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I recently found a sporeworks myco bag that I abandoned a few months ago and amaizingly the thing colonated and grew a few shrooms (see pictures forum). After harvesting a handfull of shrooms I broke up the cake and mixed it with a tub of maneure and compost.
my question is, when a cake begins to fruit does the mycellium begin a new phaze in its life cycle like flowering plants do? Since a few fruits grew off this cake will it be Ok to use it to inoculate some substrate? Ive never before done anything with my growth once theyve started to fruit.
Basidiomycetes - The fruiting fungus - generally have 3 types of mycelium, none of which are perfect, or sexual (diploid) stages. We begin with a single spore (haploid / 1N) that germinates to form *primary* hyphae/mycelium. The mycelium is inherently haploid (1N) until it meets with another hyphae. If you've ever looked through that Stamets books you may have seen a few pictures of clamp connections on the mycelium. The clamp connections are ways for two strains of haploid (1N) mycelium to "mate" and form dikaryotic (N + N) mycelium. When you have the dikaryote condition the mycelium enters the *secondary* phase of its lifecycle. The fruiting phase is what's known as *tertiary* mycelium. Mushrooms are also dikaryotic (N+N) but because they are so different in form than the secondary mycelium, they get a whole new classification.
Mushrooms are also the only place where basidiomycetes enter the perfect (sexual) stage and form basidiospores (spores). On each gill are millions of protrusions that form called "basidium". A basidium is the only Diploid (2N) stage of the basidiomycetes (hence the name!). The spores undergoe meiosis and you're back to haploid all over again.
For fast colonization you aim for secondary mycelium. It's never really a problem unless you're dealing with single spores. That's never the case because we generally find millions of spores and as home cultivators we can't separate each one for germination. So inherently we always deal with the N+N mycelium.
But to answer your question, in short, yes - mushroom formation does signal a different phase in the life cycle, it signals the onset of the sexual cycle in the fungus.
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