|hyphae (hí - fee) plural: the threads that form the body of a fungus (mycelium)|
|mycelium (my - sée - lee - um): see hyphae|
|mycorrhiza (my - koh - rý - zuh) singular; mycorrhizae (my - koh - rý - zee) plural: a beneficial combination between a fungus and a living plant root|
|Nomenclature (nō - mən - klā'chər) a system of names or terms as used by an individual or community, especially those used in a particular science (scientific nomenclature).|
|symbiosis (sim - by - óh - sis) singular; symbioses (sim - by - óh - sees) plural: a partnership formed between two living organisms.|
Mushrooms need water for their fruit to "grow". That is why a saucer and a humidity tent is included with Mushroom Kits TM.
Mushrooms have no skin so they can lose water to the atmosphere very easily. That is why they grow in high humidity (lots of water vapor in the air) conditions. If the humidity is too low the cells lose water faster than it can be "pumped" in and the immature mushroom dries up and dies.
Mushrooms love all the water they can get? NO! Mushrooms need to breath just like humans do, except they do not have lungs. Mushroom cells exchange gases directly with the atmosphere. If the body of the mushroom is submerged in water it is comparable to drowning. No oxygen can be exchanged, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria which do not need oxygen to thrive) build up, and the mushroom is choked to death.
It is almost the same with the mushroom fruit. If it is too dry they lose too much water and desiccate. However, if it is too wet - the humidity is too high - the excess water prevents any gas exchange and the developing mushroom chokes off.
Like most organisms without thermal regulation (they can not control nor maintain their body temperature), mushrooms grow faster when it is warmer. Try measuring the growth rates of the same variety of mushrooms in a Mushroom Pot at different temperatures. The Trumpet Royale Mushroom Kit produces a good mushroom to work with.
Once the pinheads (young mushrooms that look like a fat white pencil tip) form, you could measure the length of the young mushroom every 4 or 8 hours. If you measured growth rates at 60 F, 70 F, and 80 F would find a marked difference in growth rates. If the temperature is too low, the mushroom will grow very slowly or not at all. If the temperature is too high, most likely the mushroom will die.
A mushroom produces spores instead of seeds. Fungi are sessile (immobile). Unlike animals, they cannot walk or fly to new habitats. Their immobility generally leaves only two ways for fungi to extend their range: they can grow into an adjoining area, or disperse spores or seeds. Most fungal spores are single cells. They can travel beyond the physical limits of their parent into more distant territory. The spore are produced on the gills you can see on the underside of the mushroom. These spores are microscopic and can only be seen under a microscope. However, each mushroom produces hundreds of thousands of spores, and this mass of spores is easy to see. With a little ingenuity you could figure out a way to "count" how many spores one mushroom can produce...
Pick a large mushroom off your Mushroom PotTM and place it gills down it on a dark piece of paper. Keep it at room temperature in a low humidity area. If the mushroom is very mature you may see a "spore print" of the gills in an hour or so. It may take a less mature mushroom several hours or overnight to produce this print. Each line you see is made up of mounds of microscopic spores.
With a microscope and a little work and fine motor coordination you can check to see if mushrooms really grow by cell enlargement.
Take a sample of the mushroom as soon as the pin head is visible. Section as thinly as possible with a brand new razor blade, stain you section and measure the cell diameter under a microscope.
As the mushroom grows, take sections from the stalk.
|Microscope slides & cover slips.|
|Very sharp razor blade.|
|Basic supplies for preparing material for microscopy.|
Click here for Mushroom Log Kits grow mushrooms as easily as growing a potted plant.
Educator's Mushroom Growth Kits Everything you need to bring fungi into your classroom.
|Let's Grow Mushrooms! - 2 DVD Set
by Marc Keith
How to Grow Mushrooms:
A complete hands-on guide to cultivating edible and medicinal mushrooms at
home or school! This 2 DVD set is extremely comprehensive and easy to
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Click Here for: Mushrooms and Health - On Line Article
Mushroom Hunting can be dangerous. In August 2012 an article came out: Mushroom Hunting Claims 18 Lives In 10 Days (They died after steep falls down Alpine slopes! )
A bountiful Italian mushroom season has turned deadly,
claiming the lives of at least 18 people in recent weeks.
According to Italy's La Repubblica newspaper, mushroom seekers have been so relentless in their pursuit of their favorite fungi, they have been abandoning safety procedures -- donning camouflage and hunting in darkness in an effort to scout remote, highly-coveted troves, Reuters reported.
"There is too much carelessness," Gino Comelli, head of the Alpine rescue service in northwest Italy's Valle di Fassa, is quoted as saying. "Too many people don't give a darn about the right rules and unfortunately this is the result."
Eighteen people have died in just a 10-day period. Many of them had forgone proper footwear, clothing and equipment and died after steep falls down Alpine slopes.
According to the Telegraph, the most recent case involved a 65-year-old woman who plummeted 40 meters to her death near the town of Sondrio, not far from the Swiss border.
Mushroom-hunting remains an extremely popular pastime not just in Italy but throughout much of continental Europe. This summer's mix of heavy rains and hot sunshine have produced a bumper crop of mushrooms in Italy this season.
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