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Offlinebowling-name
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Cultivating Lobster Mushrooms? * 1
    #920900 - 09/30/02 07:20 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Is this possible? I know lobster mushrooms are actually Hypomyces Lactifluorum (a parasitic fungus) "infected" Lactarius or Russula mushrooms.

I found this article published in 2001; their methods aren't included but are probably similar to that of chantrelle cultivation. It appears that these researchers have had success introducing Lactarius (unclear wether from spores or culture) into a pine seedling root system, which eventually lead to stable fruiting. This part seems difficult enough but at least possible. The same techniques might work for similar species that Hypomyces like to infect.

Since this hypomyces is an obligate parasite, it seems like it would probably not be something you could culture. Speculating about natural culture or injecting ascospores directly into a host fruit does not seem worthwile either. Although, it would be cool if hypomyces could be introduced selectively...say into Psilocybe Cubensis...to improve flavor.

Do you think the technique of developing a ectomycorrhizal mushroom with pine would still work with a strain that is already infected with hypomyces; that is would successive generations continue to produce "infected" fruit bodies?

Have you seen lobster mushrooms fruiting in the same place year after year? This would be evidence of lobster-mushroom cultivation being feasable using techniques similar to those for the chantrelle. I suppose it is also possible that the hypomyces ascospores remain dormant in the area where the host mushroom pops up until they have a chance to germinate, rather than integrating with the mycorrhiza itself, but this seems unlikely.

If anyone could help or point me towards more info on cultivating any form of hypomyces infected fungi I would appreciate it. Descriptions of failed attempts would be interesting as well.


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Offlinezeronio
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Re: Cultivating Lobster Mushrooms? [Re: bowling-name]
    #921442 - 10/01/02 02:12 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I think that growing a parasitic fungus on a mycorhizal one is science fiction for now. I had a similar idea of growing Xerocomus parasiticus on Scleroderma citrinum but experiments like this are way out of reach of amateur home cultivator.

"Since this hypomyces is an obligate parasite, it seems like it would probably not be something you could culture."
Maybe... parasitic Tremella sp. can be cultured. When you clone it usually two species emerge and can be grown separately. It forms fruitbody only when it encounters host species.
Ustilago maydis (parasitic on corn) can also be cultured and I grew it by injecting spore solution into young corn plants.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Cultivating Lobster Mushrooms? [Re: bowling-name]
    #921500 - 10/01/02 03:25 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Here in Colorado Hypomyces lactifluorum is pretty much found only in one area, and it always seems to be parasitizing Russula brevipes. I have also found two other species of Hypomyces here, but neither of them is considered edible. All of these species seem to recur in the same areas year after year. My suspicion is that they infect new fruiting bodies each year, not the mycelium, but I don't know of any studies on the subject.


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Happy mushrooming!


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Offlinezeronio
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Re: Cultivating Lobster Mushrooms? [Re: ToxicMan]
    #921619 - 10/01/02 05:32 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Here is an interesting site about Hypomyces:
http://nt.ars-grin.gov/taxadescriptions/hypomyces/index.cfm?hasVisited=yes

Hypomyces lactifluorum has been found on Russulas, Lactarius, Cantharellus, Agaricaceae and even on soil and quercus (oak).

They can be cultured on regular oat meal agar:
Hypomyces boletiphagus


They have few cultures and medium descriptions here, but not lactifluorum:
http://www.dsmz.de/species/gn304558.htm



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Offlinebowling-name
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Re: Cultivating Lobster Mushrooms? [Re: zeronio]
    #923370 - 10/01/02 06:59 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the info. I contacted a number of mycologists about this since I posted. So far the only respose I have received was from J.M. Olivier in France. He also seems to think it is pretty much a pipe dream:

"The lobster mushroom is known in France but it was never studied (and not
consumed). I get informations during a meeting in Canada. Hypomyces is a
parasitic species growing on Russula and Lactarius. It is the association
between the two fungi which is consumed. It is not possible to grow
artificially the hosts Lactarius or Russula which are symbiotic fungi...
"

I'll post any other information as it comes along.


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