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Inheritance of Strain Instability (Sectoring) in the Commercial Button Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus

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  • Mycology


The button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, is a commercially important cultivated filamentous fungus. During the last decade, the button mushroom industry has depended mainly on two strains (or derivatives of these two strains). Using one of these highly successful strains (strain U1) we examined the phenomenon of strain instability, specifically, the production of irreversible sectors. Three “stromatal” and three “fluffy” sectors were compared with a healthy type U1 strain and with a wild-collected isolate. Compost colonization and fruit body morphology were examined. The main objective of this study, however, was to examine the meiotic stability of the sectored phenotype. Single basidiospores were isolated and subjected to a grain bioassay in which the ability to produce sectors was measured. Our results were as follows: (i) basidiospore cultures obtained from a wild-collected isolate showed no tendency to produce sectors; (ii) approximately 5% of the basidiospore cultures obtained from healthy type U1 strains produced irreversible sectors in the grain bioassay; (iii) the five primary sectors examined produced basidiospore cultures, half of which produced normal-looking growth in the grain bioassay and half of which produced some degree of sectoring; and (iv) the one sectored isolate that represented the F2 generation gave ratios similar to the 1:1 ratio observed for the F1 cultures.

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