More on Companion Cultures

MZieg1234 at MZieg1234 at
Fri Feb 10 01:07:43 EST 1995

 Ralph Arnold suggested I expand on my note of the other day
concerning primordia formation in Grifola frondosa(GF)in
"companion" cultures. The substrate conditions were similar to
those I have used for growth of many other wood-inhabiting fungi.
Grifola was expanded from MEA agar to winter wheat to sawdust
fruiting substrate. 500ml volume of wheat spawn was used per 5lb
bag. Substrate is 94% sawdust (8/2 oak sawdust/maple chips), 5%
organic wheat bran, 1% gypsum. Moisture was to the point of a
few drops when squeezed hard. Each bag also had about 1 Tbs.
blackstrap molasses. Autoclave.... Incubation is in the dark at 72F. 
Experimental bags had additional volume of companion fungus
added at the beginning of  incubation.  Bags were sealed and
agitated to give through-spawn conditions.  One species was added
at equivolume wheat spawn. The other was added as50mls liquid
innoculum.  Incubation was for 40 days, then star shaped
holes(2)were made at the top corners of the bag and all gasses
expelled and the top of the bag tied down per suggestion of 
Annette at Northwest Myc Cons. Temperature was dropped to 60
degrees at 85-95% humidity. I have heard that Asian cultivators
give GF a real cold shock-40's for 24-48 hours but I haven't tried
this .  

Both positive species interact very little with GF, that is when incubated
together the mycelium grow through one another without forming interaction
zones as do some species e.g. trichoderma.  One species that gave negative
results was sulfur shelf. Interaction zones did form here and hard raised
orange plateaus resulted( I had Fall
conditions and might try Summer instead here to mimic sulfur shelf requirement
s next time)! Both species which gave positive results were cool weather
fruiters-one Spring and one Fall. As I noted before both sets of bags gave
primordia of GF only even though control bags grew and fruited nicely.  I
have been trying dual Morel cultures(I know it doesn't make any sense
considering the published lifecycle but what the heck, this is only a weird
hobby)  but find that it overgrows so quickly that companion mycelium get esta
blished only minimally.  I will be adjusting innoculum accordingly in future

As I said before these results are PRELIMINARY and may not pan out, but given
my singular failings with GF in the past they certainly took me by surprise.
Since there is nothing patentable here (anybody is free to throw two
mushrooms in a bag thank you) I feel OK sharing this much and hope that
anyone can grow any mushroom he or she
pleases for both pleasure and profit and anything I can do to help I will.

 I would be happy to receive any comments on the above. Happy growing to all
who try.
Mike Ziegler from SNOWY Vermont.

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