Morel Mushroom Evolution


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Anomalies are highly informative in biology. This anomaly has extreme features which tell the story of morel evolution.

The anomaly shows that the morel does not have a stable morphology. The unstable morphology is also visible when the Ower growing procedure is used, where the morels sometimes have a balloon-like appearance without the usual ridges on the surface. The lack of stable morphology shows that the morel recently evolved from an ancestor which did not have a macro-morphology, which could only have been a yeast.

This type of differentiation on a flat surface always occurs with the morel when there is adequate nutrition and high aeration. It shows that the morel had been recently evolving on a surface, which would have been the base of trees.

In part, the differences are due to the fact that every spore strain (outgrowth from a spore) is different for Morchella; but also, slight differences in nutrition have a great affect upon anomalies on agar gel. Some anomaly types, such as the granular ones, can be controlled through nutrients in the medium.

Mycelium first grows across the entire plate; and then cytoplasmic material is drawn back toward the anomaly in an endotrophic manner leaving nothing but thin, hollow tubes on the far side of the plate.
Note: Mushroom mycelium is always white—never any other color (beyond some accidental tinging). This is because pigment requires special molecules, and evolution never wastes resources and energy on molecules which cannot be used. Since mushroom mycelium is always under the ground, where there is no light, pigments cannot be used. The pigments in the anomaly are not in the mycelium; they are in special cells which grow with the myclium, as if a rudimentary mushroom were forming.

This image shows the progression of anomaly development. Click image for details.
Anomaly Explained

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