Chapter

Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms

Volume 34 of the series Soil Biology pp 3-16

Date:

Laying the Foundations

  • Ian R. HallAffiliated withTruffles and Mushrooms (Consulting) Limited and Edible Forest Fungi New Zealand Limited Email author 
  • , Alessandra ZambonelliAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Università di Bologna

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Abstract

There are more than 1,000 species of edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms with some commanding very high prices on international markets. Despite this, only the most sought-after species have attracted the attention of scientists. These include species of truffles (Tuber spp.), boletes (Boletus edulis sensu lato) and chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.). While some of this research has explored their cultivation, the vast majority conducted in the 1990s and 2000s has been simply directed towards basic taxonomic studies and the search for new knowledge and understanding regarding their ecology and growth. This chapter provides a background on edible ectomycorrhizal mushroom research, discusses early methods used for the cultivation of ectomycorrhizal truffles and mushrooms, outlines the relationship between edible mycorrhizal mushrooms and other soil microorganisms and generally lays the foundation for the chapters to come.