Volume 10 Part 2 Article 41: Laboratory and Field Study of Four Kinds of Truffle (Kamah), Terfezia and Tirmania Species, for Cultivation

Volume 10 Part 2 Article 41
Year 1979
Title: Laboratory and Field Study of Four Kinds of Truffle (Kamah), Terfezia and Tirmania Species, for Cultivation
Authors: M.S. Awamah and A/ Alsheikh

Abstract:

Several types of truffles used by man as a food source since the beginning of history appear in Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, North Africa, and other parts of the world. In the Arabian Peninsula the truffle is called “Kamah”;in North Africa it is referred to as “Terfas”, which is believed to be derived from the genus term Terfezia.

Truffles are considered a delicacy in Kuwait. They are in season for only a short period of time – January to April – each year. The quantity marketed is affected by several environmental factors, such as the amount of rainfall and the density of vegetation. The price of one kilogram of fresh truffles may be as low as U.S. $7.00 during a good season and could go as high as US. $20.00 when in short supply.

At the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research a research plan for studying the Kamah, both in the field and in the laboratory, was started in February 1977. The aim of the field work was to examine the existing relationships between the Kamah and its environment; more specifically, plants (mainly Helianthemum species), soil, microorganisms, and climatic factors. The laboratory work in turn was directed toward identifying the genera and species existing in this region and studying the germination of Kamah ascospores and enriching mycelium for use in experiments on mycorrhiza synthesis.

This paper is a summary of the first year data on our laboratory and field investigations, designed to develop optimum methods for the cultivation of Kamah in Kuwait.

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