Cordyceps PMA5

Discussion in 'EDIBLE & MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS' started by Pistilwhipped, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Greetings! This thread will document my first attempt at fruiting a commercial strain of Cordyceps militaris.

    I see a lot of people try to run this species and fail or give it the 'fade away'. According to the book muskie suggested on the cultivation of Cordyceps, this is less about the skill of the cultivator than the viability of the culture(s). Apparently, with cordyceps, senescence happens quickly. Once it does, it will never be able to produce spore bearing fruit bodies. That is issue #1. Issue #2 is that "C. militaris behaves as a bipolar heterothallic fungus and requires two mating compatible strains in order to produce regular club shaped perithecial stromata." That last one explains a lot. I've traded/purchased many cultures from different sources and none of them showed the slightest inclination to produce mushrooms.
    Initial inoculation will be from a liquid culture syringe from the author of the creatively titled book I'm referencing: Cordyceps Cultivation Handbook. I chose the Cordyceps PMA5 culture because...5 is bigger than 4? Actually it's because I've seen others who possess the PMA4 and I hope to do future trades with them.

    The substrate will be this simple recipe which has already proven itself to be infinitely more suited to cordyceps than my grain/gypsum jars:

    Basic Media Recipe
    3 cups of Grains (Rice, Millet, Local Wild Grass Seed, Popcorn)
    6 cups Water
    2 tbsp Sucrose
    1 tbsp Corn or Potato Starch
    1 tbsp Yeast Extract or Nutritional Yeast (Nitrogen Source)
    1 tsp Azomite

    My purchased, guaranteed 'fruiting capable' LC goes directly into this mix, colonizes and fruits in the same container. EZ peesy.


    Assuming all goes well and I get mushrooms, I will immediately start collecting and germinating spores to create viable intraspecies crosses capable of reproduction.


    In the meantime, comparison photos of grain/gypsum spawn inoculated 1.5 months ago, colonization was slow and weak but has finally consolidated as much as I think it's going to. You can see it doesn't care much for the hull of the whole oats:
    [​IMG]



    Compared to these jars, prepared according to the above recipe, inoculated 5 days ago, g2g from one of the above jars (subbed potato flake for potato starch, that's what carmelized on the sides of the jar):

    [​IMG]

    A bit closer, you can see the oats I transferred are still poorly colonized while the brown rice buffet is clearly open and quite popular.

    [​IMG]


    So, just to be clear, this is a rando culture obtained from a dude on facebook. There's no evidence it is a viable fruiting culture. In the book, the author states that if your culture sits around for much more than month without fruiting, it isn't likely to, so I think I can write this one off.

    My new culture will be here in 3 days- according to the tracking # and, of course, weather willing. I will start with the 'blow by blow' as it happens, from inoculation to success or failure. Let's find out if I spent $40 bucks wisely or on another dead end.
     
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  2. FallenOak

    FallenOak Mushroom Cultivator Mushroom Doctor

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  3. muskie

    muskie Myco-Backpacker Mushroom Doctor Expert Identifier

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    Very cool, man.
     
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  4. cubistic

    cubistic Active Member

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    :goodpost:
    I am so tuning into this thread!

    Good luck with it!
     
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  5. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    My C. militaris PMA-5 syringe from MicroSymbiotics came in a day early. Very quick service for a website that suggests a possible delay in shipping right up front. Item was ordered Tuesday afternoon from PA and delivered to my mailbox by Friday. Not too shabby!

    So I went to work with it, noc'd up three LC's comprised of water, sucrose, azomite and nutritional yeast. 2 plates of MEA and three medium bags with about an inch of brown rice media (details above).

    [​IMG]
    The jars on the left are the generic, untested culture. I plan on keeping that around for a while, see if anything comes of it.

    You can see I am running the bags on their side, this way I get the maximum use of fruiting surface and headroom. I'm sure there's a reason I've never seen it done exactly like this and I'll almost certainly know before the grow is over, but it seemed like the right thing considering the reaction the wife will have if I steal another loaf pan.

    Side note: Bottom Agar Plate - that is a piece of tyvek in there. When I do my 'pours' I sterilize the jars and lids separately in different sealed containers. I use the tyvek squares to keep stacked lids from sticking to each other and to keep any rough edges from the drill from damaging the filter on the lid below it. The tyvek was stuck to the bottom of the lid and dropped to the agar when I sealed the jar. Since it is sterile (or was at that time) I just left it in there thinking I'd do more harm than good rooting around trying to remove it.

    One more shot of the all-in-one bag. The bags cooperated nicely making a fair bit of headroom for the anticipated fruiting.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to hurry up and wait!
     
  6. muskie

    muskie Myco-Backpacker Mushroom Doctor Expert Identifier

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    I can't see why that wouldn't work just fine.

    Awesome stuff, man. I'm excited to see how it goes!
     
  7. FallenOak

    FallenOak Mushroom Cultivator Mushroom Doctor

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    Love it! Great attention to detail, for that I am sure you will be successful. I will be staying tuned...
     
  8. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Day 2 C. militaris LC

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, it's wasting no time getting established. I usually wouldn't shoot up LC with LC, I like to make sure it is clean on grain, back to agar and then to LC but I'm a little impatient to get going here. Since I have backups on grain and agar I feel like there's nothing to lose playing around with this first.

    The brown rice bags are starting to show little white specks of mycelia and the plates are too.

    For anyone interested: I messaged the author asking how often the culture should be renewed with a fresh spore print . His response was every six months.
     
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  9. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Time for update.

    All three LC's are ready to go. One was used to noc up some brown rice mix, same recipe as above but in a pint jar. We'll see how that goes.

    Bags are quickly colonizing, one is a little more than half covered in visible mycelium, the other two are a tiny bit behind that one. All the bags have turned to pucks you can pick up and they hold together, so I expect to see full colonization in a day or three.

    I'll check back in with pics later. I took some already but they suuuuuucked.
     
  10. cubistic

    cubistic Active Member

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    LOL, never too late to start photography lessons (I could do with that)

    Brown rice is interesting - if I can't get cordyceps to fruit, my plan is to find an edible substrate like brown rice and then consume the cordyceps mycelium and substrate together. In our household we can always eat rice with some nice sauce/curry/something
     
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  11. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Lessons- to late for that, they just need to make more intuitive cameras! Ones that take good clear pictures through clouded plastic covered in condensation, lol, I don't want much- just the impossibly unlikely!

    I tried to get a better picture than yesterdays but it is colder inside now than it was when I snapped yesterday's photo, thus more condensation- so I present to you the picture that wasn't good enough but is better than the one I just took
    :bugger:
    [​IMG]
    This is the first of the three bags, I'd try to get photos of the others but I'm trying not to break the cakes. You can see it is aggressive. We are six days since inoculation. If my room was a little warmer I think they might be almost finished. I cool my bags in front of the 2x4 laminar flow, heating the room significantly while doing so and I see growth seems to be correlated with the heat spikes.

    LC, six days in. I noc'd a brown rice jar with this batch. I'll G2G it when finished to make sure I have a clean culture.

    [​IMG]

    It isn't totally obvious from the photo, but if you enlarge it you can see myc clinging to the glass. There is even several strands that are attached to the spinbar and that stir plate can whip a froth if you plug it into a 24V transformer (I did, lol) This is the first time I've ever used yeast extract in LC, so it may be a factor. The solids precipitated out of solution when the liquid cooled and the myc grabbed onto it. I think this may be what is happening on the sides of the jar too.

    The original, anonymously sourced generic "cordyceps m." I received has just stopped moving. No change in color expression, no additional mycelial growth, no fun at all. I'm ready to give up on it as a serious project and start running little experiments with it. I've noticed that the successful growers of cordyceps don't talk much about moisture content in their subs but they all look really wet. I think I'll take a few of these generic cordyjars and shoot them up with a heroic dose of viable LC. If they fruit there will be absolutely no evidence that it was a cross of the two strains but at least the effort and cost of preparing the jars wouldn't be in vain.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    What was I smoking when I typed that word salad? Jeez, you'd just about have to be inside my head to know what I meant!!
     
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  13. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Been a while since I updated. Things look way different now. My apologies for the out of focus issue. The soft, ethereal nature of the mycelial mat fucks with the range finder on the camera.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's my coryceps shelf. I've got a little of every method brewing in there: trays, bags, big jars, little jars, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't quite get these guys in the picure

    [​IMG]

    Growing cordyceps is a lot like those "Grow Amazing Crystals" kits from childhood. Once your LC is established it's a one step process.
     
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  14. cubistic

    cubistic Active Member

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    Wauw! Big congrats to you! You got them pinning!


    Very nice
     
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  15. FewTrueSeed

    FewTrueSeed Many meiosis Supporter

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    Has anyone had luck with Cs4?
     
  16. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    How long have you had your culture? From what I understand, there's a real time limit on viability for producing fruit bodies. Cordyceps has many anamorphs and only one will fruit, the others exist as mold-like clonidia (asexual chlamydospores). Many of the cultures being passed around are likely in this state- I know my first one was, it looked nothing like the mycelia from my current culture. If you need a fresh start, pm me.
     
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  17. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Couple more pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Inside jar
    [​IMG]
    Couple of pyrex trays. These are both inside grow bags. I opened them up to mist the walls. I think the first one is a 9 x 13 cake pan and the second a 9 wide by 4 inch deep bowl with a flat bottom.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Made a bunch of new plates, another 3 lbs of brown rice soaking.
     
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  18. redcat

    redcat The Myco Machine Moderator Mushroom Doctor

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  19. Forrester

    Forrester Active Member

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    Wow, awesome work! You actually got fruits, that's amazing! Wish I had the time to try this one myself.
    Someone mentioned fruiting CS4. CS4, at least the one everyone got in the group buy from Aloha medicinals, is a non-fruiting strain, so I wouldn't bother trying to fruit it, it never will.
     
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  20. Pistilwhipped

    Pistilwhipped Grower

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    Great to see you Forrester! Been a minute or two since I've seen you around these parts!

    Thanks for the kudos! I wish I could claim superior talent and inherent skill from this success but the prize goes to the William Padilla-Brown. His book of instructions and his culture. I merely followed instructions like anyone else can do. Still, I do feel pretty damned good about it!

    This mornings progress:
    [​IMG]

    These guys are flying along too, inoculated on the evening of 3/17. I'm amazed at how wet they like the sub. I thought I was pushing the limits with this batch but it looks pretty happy to me.

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]


    Now that I know I can grow them, it's time to find my local Nature-o-paths and see if they're interested in some medicinal species! Anyone know a fair price for cordyceps, reishi and turkey tail? I have all three fruiting right now.
     
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