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Spalters Inc. #4: Second culture attempts

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Blog entry by Sodabowski posted 05-18-2011 11:17 PM 4906 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: First culture attempts update, and eye candy. Part 4 of Spalters Inc. series Part 5: Second attempt preliminary results: win »

So the admin of a french mycology website sent me several fresh pieces of Salix with lots of fruiting bodies of Chlorociboria Aeruginosa two days ago (he was also kind enough to test them for variety with his microscope, so this is an accurate naming) and I received them today, along with a little card with the nicest words written on it. AND I received my petri dishes at the very same time. Talk about timing!

So I immediately set myself into “bio geek mode” and prepared an agar culture medium, flamed my tweezers to sterilize them, and took care not to touch any inside part of the dishes nor blow towards them.

For the nutrients, having no malt on hand yet, I settled with maple syrup for a first test, to which I added a few drops of lemon juice to just acidify the medium a bit. Not having all my chemicals here doesn’t help do these kind of things “cleanly” but it’s still a cleaner attempt than the first one, and by the time I get to my southern village there will be plenty of Chlorociboria Aeruginascens in my forest claims, and I still have 20 twin-compartment and 18 tri-compartment petri dishes for the following cultures.

Searching through ebay was successful for finding premade agar malt medium, but the asking prices were insane, particularly on the postage fees. Well, next time. I’ll be experimenting with several different nutrients anyway, all of vegetal origin: maple syrup this time, fructose next time, I’m thinking of agave syrup too (though it’s a cactus, not quite the usual dish of Chlorociboria, might not work but you never know). The most certain thing is that I’ll slay down a live beech tree this summer to pump out its sap and use it for the most accurate transparent culture medium I still can imagine for these tiny beasts (Dracula gone vegan, or something).

So for this second try, it’s Canada, baby!

The contents of the parcel

Petri dish galore

Two dishes cooling down to room temp prior to inoculation with Chlorociboria Aeruginosa

First plate ready (I added an internal ID after the fact with a sharpie)

A close-up of the tiny beasts (2-3 mm diameter each, 1/8th”)

I won’t include a picture of the ascospores of this (which tells with enough evidence it’s aeruginosa) as I don’t own the copyright, but you can find it here.

Cheers mates!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!



13 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1591 posts in 1644 days


#1 posted 05-19-2011 12:35 AM

Hello Thomas
Now this is interesting.

Are you familiar with liquid culture of mycelium?
As for nutrients I have used sugar based ones, but I prefer a grain base.
To make it I clean the grain(usually wild bird seed without corn) by rinsing it well then l simmer it for 30 minutes or so. After it has simmered I strain the grain out of the water. Then add the “grain juice” to a quart jar and sterilize it in a pressure cooker. I have used straight “grain juice” and a “grain juice”/sugar mix also.
If you are into mushroom cultivation you probably know all this. If not I would be glad to help if I can.

What fungi work best for spalting?
I have considered trying to inoculate some small logs with multiple fungi to try and get some dark boundary lines. Maybe some day.
Thanks for sharing
Scott

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#2 posted 05-19-2011 12:54 AM

Hi Scott,

Never tried the recipe you’re talking about, sounds very interesting!
Not sure it could apply to this very fungus, which is a second colonizer (a white rot has to have attacked the wood before it can develop into it), but I’d love to read more about that. What kind of fungi do you grow with that mix? If it’s edibles then I’m absolutely interested, my parents want us to grow some at our countryside home.

As for spalting, I really recommend you the articles from Dr Spalting . She’s one of the best references around, if not the best and most up-to-date on that regard. Consider a freshly cut log though, if your wood is already too dry the fungi won’t eat it (they’re picky, you know, way more than birds actually). Try Trametes Versicolor with Fomes Fomentarius to name the most agressive and easy to find ones, which produce zone lines in the matter of a few weeks. I haven’t tried them yet as they were all dead when I got into the woods last time, and I was most of all obsessed with the delightfully nice Chlorociboria.
If I ever have a daughter, I will name her that.

(not quite actually! ^^ )

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

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chrisstef

10857 posts in 1664 days


#3 posted 05-19-2011 01:59 AM

It took me a couple of reads but if you guys are growin mushrooms .. im in … but i thought the edibles grew in cow crap??

Ive always wondered what made things grow and youre making things grow inside of other things .. im spellbound here. Keep us posted.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View llwynog's profile

llwynog

283 posts in 1236 days


#4 posted 05-19-2011 09:36 AM

Thanks a lot for the link to Dr Spalting. I had no idea you could inoculate wood to make your own spalted wood.
Interesting read, will keep this in mind.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#5 posted 05-19-2011 02:56 PM

@Fabrice: si tu as une forêt pas trop loin de chez toi, y’a encore plus simple. Je ferai une vidéo cet été à ce sujet :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1522 posts in 2119 days


#6 posted 05-19-2011 04:55 PM

Hi Thomas! I am enjoying following along on your project with great interest. Thank you for going to the trouble of posting this. The links were great. I used to subscribe to Fine Woodworking, but I found I hardly ever read it, just looked at the pictures, you know? So I had no idea of the resource in spalting, what an interesting site. I have very successfully made my own spalted wood, primarily local maple, that I mostly used for turning bowls. It was a little common sense and a lot of good fortune. I had nothing though with any color though. Great work!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#7 posted 05-19-2011 05:41 PM

Hey Ken, thanks for the nice words. Trametes Versicolor and Xylaria Polymorpha are the two easiest spalters for Maple and seem to produce incredible stuff. I haven’t checked any maple stand yet (my main claims are full of boxwood, some crappy oaks, some rather old and fine oaks, and a few beeches and others). I’ll try to find maples in my area to check out and see what else can be done with maple. Meanwhile, the blue suckers are in their new petri homes, we’ll see how they do :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9549 posts in 1747 days


#8 posted 05-19-2011 10:27 PM

Chlorociboria Sodabowski I want to marry your daughter then! No not I will be a really old man then…
You are nothing less than wonderful.
I sometimes see a movie with a wonderful excentric professor in the main role here and he is with no doubt by the name of Thomas Sodabowski.
Love you man, this is close to Russian to me, but it sure is interesting to follow.
Best thoughts and may the fungi be with you,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#9 posted 05-19-2011 10:31 PM

Hehehe, that nickname was meant to sound eastern european from the begining ;)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1591 posts in 1644 days


#10 posted 05-19-2011 11:40 PM

Thomas
I have not grown mushrooms in a couple of years, but when I did I mostly grew pearl oysters.
I used the liquid culture technique to inoculate bags of straw, wild bird feed and straw, or straw soaked in “grain juice”.
You could probably also use a straw/manure mix. This was all done in a fairly wet basement.
If you were going to do it outside and have tree limbs\logs you can use that would be the way to go if you can wait.
The logs are inoculated with “plug spawn”. Here is a link to plug spawn: http://www.fungi.com/plugs/plugs.html
That business is owned by Paul Stamets. You should read his books if serious about cultivation or spawn production.
Plug spawn is expensive but you can make your own by inoculating regular woodworking dowels with a liquid culture(liquid spawn).
I’ll see if I can find some good links online for you.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#11 posted 05-19-2011 11:47 PM

I’ve seen that somewhere on the web, can’t remember exactly where. Pearl oysters are quite a snap to grow, as far as I’ve been told. Now you tell me, the straw technique comes back to my mind, and I also knew about the impregnated dowels (one of the things I plan for Chlorociboria if I successfully find how to grow it in vitro first).

Do you imagine the potential for “spalting plug spawn”? hehehe :D
I’m pretty sure it could be done very easily with Trametes versicolor or Fomes Fomentarius, if there can be a way to put them to sleep for a few months ;)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#12 posted 05-19-2011 11:47 PM

@ Mads: by the way, it’s Ludwig von Sodabowski! :p

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1591 posts in 1644 days


#13 posted 05-20-2011 01:13 AM

I do think it would be possible.
I would soak the dowels in a nutrient solution of either grain or sugar or a mix.
I have stored spawn in the fridge for over 6 months.
I have heard of people storing it for years in a fridge. The cool temps slows growth way down and over time it will dry out completely. All it needs to get growing again is moisture from the substrate it is inoculated into.
Pearl oysters: Yes they are a breeze to grow. I have fruited others but I like the taste of the oyster mushroom plus they grow super fast and can out compete most contaminates. They are also very fruitful and fit well into the growing conditions I could easily provide. I used nothing fancy in terms of equipment. I have a homemade “glove box”, a homemade stir plate, and a pressure cooker. The biggest expense is the pressure cooker but you may have one already if you are making nutrients for petri dishes.
Scott

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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