Nick Malajczuk (left) hunting for mature truffles
The Western Australian Black truffle
Truffles are sub-terranean fungi which often grow in symbiotic relationships with the roots of oak and hazel trees. The Black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, is one highly prized for its distinct flavour and aroma. In 2003, the Black truffle was successfully harvested for the first time in Manjimup, Western Australia. In recent years, Doctors Mary Boyce and Ian Bennett have been involved in a number of collaborative research projects with Dr Nick Malajczuk, who has established several truffières including the one at Manjimup. These projects have included characterising the aroma profile of the Western Australian Black truffle and the clonal propagation of high truffle yielding hazel trees. More recently our research efforts have focused on improving our understanding of the truffle rot, a phenomenon where the truffle fails to mature and is therefore not saleable.