How Do Mushrooms Reproduce
Mushrooms can be pretty easy to cultivate if you better understand their life-cycle.
However, without the knowledge of how they mature, it might be a bit difficult for you to grow them properly, especially in the quantity you might want.
Knowing about mushroom reproduction will invariably help you to provide them with the best growing conditions and also maintain and/or improve the quality of your strains as they grow.
So, how do mushrooms reproduce its delectable fruiting body?
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How Does Mushrooms Reproduction Happen?
Mushrooms are the outer fleshy fruiting body produced by some fungal mycelium.
Fungi are naturally heterotrophic organisms. That is, they are completely incapable of photosynthesis and unable to manufacture, on their own as plants do, the nutrients they need for growth.
They depend majorly on other viable sources to generate the carbon and energy they need for optimal growth.
Typically, mushrooms are made up of the stem (rising from the host), the cap (which grows from the stem and spreads like an umbrella), and, also, the lamellae (or gills, that's just beneath the cap).
Fungal mycelium have two mating types. Mushrooms have a sexual and asexual reproduction trait.
Asexually, the gills, underneath the cap) are like the sexual reproduction where spores are produced. They extract and/or disperse the spores into the wind. They can also be spread naturally through other means too.
Sexually, mushrooms can also reproduce with the fusion of two different filaments called hyphae (they constitute the mycelium of mushrooms).
In the next section of this article, we'll discuss more on the asexually and sexual reproductive processes of mushrooms.
Check out this cool time lapse video of mushrooms growing:
Mushroom Reproduction Cycle | Asexual vs Sexual
As I mentioned earlier, fungi are unlike plants. They do not use seeds for their reproductive process. They're also non-vascular, but have a sexual reproduction capability. Mushrooms are capable of sexual reproduction asexually, sexually, or both.
1. Asexual Reproduction
Under this reproductive process, spores are the major means by which the fungi can reproduce.
These spores are released from the gills (the slits under the cap).
You can view the spores as the smaller version of the parent mushroom. Just like plant seeds, but way lighter and smaller.
They could be released either in a reproductive sac (the sporangium) or just outside.
If you go mushroom hunting in the wild, you might have come across tiny mushrooms that are referred to as "puffballs". These puffballs look like immature mushrooms because they do not have caps, stems, or even gills.
They're fully contained in spores which eventually disperses once the puffballs are ripe and have been cracked open. The spores are then spread to other locations where they can thrive and develop its fruiting body that we all call mushrooms.
Another asexual reproduction process is budding: a process of separation by which the parent mushroom is outgrown into another cell.
Mycelial fragmentation is another method. Here, a new form is formed by splitting a part of the mycelium from the parent.
Mycelial fragmentation is another method. Here, a new form is formed by splitting a part of the mycelium from the parent. #DailyMushroom #Mushrooms #Fungi
2. Sexual Reproduction
The sexual reproductive process is done indirectly with the fusion of two different hyphae before the fungi develops its fruiting body (what we may call the "mushroom").
The hyphae are filament structures that emanate from spores.
Hyphae collected from the spores are then joined together to produce what's called gametangia.
The gametangia then combine to form diploid zygospore. The diploid zygospore undergoes meiosis and then again produces haploid sporangia which also creates more spores and the reproductive process goes on and on.
Growing Mushrooms At Home
You could also use the log process which involves getting a hardwood, inoculating them, and then stuffing these holes with your spawns. #DailyMushroom #Mushrooms #Fungi #gardentips