[Mycology] Re: ID on edible fungus

bae at cs.toronto.no-uce.edu bae at cs.toronto.no-uce.edu
Sat Sep 2 11:47:37 EST 2006


In article <dirhf297c076bo1pvo506g1qel7qb1rsus at 4ax.com>,
Richard Wright  <richwrigREMOVE at tig.com.au> wrote:
>The fungus illustrated at
>
>http://www.box.net/public/static/x3cz7z1cji.jpg
>
>is sold at a local Sydney vegetable market.
>
>Can anybody put a name to the fungus please? 
>
>The seller says the cap never gets much bigger than shown.

It's definitely a mushroom (Basidiomycete).

How much does the seller know about the origin?  What does he call it
in English or other language? Is it collected from the wild or
cultivated?

I'm no expert on mushrooms, but the decurrent gills make me doubt that
it's the commonly cultivated species Agaricus campestris, although the
unusual small capped form makes it hard to tell.  There are at least a
dozen other species of mushroom in common cultivation, but to my
limited knowledge, it doesn't look any more like the others. Pleurotus
spp have decurrent gills, but they also have asymmetic caps with edges
that turn up.

As for the small cap form, this could either be a mutation in a
cultivated species, or due to manipulation of the growing conditions
(temperature, humidity, light exposure, etc.)

Mushrooms are often identified by the gills and spores.  If you could
keep some of these under humid conditions and let them mature further,
a photo of the mature gills and a spore print would help the more
knowledgable identify it.  To make a spore print, put a mature cap gill
side down on a piece of white paper for several hours.  The spores will
fall onto the paper in a characteristic pattern, and both pattern and
color are used in identification.

(I wonder if it could be some kind of sterile mutant that doesn't form
spores.  IIRC, airborne spores are a problem in mushroom production
facilities, causing repiratory troubles and allergies in the workers.
So even though the cap is the more desirable part of the mushroom for
consumers, there could be a commercial role for such a strain.)

I'm cross posting this to bionet.mycology, where some more knowledgable
people may see it.  Fungi were kicked out of the plant kingdom a long
time ago, and DNA studies have shown that they're somewhat more related
to animals than to plants.




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