Help ID'ing wild mushroom mycelia??

Kevin kh123 at BABBAGE.AAR.COM
Mon Aug 11 14:13:33 EST 1997


Abstract....
I recently obtained a wild mushroom I wanted to try to isolate on agar.
I sterilized the outside of a section of the base of the stem, and 
carefully took three samples and placed them on agar plates.  This was 
done two days after getting the wild mushroom, which was kept refrigerated 
during that time.  Several days later, I had three plates - two of which 
were composed of two life forms, and one which was pure.  I am uncertain 
which culture is the correct mycelia, and want to describe their appearances, 
and see if someone else might KNOW which one is the correct one.  I have saved 
the "details", and am just giving this quick overview now.  

Now the details...
The mushroom is Amanita muscaria (see below WHY I am interested in this).
I cultured it on MEA, which I had added some H2O2 (thanks to Dr. Wayne for
his book), which should help avoid most contaminants.  I subcultured both
of these fungi - again on H2O2 containing MEA, to obtain pure cultures of
each.  The two colonies I have observed, look like this:  

#1) One is a slower growing, pure white material, which appears friable, and 
not fiberous to the naked eye, growing radially at a rate of roughly 3 mm 
per day (at about 20 C).  It looks like it's about 1mm (or less) thick.  This 
is the culture which was the only life form in one of the first three plates.

#2) The second one is much faster growing, mostly white, with a hint of grey.  
It is a mat of fine fibers, which has a low density (i.e. most air) thickness
of about 8 mm.  Many of the fibers tend to be growing vertically, and 
with a magnifying glass, they appear to look like roots, branching into 
smaller & smaller fibers.  This mat is growing radially at around 1 cm
per day.

I suspect that #1 is the Amanita muscaria mycelia.  I would like to hear from
anyone who has seen it themselves, and could verify this.  Please don't bother
answering if you want to say what I am doing is impossible (to grow mycorrhizal
mushrooms), or complain about this specie of mushroom!

Thanks!

Kevin
kh123 at babbage.aar.com


Read on if you want to know why, and/or want to complain....

Why?  Here's why....
I am not interested in this mushroom for human consumption! Far from it!
These mushrooms are *beautiful*, and my wife works with arts & crafts projects.
I would like to try to figure out how to grow these mycorrhizal mushrooms,
either cultured, or to see if the spruce trees in my yard would take a 
liking to it.  I want to see if I can figure out a good way to preserve
their beauty, by perhaps backfilling the water content with a plastics
resin, or by careful freeze drying...  Please don't waste time telling me
that I am wasting my time - I know both are difficult, if not impossible.
Morels and truffles were "impossible" 20 years ago, too.  I want to give it 
a try, and see.  That's why.     If you do know of another artistically 
beautiful mushroom, which can be grown (and preserved) - please let me know!





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