Agaricus germ plasm program
Richard W. Kerrigan
rwk at sylvanres.com
Tue Mar 21 08:02:42 EST 1995
This informational posting may be freely (if faithfully)
reproduced. Please forward a copy of any re-posting or print
publication to RWK. (rwk at sylvanres.com)
1 March 1995
The first seven years of the AGARICUS RESOURCE PROGRAM
The Agaricus Resource Program (ARP) was started in 1988 to
encourage the discovery, acquisition, preservation,
characterization, and distribution of novel germ plasm of
_Agaricus bisporus_, the cultivated button mushroom, and other
closely related species of _Agaricus_. The program has been
funded annually by ten to twelve commercial, quasi-governmental
or government laboratories in the United States, the United
Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Italy, and China.
These funds are primarily used to provide bounties, an incentive
to motivate the collection and donation of viable samples of wild
germ plasm to the ARP. Bounties can range as high as $100 for a
genetically unique new isolate of _A. bisporus_. Collectors are
also reimbursed for their costs. More details are given below.
While 'Dollars-for-Diversity' may strike some as crass, it has
proven to be the most cost-effective means of overcoming the
severe genetic bottleneck afflicting resource collections of this
species. In the 1980s there appear to have been fewer than 20
independent lines of _A. bisporus_ in mainstream culture
collections worldwide, including those of commercial
laboratories. This may well be a record low for any commercially
important crop species. To judge from many herbaria and culture
collections, this species has apparently been disdained by
serious mushroom collectors (for speculation on possible reasons,
see Kerrigan, R. W. 1993. New prospects for Agaricus bisporus
strain improvement. Rept. Tottori Mycol. Inst. 31:188-200).
As for money, the ARP bounty provisions are intended to be of
potential assistance to students and practitioners of mycology,
including those in developing countries. Bounties may always be
declined by those primarily interested in contributing to
scientific and agronomic progress.
Anyone with sufficient knowledge of mushroom taxonomy (an ability
to recognize different species of _Agaricus_) may contribute
samples to the ARP, either under the bounty program (assumed) or
as gifts (if stated). Any person or organization may become a
sponsor of the ARP, receive the annual germ plasm distributions
with an essentially unrestricted right to use the material
scientifically or commercially, and receive as well updates on
what is known about the genotypes and field origins of each
isolate. Details are given below.
The ARP was originally known as the Agaricus Recovery Program.
WHAT THE ARP HAS ACCOMPLISHED SINCE FALL, 1988:
Number of samples received: 206
Number of viable A. bisporus: 157
Number of definite novel genotypes: 58
Number of genotypes known/duplicated: 19
Number of samples distributed: 174
Number of countries sampled: 9
Number of continents sampled: 4
Number of collectors responding: 32 (see thanks below)
Number of new populations discovered: 1
Number of new taxa published: 1
Number of publications enabled: 5 (see list below)
Number of bounties paid: 122
Amount of bounties paid out: $ 5750.00
Amount of costs reimbursed: $ 1272.00
Herbarium support provided: $ 600.00
** Goal for new samples received: 300 in 2000
It is difficult to quantitatively summarize the genetic novelty
obtained via the ARP. Numerous new alleles at nuclear marker
loci, and several new mtDNA haplotypes, have been found in the
collection. Ten of fourteen known mating types are available
only from ARP strains (P. Callac, pers. comm.).
My sincere thanks to the following individuals, whose effort have
placed collections in the ARP: A. Martyn Ainsworth, B. W. Beebe,
Jerry B. Burnett, Laverne Chariton, James E. Cunningham, Vincent
Demoulin, Dennis E. Desjardin, Royce Harvey, P. Heinemann, Jin
Jiankang, Robert G. Kenneth, Martha Kingsbury, Lavina MacCubbin,
(Hanne)lore Lebrecht, Pavel Lizon, Albert Marchal, Shea Moss, J.
J. Muchovej, Jack Parkin, Bruce Prior, Dana Richter, Clark T.
Rogerson, Robert Sellers, Myron L. Smith, Fred Stevens,
Christopher Thayer, Thomas J. Volk, Glenn Walker, Wang Fang-hui,
Lynn Williams, Nathan J. Wilson, Henry Young, and Kitt Scates.
Thanks also to Doris A. Anders, Stephanie Digby, Robert W.
Fisher, Lenhart Gidholm, Hans Kothe, David Porter, Richard Scrase
for interest and/or effort.
Special thanks to Ian K. Ross, James B. Anderson, Paul A. Horgen,
and Mark Spear & Sylvan Spawn Laboratory for providing overhead
support to the ARP along the way.
AND, without the sponsorship of the following organizations,
operation of the ARP would not have been possible: Sylvan Spawn
Laboratory Inc., Amycel/Spawn Mate, Campbell's Fresh Inc.,
Lambert Spawn Co. Inc., J. B. Swayne Spawn Co., Proefstation
voor de Champignoncultuur - Horst, Hauser/Sylvan Pilz AG, Somycel
S.A., Centre Technique du Champignon / INRA CR Bordeaux, Royale
Champignon, Italspawn, Fujian Research Institute of Light
Industry - Fuzhou, Penwest Foods Co., Horticultural Research
International - Wellesbourne.
PARTIAL LIST OF PUBLICATIONS ON ISOLATES IN THE ARP COLLECTION:
Kerrigan, R. W., P. A. Horgen, and J. B. Anderson 1993. The
California population of Agaricus bisporus comprises at least
two ancestral elements. Sys. Bot. 18:123-136.
Wang, Z. S., J. H. Liao, F. G. Li, Z. N. Chi, and H. C. Wang
1993. Identification of field-collected isolates of Agaricus
bisporus. Micol. Neotrop. Apl. 6:127-136.
Callac, P., C. Billette, M. Imbernon, and R. W. Kerrigan 1993.
Morphological, genetic, and interfertility analyses reveal a
novel, tetrasporic variety of Agaricus bisporus from the
sonoran desert of California. Mycologia 85:835-851.
Kerrigan, R. W., M. Imbernon, P. Callac, C. Billette, and J.-M.
Olivier 1994. The heterothallic life cycle of Agaricus
bisporus var. burnettii and the inheritance of its tetrasporic
trait. Exp. Mycol. 18:193-210.
Kerrigan, R. W. (in press) Global genetic resources for
Agaricus breeding and cultivation. Can. J. Bot.
[Four other publications on ARP strains were submitted as of
March '95. Other projects in various laboratories are being
readied for publication.]
Sonnenberg, A. S. M., C. Gere, and L. J. L. D. Van Griensven
1994. Mitochondria in a wild collection of the [white] button
mushroom Agaricus bisporus. IMC V, Vancouver.
Robison, M., and P. A. Horgen 1994. RNA polymerase-like
sequences in the mitochondria of Agaricus species. IMC V,
INFORMATION FOR FIELD MYCOLOGISTS:
CONTRIBUTING SAMPLES TO THE ARP:
As part of a program to recover, characterize, and preserve wild
germ plasm of the cultivated "button mushroom" species Agaricus
bisporus (sometimes called A. brunnescens), a bounty of up to
$100.00 (US) is offered for each living sample of a unique wild
collection which is forwarded to the address below. The reward
program has long-term funding commitments from a group of
corporate mushroom spawn producers. The germ plasm recovered by
this effort will be used in evolutionary studies on the origin
and diversity of A. bisporus, and will be conserved for future
controlled breeding programs leading to improved cultivars.
Each A. bisporus bounty will be proportional to the genetic
uniqueness of the isolate, scored for several genetic markers
(allozymes and RFLPs). Certain related species are also sought.
Full collection data are expected. The bounty scale is:
A new combination of known alleles across loci ... $ 25
A new combination of alleles at one or more loci ... $ 50
A new allele at one or more loci ... $100
A previously-recovered genotype ... $ 0
Closely related species such as A. subfloccosus or
A. subperonatus (not A. campestris or A. bitorquis).. $0-100
(depending on novelty and origin)
NOTE: in the event that genetic analysis is not complete
within one year of contribution, an upgradable bounty of
$25.00 will be paid to the collector.
Sporocarp tissue-cultures, on agar slants, padded inside of a
crush-proof box, are the preferred form of sample. They should
be sent by air mail (or express post or courier, during hot
weather), marked "Urgent - Perishable. Keep away from heat. Do
not freeze." Any customs declaration should state "Research
culture of edible Agaricus mushroom on sterile agar medium."
Clean spore prints are the next best option. These should be air
dried (no or little heat). Aluminum foil is ideal for such
prints. With old sporocarps, remove several gills and wrap the
gills in facial tissue-paper ('Kleenex'). Prints and gills may
If necessary, ARP will accept fresh, sound sporocarps from US
locations. Call first: weekdays: 412-352-1521; else (8AM-9PM
When available, voucher specimens should be dried, boxed and sent
later by surface post (Declared Value for US Customs = $0),
and/or deposited in a recognized herbarium. All materials should
normally be sent to:
Agaricus Resource Program
Attn. Dr. R. W. Kerrigan
RD #1 Box 461
Worthington, PA 16262 USA
During very hot or very cold weather please call before sending
live biological materials, in case special delivery arrangements
need to be made. Costs of sending samples will be reimbursed
promptly. Bounties will be distributed annually, following
genetic characterization of isolates. I encourage anyone who
finds A. bisporus growing away from sites of commercial
cultivation to participate in this effort. Thank you.
Richard W. Kerrigan, Ph.D. Revised: March, 1995
The AGARICUS RESOURCE PROGRAM:
INFORMATION FOR SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS
The Agaricus Resource Program (ARP) was initiated in August, 1988
as an independent (non-institutional), not-for-profit service
program. The objectives of the ARP are to promote the discovery,
acquisition, conservation, distribution, and characterization of
wild germ plasm of Agaricus bisporus and very closely related
species. Acquisition is promoted by an international publicity
campaign aimed at professional, amateur, and student field
mycologists. Incentive for contributions of field samples is
augmented by the offer of bounties of up to US$ 100.00 on
authentic, novel isolates. Genetic novelty, as assessed by
genotypic characterization at several well-studied loci,
determines the size of each bounty.
Any organization or individual may become a sponsor of the ARP.
Sponsorship is expected of each participating, independent
organization; there are no "umbrella sponsors" such as national
organizations. Each sponsor annually remits an equal share of
the projected costs of ARP operation for that year.
Participation fees are set by the ARP based on the sponsorship
support base, expenses incurred, bounties owed, and reserves
necessary to sustain operation. No salary is taken, nor is
profit intended (however, under U.S. tax law monies not spent at
year's end are treated as profit). As of this date there are ten
active sponsors of the ARP, and one host (Sylvan Spawn
Laboratory, Inc.) which covers overhead. Participation fees have
ranged between $200 and $500 per year. The ARP will normally
attempt to broaden its sponsorship base before increasing cost
shares. Sponsors will be notified of any changes to current
share amounts before April of each year.
Distribution of new isolates to sponsoring organizations occurs
each Spring. Replicate cultures are preserved in liquid nitrogen
in the ARP collection. Overseas sponsors pay an additional $15
for express post service. Sponsoring organizations are free to
use ARP germ plasm as a strain development resource, without
restraint. However, the ARP expects that no sponsor will (1)
attempt to establish proprietary rights over any particular ARP
isolate, nor (2) redistribute ARP isolates without the written
consent of the ARP. ARP does intend that proprietary rights to
strains selected from among inbred or crossbred progeny of ARP
stocks, or rights to other inventions deriving from ARP germ
plasm, may be asserted by originating sponsors, in the customary
manner. Publication of data on ARP isolates is encouraged; the
ARP should be acknowledged as a source.
A report on the bounties paid and the genetic novelty, if any,
detected in the screening program is conveyed to sponsors
annually. Sponsors joining after the first year may elect to
receive prior-year sets by paying additional shares,
or may propose more selective prior-year acquisitions. ARP also
exchanges isolates (generally on a novelty-weighted 1-for-1
basis) with non-sponsors, and distributes such acquisitions
annually to sponsors along with any gifts of isolates received.
The Agaricus Resource Program is meeting its goal of economically
and efficiently developing a new germ plasm resource base for the
commercial Agaricus strain development industry, while enabling
scientific study of this natural resource. Operation of ARP is
intended to continue indefinitely.
Richard W. Kerrigan, Ph.D. Revised and Updated: March, 1995
Richard W. Kerrigan, Research Department, Sylvan Spawn Laboratory, Inc.
1163 Winfield Rd., Cabot, PA 16032 USA
e-mail: rwk at sylvanres.com phone: 412-352-1521 fax: 412-352-4062
"Success has a thousand parents; failure is an orphan"
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