Creating a New Strain

You may want to experiment in creating a new strain of a given species. This will require initiating sexual reproduction by germinating spores. If you intend to create a sterile culture that will serve as an inoculum for further expansion then ideally this process is initiated in sterile medium¬† such as agar media. With at least some basic knowledge of fungal biology you will earn that a spore contains a haploid nuclei and therefore requires two monokaryotic mating types to form dikaryotic mycellium. By “streaking” spores over a petri dish of agar media you can observe this process as the characteristics of hyphal development change. As the hyphae of germinated spores cross and combine dominant strains will appear as the mycellium reaching out towards the edge of the dish. At this point it’s worth mentioning why liquid culture is not preferably for culture with spores; as this same process working in 3 dimensions takes much longer than the 2 dimensions of the petri dish.

Of course, as with most matters in the fungal kingdom nuances abound, but in general dikaryotic mycellium is faster growing and more “rhizomorphic”. The task is to identify these characterisitics and then isolate and transfer a section of that mycellium to another pertri dish, and so on until you have a uniform, uncontaminated strain. This process is known as sectoring.


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