What is mushroom mycelium and how does it look

At present, the production of champignons and oyster mushrooms is quite a popular and profitable business. A good product is obtained from high-quality and pure culture of mycelium, which, if desired, can be grown in home premises. The detailed information presented in the article answers the questions about what it is and how to cultivate it.


  • What mycelium and its functional features
  • Types spawn and how they look
  • What are the mycelium
  • How to get quality mycelium
  • Features

growing technology What mycelium and its functional features

Mycelium or its other name, mycelium -vegetative body of fungi( thallus) - is a system of the finest branching threads or hyphae. Thallus is divided into two types:

  • substrate , designed to attach to the substrate and transport nutrients and water;
  • air , forming the organs of reproduction above the surface of the substrate.
A network of hyphae that forms thallus under favorable conditions can extend over long distances. You can see these textures in the soil with the naked eye, they look like a white cotton wool.
Tall - a network of hyphae similar to white cotton wool
  • with the help of enzymes processes cellulose, obtaining from it substances available for growth and development;
  • has the function of environmental adaptation ;
  • is involved in sporulation and is responsible for maintaining the resulting spores.
  • Mycelium is a very important organ, in addition to its transport and nutritional functions, it is responsible for the vegetative reproduction of organisms.

    Types of mycelium and how they look

    There are 7 varieties of vegetative body:

    • Film , consisting of light, tightly woven hyphae of different sizes. The main function is to attach to the substrate and obtain nutrients from cellulose.
    • Shnurovoy , formed due to the accretion of hyphae and responsible for the attachment and distribution of fungi due to strong branching.
    • rhizomorphs are powerful cord-shaped weaves of different colors that determine the resistance of organisms to adverse environmental conditions.
    • Rhizoctonia , consisting of thin and airy cord assemblies of hyphae, which serve for the attachment and distribution of organisms.
    • Sclerotia are formed by tightly woven between themselves and strongly branching threads. Like rhizomorphs helps to endure aggressive living conditions.
    • The stroma of the is formed at the points of contact with the tissue of the host plant, tightly fused with it, and designed to preserve fungal spores.
    • The fruit body is the site of the formation and maturation of fungal spores.
    Thus, the mycelium is a unique formation that participates in the distribution, feeding and reproduction of fungi.

    What is mycelium for?

    The main purpose of thallus cultivation is to obtain the crop of edible mushrooms .As soon as people realized that the hyphal aggregations perform the function of reproduction, they began to use parts of wild champignons for breeding at home. But such a product did not give a high yield.

    Over time, attempts were made to cultivate pure cultures of fungi to increase their yield and sustainability. At the end of the 19th century, France succeeded in producing such a culture of champignons grown on a special sterile substrate.

    Grown mycelium showed excellent growth characteristics. Using the technology of obtaining thallus in the laboratory, it became possible to produce cultured mushrooms on an industrial scale.

    How to get a quality mycelium

    Before you start cultivating mushrooms, you need to know where to get the mycelium. The highest quality mycelium is obtained by in the laboratories .This product can be bought in specialized stores with good reviews.

    If desired, the mycelium can be grown at home by yourself, properly preparing the substrate, providing comfortable environmental conditions and sanitation. Implement this idea is quite possible.

    Wooden chopika with mycelium in the factory packaging
    The main requirement for successful cultivation of mushrooms at home is to observe temperature conditions, light and cleanliness.

    Getting mycelium with your own hands is a suitable way for beginner mushroom growers, because it provides an opportunity to try the method on a small batch and without large expenses.

    Features of the technology of growing

    The technology of growing mycelium for the purpose of breeding champignons, oyster mushrooms, and honey agarics involves the sequential implementation of several procedures.

    The first method of obtaining a pure culture from champignon spores is still widely used for the cultivation of high-quality mycelium, called uterine. This method allows you to grow pure strong crops, yielding a good harvest and having excellent characteristics.

    The main task of the mushroom grower in obtaining uterine thallus is to maintain aseptic conditions, so as not to infect the culture with microorganisms present in the environment. Compliance with this rule ensures a high-quality product with excellent taste properties.

    Observance of aseptic conditions guarantees a high-quality harvest.

    Mature spores or part of the fruit body are planted on a substrate that is a sterile nutrient medium, wort agar, oatmeal or carrot agar .

    Environments are prepared in test tubes, and after they solidify, culture is applied there with a sterile instrument, such as a wire or a needle with a loop at the end. To comply with sterility, all manipulations produce on fire .

    The tubes are sealed with a sterile cotton-gauze stopper and stored at a constant temperature of at about 24 degrees for 2 weeks until a full-fledged mycelium is formed. Uterine culture in test tubes can be stored for a long time at a temperature of 1-2 degrees with periodic subculture( 1 time per year) to maintain good properties of the mycelium.

    The next step is to obtain the seed material from compost or grain mycelium. The highest-quality compost is formed from the following ingredients:

    • manure, horse or cow is preferred;
    • straw;
    • gypsum;
    • chalk;
    • urea;
    • superphosphate;
    • alabaster flour.
    It is convenient to use ready-made compost

    as a substrate for obtaining seed material. It is convenient to use ready-made compost as a substrate. It is placed in a three-liter jars for 2/3 of the volume, make a depression in the middle, roll the jars with a metal lid with a hole of 2-3 cm in the middle. The hole is sealed with a cotton-gauze plug and sterilized containers.

    Under aseptic conditions, uterine mycelium is planted in the compost cavity through a hole in the lid, which is closed again after the procedure. Cultivation of the sowing mycelium is carried out similarly to the uterine.

    For home cultivation of mushrooms, it is convenient to get grain mycelium. To do this, it is important to properly prepare the grain:

    1. Boil the grain in water at a ratio of 1: 1.5 for 30-60 minutes and cool it.
    2. Dry the grain and place it in jars or polypropylene bags, filling them in half.
    3. Sterilize the prepared materials.
    4. Sow mycelium, as is the case with compost.
    Pure culture has the appearance of a white fluffy bloom without green or brown spots. Ready-sown mycelium is used to grow the crop of mushrooms on substrates.

    The production of quality mycelium requires a certain skill and careful preparation of conditions. Therefore, before you get down to business, it is best to try to grow a small batch of crops and harvest the first crop. The experience gained will be very useful and will allow you to evaluate all the pros and cons of a project for growing mushrooms.

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