Recommended Courses for the Exponential Expansion of Mycelial Mass to Achieve Fruiting

There are several courses for expanding the mycelium to the fruiting stage. Each step results in an

Figure 331. Brown spores, although released from tl le underside, tend to collect on the upper cap surfaces of G. lucidum.

Figure 331. Brown spores, although released from tl le underside, tend to collect on the upper cap surfaces of G. lucidum.

exponential expansion of mycelial mass. The simplest method for most cultivators to follow is siinilarto the classic spawn expansion sched ule employed by most laboratories. The first stage is to grow the mycelium on nutffiied agar media in petri dishes. The next is transferring pure cultures onto sterilized grain, typically in ■ -trs (quart, half gallons, gallons). At 75° F. (24° C.), two to three weeks pass before colonization is complete. Each of these "Grain Masters" can inoculate 10 gallon jars each containing 1000-1200 grams of ¡sterilized rye grain Once grown out, each gallon jar of spawn can readily inoculate 10 5 lb. bags of hardwood sawdust (wet weight 65-70% moisture). The resulting sawdust spawn ;s the last step before inoculating a substrate capable of supporting fruiibodies.

At this juncture, the cultivator has several options. Four are: to grow fruitbodi n sawdust/chip*, to grow fruitbodies on buried logs; to inoculate stumps; or to fruit Ganoderma luc iwn on vertically arranged columns of heat treated sawdust (This last method is currently under development by the author.) These fo, strateg:' s all follow the „ame expansion schedule from agar-to-grain-to-sawdust-

tn the production block.

Su gested Agar Culture Media: MEA. OMYA, FDYA and/or DFA. Uninhibited by gentamycin sulfate (l/15th gram/liter.)

1st Generation Spawn Media: Rye grain, wheat grain, other cereal grain, Fmii lie* do not for m

«»st grains except milo (a ty, of sorghum), whereupon fans of growth chir the idesurfaces

0 f the spawn conta ersand i within. If mature grain spawn is not used over-incubation results, making it difficult to dispeise the gain kernels upon si g. In this case a transfer tool such as a sterilized spoon, knife, or similar tool'; needed to break apart the spawn within prefer the liquid inoculation method of gener; ing spawn similar to tha aes< il ed in Th e Mushroom Cu ivalor by Stamets & Chilton (1983). Further, the myc ium of t is spec»read| adapts to submerg er lentation. Submerged fermentation (hquid culture) of Ganodenna lucidum mycelium is considered "t;adi.ional" in China.

2nd & 3rd Generation Spawn Media: Each unit of p mar spawn can '^e expa ded (3 cups

1 rain in 2 n j tr) int 10 (5-20) units of 5 lbs. sterilized, moist sawdust Once inoculate! L incubated at 75 ° F. (24° .. colonization is complex in 8-1 days The 10 sawdust spawn bl : cs c; e e> ^ndea into 100-200 3-5 lbs. sawdust/chip bags, which in turn, are colonized in a similar perod of time.

Natural Method of Cultivation: Outdoors on bi rin logs or stumps. Logs or stumps are inoculated via plug or sawdust spawn as described on page 34.

Fruiting Substrates: Indoors on hardwood sawdust/chips. 5% supplementation of the sawdust with rice bran or sorghum enhances yields. From my experiences, I have found that over-supplementation with rice bran, beyond 15% of the dry mass of the substrate, inhibits fruitbody development.

Recommended Containers for Fruiting: Polypropylene bottles, bags and/or similar containers.

Yields: From my experiments, yields on first flush average between 125-200 grams wet mass from 2200-2300 grams wet mass in 30-60 (90) days via the rapid cycle system. (Fruitbodies are 80% water, 10% less in moisture content than fleshier fungi.) Second flushes 25-50% of first. Yields from log/ stump culture are approximately 1-2 lbs. per year.

Harvest Hints: If polypropylene bags are punctured, a stem-less conk is produced under well lighted, low carbon dioxide conditions. With this strategy, a broad conk snaps off cleanly from a 1/4 inch hole. If stems are encouraged to form by raising carbon dioxide or lowering ambient lighting, the mushrooms can be harvested by first twisting the stem base from the substrate and then trimming debris from the stem base. At 50% rH, mushrooms dry quickly in the open air at room temperature. After the mushrooms have dried, some cultivators short-cycle sterilize their mushrooms by placing them into the autoclave. This heat treatment retards or prevents the birth of any insect larvae from eggs which may have been deposited during mushroom development.

Form of Product Sold to Market: Dried, whole mushrooms have been traditionally used in Oriental medicine. However, many other forms are marketed, including in pill, tea, and tincture forms. Ginseng and Ling Chi are often extracted and combined in liquid form by a number of Chinese pharmaceutical collectives. I have also seen cultured mycelium extracted for use in syrups. Antler forms are often preserved as works of art, portrayed in museums or temples, handed down through generations as family heirlooms, and even sold to tourists. (See Figures 315 and 316). Ling Chi is used in beers and wines as a medicinal/flavor additive is also popular in Japan and China.

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