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Springbrook Research Centre
2509 Springbrook Road
Springbrook. Queensland.4213
Australia

The finding, culture and naming of a new species of bioluminescent mushroom.

Mycena Lampadis [Maguire 1988]

Author: Garry.R.Maguire
03-02-2003
Springbrook Research Centre

PREFACE:

2011 Additions to original study in progress.....

Location of find Springbrook Plateau
Elevation 700 metres
Vegetation Rainforest

Lampadis (Latin) lampas = torch
So named as this species is the brightest luminous mushroom in Australia.

In 1988 the author found a single specimen of a larger than average Mycena growing on a fallen tree branch that was intact on the mushroom bearing side and rotting on the bottom of the branch where in contact with the soil.
There were however noticeable differences from the usual specimens of Mycena (see comparison photo below in Section 7).
By far the largest bioluminescent Mycena found here to date.
Originally classified for study purposes as Type_B, (status = rare) , this larger pure white mushroom is generally 30-40mm pileus diameter and a stipe length of approximately 25-30mm.
It tends to be found in smaller numbers on logs on the ground that are in the advanced stage of decomposition of the sapwood.

The luminescence (pale green colour) is quite outstanding .
On misty evenings the glow when reflected through the mist gives the appearance of a very large light source.
A single large specimen of this mushroom produces sufficient light to enable reading a newspaper at night.
These mushrooms require high humidity and almost complete shade cover to survive and are only found in the wild in the warmer months of the year during the wet season on Springbrook.

Mycena Lampadis [Maguire 1988]

ML_44_070208_garry.jpg (10544 bytes)

lm021_150303_sm.jpg (22984 bytes)

Mycena lampadis   mushroom sightings in the natural environment are rare.


Common Name: Luminous mushroom
Synonym: Mycena lampadis [Maguire 1988]
Pileus Cap 30-40 mm broad, at first hemispherical, becoming slightly convex ; surface translucent-striate from margin to centre, coated with transparent secreted sticky fluid; context thin, membranous, translucent-white, unchanging when cut; odor nil.
Lamellae Gills  radial, normal, separate from  the stipe,  white.
Stipe Stipe 25-30mm long, < 2.0 mm thick,  round, hollow, equal rising from a basal disc ; whitish, translucent.
Spores spores white in deposit.
Mycelium The mycelium occasionally displays bioluminescent properties during the warm wet summer period at Springbrook after logs that have been inoculated have finished fruiting.  The mycelium grown from stem tissue propagation has not as yet displayed any obvious bioluminescent properties when growing on MYA medium in petrie dishes.
Habitat Found only in high altitude sub-tropical rainforest. Usually singular but occasionally clustered on fallen branches of soft-hardwood rainforest species ; fruiting after periods of prolonged wet summer weather throughout the mushroom season usually November to March.
Edibility Totally unpalatable. Not recommended
Comments This white Mycena is easily recognized by it's larger size and a pure white cap that distinguishes it from the other local species of Mycena. 


Propagation:
The initial method of inoculation using mycelium grown on grains such as rice, wheat and barley were only partly successful.
Due to our sub-tropical climate, once the grain spawn was inoculated into logs, mold contamination became the largest problem in the wet season with contamination occurring in 90% of our log inoculations. Although this method produced occasional successful fruitings, the end result being so poor caused a series of different
techniques to be utilised. Eventually the mycelium was encouraged to grow onto soft-hardwood rough split plugs or dowels. This process whilst adding an extra year to the fruitbody production virtually eliminated the mold contamination problem.


1 Sporing

 spores1_sm.jpg (8106 bytes)

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Spores of Mycena lampadis at
10x magnification through a
CCD CMOS camera.

Spore Release:

The spore release was photographed of an elevated specimen in our enclosed environment with the specimen being placed at  1.5 metres above ground level in near still conditions. The only air movement being natural convection as the external wind-driven exhaust fans in the ceiling were not moving at the time of the photograph being taken.
Temperature 25 C. RH 75% 
The spore release very gently wafted a distance of 5 metres slowly rising up into the warmer air close to the ceiling toward the ventilation aperture. This spore trail remained intact before being disturbed by our breathing and movement in our enthusiasm to obtain more photographs.
The spore drift can be likened to a fine smoke trail.

Dependant on climatic conditions, occurs usually on the third or fourth day of development of the fruit body. If a specimen mushroom is detached from it's growth medium, spore release can prematurely occur within one to two hours.

Click either image for larger photo

2 ml_sp_110209sm.jpg (8229 bytes)
Spore print of Mycena lampadis captured in a petrie dish.

Click the image for more detail.
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Mycena lampadis  culture 20-01-2011

Cardboard 'raft' method where the propagation nutrient is absorbed through the cardboard to germinate the spore that is then transferred to MYA medium in petrie dishes for rapid culture.

Click the image for magnified view

 

 

Mycena lampadis  culture 20-01-2011

Cardboard 'raft' method close-up

Click the image for magnified view

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Mycena lampadis  culture plated 11-02-2011 replated 23-02-2011

Petrie dish contains 4 days growth of Mycena lampadis mycelia growing on MYA grown from a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm wedge of MYA and mycelium cut from the mother plate.

Click the image for magnified view

 


Mycena lampadis 
culture plated 11-02-2011 replated 23-02-2011

Open dish view

Click the image for magnified view

5 myc_70.jpg

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Mycena lampadis mycelium .

Microscopy via a 10x objective using a CCD camera

 

 

Click the images for magnified view

6 mycelia_bug_56_sm.jpg (3961 bytes)

Entomobryidae / Collembola 

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Entognatha (disputed)
Subclass:  Collembola
Order:  Entomobryomorpha
Superfamily: Entomobryoidea
Family: Entomobryidae
Mycelium bug in cultures 03-03-2011

In addition to slugs, snails , crickets, cockroaches, beetles and gnats , we can now add yet another creature to the list of species that depend on luminous mushrooms for their food, a species of springtail (Collembola) that can jump a remarkable distance when disturbed.

4/0.1x objective pic via microscope/CCD camera of a flea-like bug living in the mycelium in the petrie dishes. As all my petrie dishes are sealed with tape, the bugs or eggs of this bug must have either been in the gills of the mushroom when the spore was collected or on the spores before they were germinated.
They were not noticed during the spore germination process, which leads me to believe that they emerged from eggs as the mycelium grew from the spores.
Being so small (0.1 to 0.2mm approx) the bugs were not sighted in the initial stage of the cultures. However they were noticed multiplying in recent mycelia replates. These bugs possibly caused a contamination we had here previously that developed into a black liquid slime mould emerging through the mycelium on the plates as a black bubble. 
Several infested plates have been treated to exterminate these bugs before any more replating is done.

Click the image for magnified view

7 cultures20-02-2011 001_sm.jpg (10397 bytes) Mycena lampadis   cultures 20-02-2011

Bottom RHS dish contains 14 days growth of Mycena lampadis mycelia grown from spore.

Click the image for magnified view

8 plugs22 002sm.jpg Mycena lampadis  culture

Last step prior to log inoculation is to transfer the mycelium from the petrie dishes into rough cut wood plugs . This is the slowest process and takes up to one year to achieve a coating of mycelium. These plugs are then used to inoculate hardwood logs by drilling 50mm deep x 18mm diameter holes and hammering the oversize plugs into the holes.

Click the image for magnified view

9 Inoculation / log culture/ fruiting

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Mushroom cultivation
 
It can take 3 to 5 years which is probably the reason why people are not growing luminous mushrooms.
After 23 years of experimenting with most known methods of growing mushrooms only one long term method stands out for the study of our luminous mushrooms.
If people wish to grow them short-term in plastic bags, then this can be achieved using steps 1 to 5 , in two years or perhaps less if the ideal climatic conditions can be provided using wood shavings in lieu of hardwood plugs as the carrier medium or substrate.
I have chosen the use of hardwood logs for the preservation of the species as our Australian hardwoods can be the "species bank" for the long term. Our hardwood timber can bear and sustain the species for 10 years or more depending on the diameter of the logs used.
Using previously inoculated logs after being stacked for 7 to 10 years, fungal transfer by association occurs in lieu of inoculation by simply adding more logs to the stacks.
Luminous mushrooms still take much longer than edible mushrooms to produce, but the end result is worth waiting for.

Click the image for magnified view

Garry.Maguire
 



Comparison of M.Lampadis with the local common Mycena.spp

Click the image for magnified view

05-03-2003
Tissue Culture

Mycena lampadis [Maguire 1988]
Luminous mushroom
Specimen # 004: Day 10

Tissue culture exuding mycelia on an agar plate ..... advancing nicely.

Click the image for magnified view

 

Mycena lampadis [Maguire 1988]
Luminous mushroom
Specimen # 004: Day 4
25mm diameter specimen found growing on a wattle branch.
Note the mycelial growth pattern.
Tissue taken from an exceptional luminous mushroom both in size , shape and bioluminescence

Click the image for magnified view

 

Type_B_jar1.jpg (19322 bytes) Mycena lampadis [Maguire 1988]
Luminous mushroom
Stem tissue propogated mycelium growing on substrate in a 500ml jar.

10 days growth displayed.

 


Mycena lampadis
Specimen # 14: Day 1
Juvenile fruit body (daytime shot)
Note the sticky fluid starting to flow from the stipe (stem) orifice to coat the pileus.

Click the image for magnified view


Mycena lampadis
Specimen # 14: Day 1.5
Juvenile fruit body (daytime shot)
Note the sticky fluid being "pumped" from the stipe (stem) orifice of the pileus. The use of this sticky fluid produced by the mushrooms although as yet undetermined, could be  excreted to cover the pileus as either a UV sun-screening fluid to protect the micro-thin pileus from solar radiation, or to protect the mushroom from being prematurely eaten by insects.
In support of this hypothesis, the absence of this sticky fluid on occasional
specimens that do not display bioluminescent properties appears to cause premature desiccation of the mushrooms when exposed to sunlight.

Click the image for magnified view


Mycena lampadis
Specimen # 14: Day 2
Maturing fruit body (daytime shot)
Looking straight through the fluid coating
into the stipe (stem) orifice in the pileus.

Click the image for magnified view

 

Mycena lampadis
Specimen # 23: Day 2.5
Juvenile fruit body (daytime shot)
The host log has been inverted to show the sticky fluid running across the pileus.

Click the image for magnified view

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Mycena lampadis 

Click the image for magnified view

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16-01-2008: The first fruiting of Mycena lampadis produced from inoculation with barley spawn into a softwood rainforest timber log in 2006.

Click the image for magnified view

ML_44_070208_garry.jpg (10544 bytes) Mycena lampadis
Specimen # 070208


Author holding a good size specimen of Mycena lampadis.

Click the image for magnified view

ML_47_070208_side2_sm.jpg (9790 bytes) Side view showing the basal disc

Click the image for magnified view

ML_48_070208_top_sm.jpg (7177 bytes) Topside...note the pure creamy-white cap.

Click the image for magnified view

 

ML_49_070208_under_sm.jpg (10247 bytes) Full underside view

Click the image for magnified view

ML_50_070208_under_sm.jpg (8755 bytes) Part side and part underside view

Click the image for magnified view

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Side view square on showing the shape of the pileus.

Click the image for magnified view

 

 

lm021_150303_sm.jpg (22984 bytes) Mycena lampadis Specimen # 21
night shot.
This extraordinary specimen both in form and luminosity measuring 30mm pileus diameter is currently being cloned.
The dark patches are dislodged particles
of rotting wood fallen from the host log that have been firmly attached to the pileus by the sticky fluid coating.

Click the image for magnified view



Mycena lampadis Specimen # 21
Day shot underneath showing the configuration of the hymenium.

Click the image for magnified view



Mycena lampadis Specimen # 21: day shot underneath
close-up showing the fluid excreting orifice
inside the cut away stipe (stem).

Click the image for magnified view

B1_072sm_190205.jpg (6952 bytes) 19-02-2005
Mycena lampadis Specimen # 190205: Topside

This exceptional specimen and others resulted from inoculation of a log cut from a fallen Red Apple tree (Acmena ingens) some 3 years ago and kept in 24 hour darkness.
Digital Video capture in night mode
at 150mm focal length.

Click the image for magnified view

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Mycena lampadis Specimen # 190205: Underside
Digital Video capture in night mode
at 150mm focal length.

 

Click the image for magnified view

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Mycena lampadis specimen # 040305:
Digital Video capture in night mode
at 300mm focal length.
This cluster of specimens produced enough light to read a newspaper in total darkness.

Click the image for magnified view

Mycena lampadis specimen grown on a hardwood log 
at the Springbrook Research Centre.

Photo by Craig Robbins.

 

Click the image for magnified view


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Published 03-02-2003
G.Maguire

Springbrook Glow Worms Research Centre 2001

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