Basidiospores of Pleurotus cystidiosus usually show poor and nonuniform germination on common rich nutrient media and at room temperatures. Attempts to obtain higher and more consistent germination were performed by examining the effect of various parameters such as substrate, pH, temperature and illumination. In general, best results were achieved when spores were plated on water-agar and at 35°C for three days, whereas increased germinability was also observed on Hagem medium and after brief heat treatment at elevated temperatures (60°C). Germination was also enhanced by light exposure at the near UV spectrum for 60 minutes. No effect was found to occur in the presence of activated charcoal, growing mycelium or low temperatures; while irradiation of the nutrient medium with black light prior to spore plating played an inhibitory role. In this case, the interaction between substrate composition and duration of illumination was significant as regards their influence on germination percentages. The relation of these results to the biology and breeding of coremia-producing Pleurotus fungi is discussed.
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