taxonomy/physiology teachers

Lisa Vaillancourt lvaillan at MOOSE.UVM.EDU
Thu Sep 1 11:37:06 EST 1994

To Nancy Keller:

For a representative heterobasidiomycete, how about corn smut (Ustilago
maydis), which is plentiful in the field at this time of year?  I have
never worked with it personally, but it is apparantly not difficult to grow
in its sporidial form, and one can do matings and demonstrate the
transformation from sporidial to dikaryotic mycelial forms on artificial
media.  For more information and appropriate strains, maybe you can contact
Jim Kronstadt in Vancouver.  And for a representative homobasidiomycete,
may I suggest Schizophyllum commune?  Although it is not technically a
plant pathogen, it can infect wounded apple trees and cause quite serious
economic losses, and it is similar to other basidiomycetes, eg. Fomes spp.,
that cause important wood rot and decay diseases of forest trees. 
Schizophyllum is very easy to grow and to mate on artificial medium,
requiring only two or three weeks for completion of its life cycle.  A
compatible mating quickly results in the production of numerous attractive
fruiting bodies (mushrooms) on agar plates.  If you are interested in using
Schizophyllum in your class, get in touch with me (at my E-mail address
above) and I can certainly send you appropriate strains and more

Lisa Vaillancourt   

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