Strain: Morchella rufobrunnea AM-G214
Common Names: Morel, Amigasatake (羊肚菌), Morille, Spugnolo, Сморчо́к
Morchella rufobrunnea is a distinct species, which was first described by Gastón Guzmán and Fidel Tapia in Vera Cruz, Mexico where it was found growing on a road side. Since, it has been found growing along coastal California and Oregon in winter and spring. This species is easily distinguished by its reddish-brown to reddish-orange surface when bruised, hence the name rufobrunnea. It also has a twisted cap when young, and has dark pits and nearly white ridges. It is one of the only morel species that can be identified to species with only macroscopic features. In some books, this has been confused with Morchella deliciosa; however M. deliciosa has been found to only grow in Europe. M. rufobrunnea is saprophytic, particularly when growing in tree-less environments, but may be mycorrhizal in wooded areas. It is typically found in disturbed soil, landscaped gardens, and woodchips, with fruiting common the year after a disturbance. According to DNA analysis, this species is the same as the morel under commercial cultivation, and is most likely the same species R. Ower originally cultivated and patented the cultivation process for. The DNA of this species can be referred to as “basal,” because it has been around unchanged since the Cretaceous period, and has no known previous phylogenic relatives, which are also true morels. All of the morels we know today have most likely evolved from something like this species, according to O’Donnell et. Al. (2011).
In the spring and fall, outdoor beds have been established for morels. This species does form sclerotia, which are widely considered the preliminary step for the cultivation of morels. Sclerotia can be obtained by growing spawn on rye for an extended period up to28 days. There needs to be a nutrient free layer in the jar for sclerotia to form. After the formation of sclerotia, spawn can be used to inoculate a 50:50 hardwood sawdust and woodchip mixture outdoors and covered with a small amount of sand mixed with a few handfuls of gypsum. Mushrooms should form the following spring. Several techniques have been developed recently for the cultivation of this species, however success has been limited, and successful cultivation of this species is in its infancy. Good Luck!
Application: choice edible.
Characteristics: Possibly saprobic and mycorrhizal. This mushroom type is cultivated by some growers with success.
Cellulose Decomposers: Hardwood Sawdust
Most popular species under cultivation are naturally wood inhabiting fungi. So, growing on sawdust is a logical choice. Sawdust is mixed with wheat bran (or another nitrogen source) at 5-15% and Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) (a buffering agent) at 2-3%, and filled into autoclavable bags. The bags are sterilized for a minimum of 1 hour at 121°C (15 psi when at sea level). Note sterilization exposure times vary depending on pressure and elevation. Finally, the substrate is cooled to at least 25°C (approx. 80°F) then, inoculated with grain or liquid spawn and incubated at appropriate temp for the species until colonization is complete.
Recommended species on hardwood sawdust:
Agrocybe aergerita, Antrodia camphorata, Armillaria mellea, Auricularia auricular-judae, Fistulina hepatica, Flammulina velutipes, Fomes fomentarius, Ganoderma applanatum, G. australe, G. lucidum, G. curtisii, Grifola frondosa, Hericium americanum, H. clathroides, H. coralloides, H. erinaceus, Hypholoma capnoides, H. sublateritium, Hypsizygous marmoreus, H. tessulatus, H. ulmarius, Inonotus obliquus, Laetiporus sulphureus, Lentinula edodes, Macrolepiota procera, Omphalotus sp., Panellus stipticus, Phellinus linteus, Pholiota nameko, Piptoporus betulinus, Pleurotus sp., Polyporus squamosus, Polyporus umbellatus, Schizophylum commune, Sparassis crispa, Stropharia rugoso-annulata, Trametes sp., Tremella mesenterica, and Xylaria hypoxylon.
History: from the Netherlands; T. C. van der Ende; rec. 2011 in tube.
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