(HOW MUSHROOMS WORK)
Beautiful Fruiting Body
A fungus is a higher form of micro organism. Some scientists speculate that life on this planet might have begun from a spore traveling on a meteor or comet through space and landing here on earth. A mushroom is the visible part (fruiting body) of a fungus. A spore is not able to reproduce on its own. One spore contains only half of the genetic DNA to procreate. This is similar to human beings. A spore needs a counterpart to reproduce, with only half the DNA to become a successful reproductive organism. Spores are micro packets of DNA that are released from the fruiting body of a fungus. When the two spores of the correct sex combine, the two halves of DNA come together to complete the genetic make up of a fungus. The usually non visible part of a fungus is called mycelium. Mycelium is a branching and roping, hair like structure of the organism that fights and strives to survive and reproduce. It does this by creating a fruiting body (mushroom) and relinquish its spores to start the process over again.
The mycelial fungus grows through a food substrate, searching for suitable conditions to produce a fruiting body. In the wild, this fungus is competing with many other microorganisms for its survival. There are many species of fungus, bacterium and microbes that are all competing to eat the same substrate. To out compete the others, the fungus must be healthy and fast. Once enough of this food source has been metabolized and the fungus has reached the surface, when the conditions are right, the mycelium will produce a fruiting body (mushroom). The right conditions must be obtained, the right amount of fresh air, light, temperature and humidity. These conditions ensure the fungus's survival by spreading its genetic information into the environment by liberating it's spores in hopes of reaching a suitable environment to grow and to begin it's life cycle once again.