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I doubt I'm the first person to think of this- it seems like many things that have a protective dormant form to survive dry times also have either a preference or even requirement to be dry for a while. After the dry dormancy, they are stimulated by sudden moisture/rain to come out of dormancy and start growing and reproducing. I did a search a few ways but didn't come up with anything useful.
I'm wondering if anyone has done something like this with sclerotia-forming mushrooms that seem picky about fruiting:
-Do whatever you do to get sclerotia. -Harvest and clean sclerotia. (storing with rich substrate seems like it would invite rot) -Case in dry media (Hmmmm... maybe mostly sand; 1/4 to 1/2 peat, coir, or verm. And some alkaline buffer) -Store warm and dry for a while (Days? weeks?) -Soak thoroughly with rain or distilled water, keep moist. -Drop temperature? (OK one thing at a time) -Watch for fruiting.
The dry storage wouldn't need desiccant or anything, a little humidity underground is normal even in total desert. The sclerotia themselves would provide a little bit.
I wonder if that might make for easier, faster, or heavier fruiting, especially in species from regions with hot dry seasons. In my little thought experiment, the stored sclerotia woke up and threw new mycelium when watered, and used that to rehydrate fully. They mumbled to themselves about the weather a little while like grumpy old geezers. When the 'soil' stayed moist, they started feeling fresher, and decided it was safe to start pinning, getting ready for a hot fungal fruitbody sex orgy.
I'd try it right now, but don't have any sclerotia to attempt it with. It just seems logical. Anyone already tried it, or willing to experiment? It seems like a possible way to increase spore samples.
What if dry dormancy followed by cold wet "winter" is the secret to fruiting morel sclerotia (LOL!) There's something I will be able to try soon.
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