Genetics (Take ][)

Richard W. Kerrigan rwk at
Thu Oct 10 07:34:22 EST 1996

(Briefly:)  Empirically, some higher fungi exhibit inbreeding problems 
following one or more generations of sib-spore matings, while other tend 
not to.  Remember, there are successful haploid and/or homothallic fungi 
that are analagous to highly inbred strains.  Finally, yes, cloning works; 
it is the actual method used most often in mushroom culture. -- Rick

Thailine Matar (thailine at wrote:

: 	I posed this question regarding mycological genetics once before
: and I wasn't very clear.  Mushrooms grown *in a closed environment*
: using spore prints from one generation to create the mycelium of the
: next sounds, to me, like inbreeding.  Genetic diversity doesn't seem to
: be met and, over several generations, it seems the fungi should develop
: problems (failure to germinate comes most readily to mind).  In nature,
: this problem doesn't exist since spores germinate with spores from "far
: away" colonies (yes, I realize it probably isn't all that far away). 
: This question involves the closed environment condition *not* the
: natural/open condition.
: 	Am I mistaken because fungi are "simple enough" organism not to
: run into this problem.  If I am not mistaken, is there a method, other
: than spores from an outside source, that alleviates the problem?
: 	One solution I've considered involves cloning.  I have no idea if
: this solution is applicable to fungi but it works well with plants
: (pulling from my botanical knowledge).  From my understanding,
: mushrooms start as spores, germinate into hyphae/mycelium, enter into
: their fruiting stage which ends with spore creation.  Could a section
: of the mycelium be transferred from a fruiting colony into a
: nutrient-rich environment and begin to generate new mycelium which
: would later enter into another fruiting cycle.  Genetic diversity
: doesn't exist since these new colonies are nothing more than duplicates
: of the older colony but at least you don't get any problems 
: with nasty recessives rearing their ugly heads.
: 	There.  I think that's clearer.
Richard W. Kerrigan, Research Department, Sylvan Spawn Laboratory, Inc.		
               1163 Winfield Rd., Cabot, PA  16032  USA
e-mail:	rwk at      phone: 412-352-1521      fax: 412-352-4062
	"Success has a thousand parents; failure is an orphan"

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