The Mushroom Life Cycle – From Spore to Fruit

By | November 9, 2020

Mushrooms are truly unique organisms. Their full potential in recycling agricultural wastes and tree stump decomposing has yet to be taken advantage. Some mushrooms like the Shiitake even boast cancer fighting properties. Oyster, Button Mushrooms (Portabello), the Paddy Straw mushroom, and Shaggy Manes can even be grown on pasteurized straw making their cultivation very cost effective considering straw is very inexpensive. Food shortages can be improved by imploring this method of cultivation in impoverished countries.

Mycology, the study of fungi, is a division of Microbiology where scientist study the interaction of mushrooms, the environment and human uses.

Most mushrooms reproduce asexually by releasing thousands of spores through their gills into the open air for dispersion into the environment. golden teacher psilocybe cubensis Every spore is capable of germinating to create a new hypha. Hyphae are masses of intertwined filaments of cells which are the morphological unit of the fungus. When a thick mass of hyphae forms it is called mycelium or mycelia. Mushroom mycelium is usually white in color with a rough, cottony texture. Root like growth is called rhizomorphic.

When spores germinate they consume the water and nutrients from their environment and begin to reproduce. The medium that mushroom mycelia grows on is usually called substrate. Before the mushroom can start to form fruit bodies the mycelium colonizes the substrate fully and when the environmental conditions are right the mushroom emerges to produce more spores.

A mushroom cultivator can take advantage of the rapid growth mushroom mycelium exhibits by introducing it into new, sterile substrates. The mycelium is so tenacious that a 10 cc culture syringe can inoculate 10 quart jars of rye substrate, the preferred medium of most cultivators, and those in turn can be multiplied up to 10,000 times their weight. As mentioned, the true potential of mushrooms has yet to be taken advantage of.

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