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Open Access Research

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

Federico Vita1, Valentina Lucarotti1, Emanuele Alpi2, Raffaella Balestrini4, Antonietta Mello4, Angela Bachi2, Massimo Alessio3 and Amedeo Alpi1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Crop Plant Biology, University of Pisa, via Mariscoglio 34, 56124 Pisa, Italy

2 Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

3 Proteome Biochemistry Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

4 Plant Protection Institute, Turin UOS, CNR, Viale Mattioli, 25, 10125, Turin, Italy

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Proteome Science 2013, 11:7  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-11-7

Published: 1 February 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
Tuber magnatum; Proteins; Fruiting bodies; 2D-electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry; qPCR