Volume 10 Part 1 Article 1: Genetic Control of Fruit Body Formation in Higher Basidiomycetes

Volume 10 Part 1 Article 1
Year 1979
Title: Genetic Control of Fruit Body Formation in Higher Basidiomycetes
Author: K. Esser


From the earliest days of mankind, fungi have been appreciated for their culinary value and today, in most countries, a «bonne cuisine» without mushrooms is unthinkable. This culinary interest in fungi has meant that mushrooms have been grown as crops for centuries. However, the growing of fungi has always had an element of mystery about it (unlike the cultivation of other crops such as cereals) because it was difficult to understand the relationship between the web-like mycelium and its transformation into large fruiting structures. Mushroom growing followed strictly empirical rules and strain improvement by breeding, as carried out with cattle and cereals for many centuries before the discovery of the laws of heredity, was not even considered for fungi. That is why, even until quite recently, when the morphology, anatomy and some physiological properties of edible mushrooms have become better understood, breeding in the sense of a concerted application of mutation, recombination and selection has not found much application in mushroom farms.

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