Mycology is a biology branch that involves the study of fungi. Mycology consists of extensive research on the genetic composition of fungi, their biochemical features, and their use in medicine and food. Additionally, it involves the study of health posed by the fungi.
Fungiculture, on the other hand, consists of the cultivation of fungi to produce food or medicine for commercial and subsistence purposes. To completely understand the difference between mycology and fungiculture, herein are the compositions of each.
Mycology is a study that focuses on fungi taxonomy, genetics, their application, and characteristics as well. As you venture into the field of fungiculture, the term mycology knowledge may seem insignificant, but it comes in handy.
There are vast species of fungi, which may be a conundrum when it comes to distinguishing. However, mycology helps in grouping each fungus into their respect phyla hence making them easy to differentiate.
Fungi commonly appear as free-living organisms, and some species have no impact on living organisms. Nonetheless, other fungi species are either beneficial or fatal to human beings.
Owing to the fact that fungi can be fatal, Mycology has promoted the manufacturing of different treatments for diseases caused by fungi. Moreover, it has unraveled the species used in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food alcohol, and fungiculture as well.
How does mycology play the classification role?
Mycology groups true fungi under the kingdom fungi but basing on different phyla. Phylum classification focuses on sexual reproduction, morphology, epidemiology, and their geographical affluence and medical influence.
· Sexual reproduction grouping
When it comes to Sexual reproduction, the grouping is narrowed down to several phyla, which comprise of :
This phylum is made up of both parasitic fungi and saprotrophs. They are commonly found in terrestrial and aquatic environments and reproduce spores that undergo meiosis.
Members of this phylum are mostly anaerobic. They are common in digestive tracts of large herbivores, and they are entirely fatal. Their mode of reproduction is zoospores that move by means of flagella.
Ascomycota or sac fungi phylum comprise of mushrooms yeasts, morels, and truffles. Most members of this phylum are filamentous, and they are either (parasites or saprophytes). These species are capable of forming symbiotic relations with their hosts and reproduce both asexually and sexually.
· Mycological morphology
Under morphology, fungi can be classified as either molds or yeast. Molds are fungi groups that are multicellular filamentous since they produce hyphal threads that form mycelium. Common molds include the rhizopus, mucor aspergillus, and acremonium.
Yeasts are unicellular, and their shapes vary from spherical to ellipsoid. It is categorized into true yeast that budding reproduces, such as the S. cerevisiae and yeast-like fungi that produce false hyphae.
· Geographical mycology
Mycology study shows that there are specific fungi restricted to particular locations. Such distribution of fungi across the globe is influenced by soil composition, climate, and others.
· Epidemiologic grouping
This classification has helped in unraveling different varieties of invasive fungi and how they affect human beings. The epidemiologic grouping has candida, Cryptococcus aspergillums, and rhinosinusitis as the most common species.
· Medical mycology
Medical mycology is a vast study branched into various divisions—these divisions aid mycologists in drawing attention to one sphere. For instance, in the food and alcohol industry, the focus is on fungi for yogurt production, bread baking, and beer brewing. Medical mycology on this sect studies the fungi used and their infections to human beings.
On the other hand, a fungal infection may turn out to be health hazards, especially to those with weak immune systems. In this case, medical mycology focuses on the possible signs of fungal infections and how they can be treated. In the long run, medical mycology turns out to be a versatile knowledge base for the treatment of toxicity and helps in immunology and dermatology.
Benefits of mycology
· It s an essential guide on culturing fungi (fungiculture). It points out what fungi are to be cultured for medicine, food, and not cultured due to their toxicity.
· It Groups every species into their respective phyla basing on their characters, type of environment, and mode of reproduction. As a result, the fungi locating process becomes more comfortable.
With respect to all these mycological facts and classification of fungi, fungiculture can be skillfully orchestrated. Mycology plays a crucial part by showing the necessary needed conditions for fungi growth. With the right knowledge, these conditions can be practically harmonized in greenhouses at any location.
Fungiculture is simply an agricultural act that involves employing different techniques to yield fungi. In this case, the methods require using the right combinations of the substrate, the growth medium, and the starter culture. Temperature and humidity should also be well combined.
For this reason, fungi cultivators use wild harvests, indoor trays, and outdoor inoculation to grow fungi. Basing on mycology, these mediums provide the necessary conditions needed for fungi growth.
1. What is outdoor log inoculation?
Indoor inoculation involves growing mushrooms on stack or piles of logs that are placed outdoors. It has been done for centuries, and currently, 5% of commercially sold mushrooms are cultivated using the same way.
When it comes to outdoor log inoculation, logs are not sterilized, yet they are inoculated with spawn. The spawn is then left to grow just as it does in wild conditions. Regarding all these procedures, the fruition of the mushrooms depends on seasonal changes. However, it can also be aggravated by momentarily soaking the logs in cold water.
The types of mushrooms produced by outdoor log inoculation are the shiitake and oysters. In the US, shitake mushrooms can be grown on hardwood logs variety. The logs used are commonly oak, American beech hophornbeam, and the sugar maple.
When using outdoor inoculation, the use of softwoods is heavily discouraged. Their resin often inhibits the spreading of mycelia, making it an ineffective substrate.
Outdoor log inoculation mechanisms
Shiitake mushrooms are vastly grown using logs. The hardwood is usually 1 meter with an approximate diameter of 5.5 inches. After that, hardwood is drilled and inoculated with the mycelia or inoculum of the mushroom. Upon completion, the holes are sealed with hot wax and placed on a coniferous stand in a canopy for incubation.
The incubation takes about 14 months, and once done, the logs are soaked in water for 24 hours. Provided that these procedures are followed to the end, the shitake mushrooms will start to appear after seven days, and they can be harvested once they are ripe.
2. What are indoor trays?
Indoor growing trays involve tight regulation of light, temperature, and humidity. They usually result in consistent mushroom production that is regulated by spawning or mushrooming cycles.
The composting phase is usually done within 6-14 days. It involves the regulation of water and ammonium content through the use of microbes. Fertilizer or other additives can also be added in this process.
Pasteurization is generally done in 7-18 days. The process involves reducing the number of microbes that have the potential to be harmful. It’s typically done by employing sterilized heat or further composting.
c) Spawning and growth
Spawning, on the other hand, involves is done within 14-21 days. Spawning is the part where starter culture is introduced. The mycelium hence grows through the substrate and forms a colony. The temperature needed for the process should be about 28 degrees Celsius. The end of the process is usually marked with mycelium propagation on the entire substrate surface.
The casing is done before spawning and growth within 13-20 days. It is essential in promoting primordial formation. Adding a top covering on the mycelium substrate increases nitrogenous fertilization and the pining process.
Pining is done within 18 -21 days. Pinning involves adjusting temperature and carbon dioxide, which impacts the number of pins.
Cropping is the final process. It’s repetitively one in 7-9 days cycles, and it entirely involves the harvesting processes. The indoor tray is a progressing fungiculture technique. It presents itself with scalability advantage and ease of harvest tracking, unlike wild harvests.
Types of fungi perpetuated by fungiculture
The Agaricus bisporus, the group in which champignon or the button mushroom, consists of other species such as crimini and Portobello mushrooms.
Golden oyster mushroom
The golden oyster mushroom falls under the Pleurotus species and is considered the most critical mushroom in fungiculture. They make up to 25% of fungi produced worldwide. Apart from golden oysters, other species include the oyster mushrooms, king trumpet, and branched oyster mushroom.
Truffles are from the tuber species and belong in the ascomycete group of fungus. Their fruitbodies are influenced by mycorrhizal relations with the oak, poplar, or beech tree. They commonly grow underground, and dogs are used to sniff them out during harvesting. Other truffles are the desert truffle, Perigord truffle, and the piedmont white.
Benefits of fungiculture
· Fungicultuure allows mushrooms to be grown at any time in any place. Therefore, it maintains the consistency of fungi supplies, whether for food, medicine, or industrial use.
In retrospect, mycology and fungiculture differ by a large degree. However, fungiculture depends on mycological. Without mycology, it’s seemingly impossible to orchestrate fungiculture. Thus, with mycology, geographical data, and other conditions, certain fungi’ need for growth is harmonized in any environment and grown through fungiculture techniques. In the long run, both fungiculture and mycology are essential in ensuring the growth of fungi.