Although the Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum) and Burgundy Truffle (T. uncinatum) have often been treated as distinct species, based on morphological and genetic analyses Wedén et al. (2005) concluded that these names both refer to the same species, with the name T. aestivum having priority. Previously, with more limited geographic sampling, Mello et al. (2002) and Paolocci et al. (2004) came to divergent conclusions based on their genetic analyses, with Mello et al. concluding that these are distinct taxa and Paolocci et al. concluding that they are not. Earlier allozyme studies (Urbanelli et al. 1998) also found no evidence for two distinct taxa. Paolocci et al. speculated that specific (not yet identified) soil and climatic conditions may induce T. aestivum to fruit under different conditions, which, in turn, could affect the flavor and aroma of the truffle and the morphology of ascocarps, thereby giving rise to the T. aestivum and T. uncinatum morphotypes--although single truffle-grounds (even single host plants) can reportedly produce both morphotypes.
The Summer Truffle is considered to be the commonest European truffle, occurring throughout Europe (between 37° and 57° N) and in North Africa (Jeandroz et al. 2008), although in some countries it is considered to be crtically endangered based on current limited knowledge of its occurrence. With its broad habitat and climate requirements, the Summer Truffle is probably the easiest truffle to cultivate commercially and its commercial importance is growing. (Benucci et al. 2011; Gryndler et al. 2011)
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