Proteins from Tuber magnatum Pico fruiting bodies naturally grown in different areas of Italy

Federico Vita, Valentina Lucarotti, Emanuele Alpi, Raffaella Balestrini, Antonietta Mello, Angela Bachi, Massimo Alessio, Amedeo Alpi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A number of Tuber species are ecologically important. The fruiting bodies of some of these also have value as a cooking ingredient due to the fact that they possess exceptional flavor and aromatic properties. In particular, T. magnatum fruiting bodies (commonly known as truffles), are greatly appreciated by consumers. These grow naturally in some parts of Italy. However, the quality of these fruiting bodies varies significantly depending on the area of origin due to differences in environmental growth conditions. It is therefore useful to be able to characterize them. A suitable method to reach this goal is to identify proteins which occur in the fruiting bodies that are specific to each area of origin. In this work protein profiles are described for samples coming from different areas and collected in two successive years. To our knowledge this is the first time that proteins of T. magnatum have been thoroughly examined.Results: Using two dimensional electrophoresis, reproducible quantitative differences in the protein patterns (total 600 spots) of samples from different parts of Italy (accession areas) were revealed by bioinformatic analysis. 60 spots were chosen for further analysis, out of which 17 could probably be used to distinguish a sample grown in one area from a sample grown in another area. Mass spectrometry (MS) protein analysis of these seventeen spots allowed the identification of 17 proteins of T. magnatum.Conclusions: The results indicate that proteomic analysis is a suitable method for characterizing those differences occurring in samples and induced by the different environmental conditions present in the various Italian areas where T. magnatum can grow. The positive protein identification by MS analysis has proved that this method can be applied with success even in a species whose genome, at the moment, has not been sequenced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalProteome Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013


  • 2D-electrophoresis
  • Fruiting bodies
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteins
  • qPCR
  • Tuber magnatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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