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I have read certain posts regarding the isolation of rhizomorphic substrains saying that it is useless because rhizomorphism/fluffyness of a strain depends only airflow and nutrition value of the substrate. The consensus in those posts was that if a rhizomorphic substrain is transfered to a medium containing a lot of nutrients, it will fluff up (and vice versa).
However, I have transfered two substrains of Malabar onto the same PDA petri. Although the mycellium on both transfered wedges fluffed up, the mycellium of the rhizomoprhic wedge spread much faster over the new agar than did the non-rhizomorphic wedge. This leads me to beleive that although mycellium will fluff up when presented with a nutrient rich medium, it will retain at least some of its rhizomorphic properties (thereby making the isolation of rhizomorphic substrains a beneficial activity) .
I think it's the other way around -- when I supplement agar I get almost all rhizomorphic growth. Rhizomorphic substrains are certainly better when it comes to growth rate, tenacity and fruiting potential (last one according to Stamets, at least....) but I've had mycelium that was tomentose fruit fine, too.
I think sometimes crappy media can cause tomentose growth, even if the substrain is o.k.
Your quite right - on the same substrate you will find that say on agar you might get varying substrains varying from rhizomorphic or tomentose of say a clone. But if you get a really tomentose cubensis substrain as an example and let it colonise a substrate of say 95% woodchips with a bit of wheat flour mixed with this, even the most tomentose mycelia will throw off a phenotype expression with rhizomorphic characteristics. I think (and this is only my opinion and could well be wrong) that OFTEN when an isolate pins invitro on MEA i assume - and generally it has been true - that it will fruit better than non-pinning substrains. This wasnt true of the Puerto Rican cubensis, but it worked with other cubies, most panaeolus, Baeocystis, subaeruginosa, eucalypta and a few others.
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