Alava are jointly running the ECOTRUF project, designed to promote the cultivation of the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) and improve its quality. The cultivation of this fungus, greatly valued by top gourmets, has a great potential in rural and forestry development in the province of Alava, and constitutes an excellent complementary activity to upgrade and diversify traditional agricultural and forestry holdings.
The black truffle is in great demand in the sphere of haute cuisine owing to its exceptional organoleptic properties. To obtain the best truffles, they need to be cultivated using higher quality mycorrhizal plants –characterised by a symbiotic relationship between the plant and the fungus producing the truffles–. In this aspect, Neiker-Tecnalia is collaborating with the Forestry Technology Centre of Catalonia with the aim of monitoring the quality of the mycorrhizal plants that Alavese truffle producers use on their holdings.
Various genes of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and of the bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens could be used as early biomarkers of stress due to heavy metals, according to the PhD thesis of María Teresa Gómez-Sagasti, researcher at Neiker-Tecnalia [The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development] and the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country.
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, the public body that reports to the Sub-Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, has confirmed the capacity of Chlamydomonas acidophila microalgae to absorb ammoniacal nitrogen present in the effluent generated in the digestion of organic waste coming from the agri-food sector.