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Registered: 01/20/00
Posts: 223
Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92342 - 02/07/00 09:36 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

Sounds good to me, It's nice to know that others, yourself and workman included, are trying to preserve strains. When something like the Matias Romeo has severely degraded from its original *ummph* because people continually grow it out on rice cakes. Furthermore, I encourage others to experiment in different substrates. For the mere fact that in nature, you would never see a Psilocybe Cubensis fruiting rice flour of all things, it likes dung! Well of course, dung isn't an option for all of us, but you can get compost or make your own from kitchen scraps. I mean, come on guys, you would think that with all the people that cultivate in on the net, that some of us would be concerned about preservation of species. What Ryche says about the difference in species between birdseed and rice is true. On the other hand, when you look at the difference between wheat straw innoculated with rye and birdseed, you notice a huge difference. I'm currently studying the correlation of not only the nutritional values of the substrate in correlation to fruit size/potency, but also the cell structures of the substrates. In that, I've noticed that Cubensis, when grown on straw, has a nice golden color, very similiar to the pigment in straw. And also the substrate turns from a brownish color, to almost a whitish yellow when its done fruiting. Well thats all for now.

BTW- I'm not gone, I'm lurking in search of things that actually matter to me, rather then becoming frustrated. If I post a tek, well I don't really care much anymore if people use it or not. I've given up on caring, but I still want to spread the knowledge.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92344 - 02/07/00 10:08 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

I agree whole-heartedly. The strains that are now on the market are pretty much inferior (especially those of Tampensis and anything by PF). People fruit and clone these strains too often, and before you know it, this interbreeding causes great harm to a strain. Tampensis, for example, is so inbred that is has lost almost all of its ability to drop spores. Ideally, the best thing to do would be to find a wild strain, culture it, and store it for future improvement, but it is such a rare mushroom that that is impossible. I'd like to speak to anyone skilled in mycology (Workman, I'm looking your way) who could help me preserve and strengthen these species so others can enjoy them. I'm also interested in writing a short FAQ outlining the responsibility that mycophiles have towards their mushrooms and give them an idea of the damage that sucessive cloning (I think?) and also multi-spore innoculation can have on the quality of a strain. Inbreeding is only healthy for a generation, then the recessive genes become more apparent, and thats when the mutations and sickly fruits start.
My god...I'm rambling like a fool. Please forgive me. Anyway, I think you've got an idea of my strange little strain purity fetish, so anyone who can contribute to this future Tek...I'd be most appreciative.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92345 - 02/07/00 10:24 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

I agree with all of you. I've never dealt with multi-spore innoculations. I always grow out on agar and isolate a rhyzomorphic mycelium that shows dominant growth characteristics. I don't have a lab but if I did I'd be forcing agar plates to fruit and counting the pinheads much like Stamets suggests in a couple of his texts. It is definately worth while preserving the species.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92346 - 02/08/00 09:55 AM (16 years, 8 months ago)

Here is the problem:

Most of the strains we're dealing with at this time are fairly domesticated. This means that they are quite homozygous in nature. What you should do is look for a strain that is quite new to the "scene". Ryche has quite a few, he sent me a bunch a little while ago that mushroom john printed for him. These original wild prints would be great base for such experiments.

Talk to Ryche and see if he'll send you one, I don't know if he has any right now. I might be willing to part with part of a print, email me for details. (no, I'm not saying $$ as details, I don't do that)

On a seperate concept...
What would be *better* for the community is cross breeding the species that we already have. Doing this is highly dificult and requires more equiptment and time. Basically... you dilute your spore water 100x than normal, then you let them grow out "non-sexually" for a long time. Do that with two strains, then take the two "non-sexual" pieces from two seperate strains, and put the extremely close to eachother on a petri. You might need a microscope to accomplish this, I've never tried it, though I've toyed with the idea.

Sounds like the # of petris you've got is a great start. Are those plastic?, if you're going to be really doing this, you might want to get some pyrex as you burn through them really quickly.

(Shit I don't even know how many I went through when I was selecting for storage)

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Registered: 11/24/98
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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92347 - 02/08/00 11:11 AM (16 years, 8 months ago)

Tell me if this is true.If you grew
them muti-spore germin.And pick the one that shows the best biggest spore produceing mushroom,and cloned it.It would only be good for that generation.When you grew the clone out you would have to take a spore print
and could not clone again.You could but
it's not good for the strain.Right?????

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92348 - 02/08/00 07:17 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

The test tubes are a hard plastic, and I have 400 plastic and 100 glass petris. What's great is that my grandfather and uncle are both chemists...and I'm probably going to become one myself. They sold me all of this surplus equipment for $50 because their lab was getting rid of it. Nice!

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92349 - 02/08/00 07:57 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

I dont know anything about the non edible species, but assume their sexual orientation is similar to the edibles. (Oyster, Straw mushrooms, Shiitake, etc.)
Breeding the Basidiomycetes is tricky business. Mushrooms are haploid throughout most of their life cycle, while plants and animals have diploid cell nuclei, except in reproductive gametes, ( the exact opposite of the mushrooms.)
A single spore germinates into a haploid homokaryotic mycelium. Two compatible homokaryotic mycelia then exchange nuclei thru hyphal fusion (plasmogamy) This produces a heterokaryotic dikaryon which is capable of fruiting. Each cross must be then be grown out and tested for fruitbody size, taste, color, shelf life, etc. This is a very tedious process, as u are searching for the top 1% of your new substrains and will have to discard the other 99%. This is not economically feasible for the individual hobbyist. Your better off buying a known strain from commericial developers.
My all time favorite strain is the Pink Oyster from Stamets. This is the easiest and fastest growing edible strain I've seen. I rate the taste just below the morel.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92350 - 02/09/00 03:53 AM (16 years, 8 months ago)

Maybe I should state something real quick here too. There is a reason why when you order a strain from Stamets he gives you mycelia, and not spores. The spores will produce whacked strains, but the mycelia which is dikaryotic as fuzzy pointed out will always produce the same setup.

Ps. Cub is a very forgiving mushroom species though, not nearly as much a pain in the ass as the edibles. I'm not sure if it uses the same breeding methodology as the ones you mentioned, for these are all polypores...

Which essentially means that they don't have "real" gills which produce spores. But rather their flesh sort of releases spores. As you move up the evolutionary trail mushrooms look more and more like our fully gilled bros the ps. cub.

i.e.: Reishi... nothing that even looks like gils
Shitake: appears like it has gills, but it doesn't, it's a polypore.

Anyhow... I'd have to look it up but it is possible that they are different. In essence when a spore germinates it sends out a small strand of mycelia called a monokaryotic mycelia. It grows VERY slowly... it finds another monokaryotic piece, and mates. The result is dikaryotic mycelia that grows very rapidly.

The bitch about some edible species is that sometimes it will mate with a spore that is incompatible. Which means it might grow vigorously, but not fruit. Ps. Cubs don't show this behaviour, so my money is on it's a different type of mating...

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92351 - 02/09/00 09:09 AM (16 years, 8 months ago)

Oh outofthisworld, but they do show that type of behavior indeed. A spore does in fact grow a monokaryotic hyphae which then mates with another hyphae to produce dikaryotic mycelia. However, many of these matings are "illegitimate" as they are formed from incompatible hyphae.
This is why a pure isolated strain fruits much more than a multi-spore innoc. Using isolated strains (btw cloning is the easiest way to isolate strains) is the easiest way to increase yield without changing any of the other variables.
Kodama, from recent conversations with shroom-mage, I would recomend fruiting directly off of agar to isolate strains. Basically, just expose a colonized multi-spore agar plate to fruiting conditions, and clone the first and best looking fruits. Only a few petris will fruit at first, then more as your substrains develop. Use these cloned cultures to take prints and repeat the process. Fruiting the agar directly takes the work out of isolating the strains as the resultant clones will be isolated strains. Also, it allows you to hop from generation to generation very rapidly and from substrain to substrain very quickly.
I would think that starting off with 10 or so cloned cultures would be a good variety. Keep these separate throughout all the generations, and keep track of the resultant strains. In the end, you should have 10 distinct substrains that have been selected for desirable characteristics.
Talk to shroom-mage, he can probably tell you a lot more about his process.
Good luck, and how about posting if there is any more lab clearances that you don't need.

-From a registered Mad Scientist

"From a certain point of view"
-Jedi Master Obiwan Kenobi (also a Mad Scientist tm)

"From a certain point of view"
-Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi

PM me with any cultivation questions.

I just looked at my profile and realized I had a website at one point in time on geocities, it's not there anymore and I have no idea what I had on it. Anybody remember my website from several years aga? PM if so please.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92352 - 02/09/00 02:15 PM (16 years, 8 months ago)

myco, yer rite, fruiting while still in the dish will save loads of time.What yer talking about is isolating strains from a multicellular germination. This will sometimes result in the improvement of the strain, specially if it's a wild strain. my experience with the Pink Oyster (an already developed strain) was that the spores from the (hybrid?)from Stamets never were as good as the parent strain (P1) The F1's were apparently heterozygous while the P1 must have been homozygous?(just guessing)
Once 2 or more superior substrains have been isolated and propagated, then the breeding begins. There are the genetic compatability factors to consider. These factors vary from genus to genus and between species) Usually the sterigma form 4 spores.
only one of these will be capable of mating with one of the next 4 spores. (this applies mainly to inbreeding)but also to outbreeding of diverse substrains.
To crossbreed 2 strains, put them together in a dish and see if they mate. If they look wimpy and wispy and don't vigorously grow, they are imcompatible. Sometimes in the zone of contact, a new whiter stronger growing mycelia may appear, with more ariel hyphae. This is your new substrain to be tested.

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Re: Mushroom Strain Improvement and Breeding?
    #92353 - 02/10/00 09:01 AM (16 years, 8 months ago)


I have never seen this behaviour in Ps. Cubensis. I have done many a mating on agar, and then transfered for use in jars, etc. and I've never had a non-fruiter. From what I've read this would be unusual for a polypore grower.

So you say that they have this behaviour, but I haven't seen it. Maybe if you purposefully picked the worst looking mycelia to propogate. (i.e. selectively picked all the cottony stuff)

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