Life Cycle

If a section of the gills is cut and examined under the microscope, spores will be observed on their surface. The spores will start to fall as the cap fully expands, indicating maturity of the mushroom. The spores are so minute that they float  in the air and are carried by the wind. Eventually, they fall to the ground, usually with rain. If conditions are favourable (optimum temperature and moisture), the spores will germinate to form a mass of mycelium. This is the start of the vegetative phase of the mushroom. Given an unrestricted amount of nutrients and favourable growing conditions, it is capable of unlimited growth. The mycelium developing from the germinating spore is the so-called primary mycelium and is usually uninucleate and haploid. This stage is short-lived because mycelia from different spores tend to ramify and fuse to form the secondary mycelium with two compatible nuclei, which continues to grow vegetatively and is able to form fruiting bodies.


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