Morel Mushroom Evolution
 
    

 

Morel Home

Description
Evolution
Biology
Glossary


Ice Ages
Plant Phenotypes
Bindweed Phenotypes
Spurge Phenotypes
Echinacea Phenotypes
Animal Phenotypes
Find Morels
Phenotypes Explained
Anomaly Explained
Mushroom Evolution


Research
Anomaly
Phenotypes
Figures 1-2
Figures 3-6
Figure 7
Figure 8

Photo Pages
Anomaly Photos
Morel Phenotypes
Cluster Photos
Sclerotia Photos


 

morel

 

morel

 

                  

Sclerotial Masses
 

sclerotia sclerotia sclerotia
 

 
Sclerotia on Agar Surface

agar

agar
 

Sclerotia is a mass of resistance cells which carry morel mycelium through summer heat and winter cold. Morel mycelium has no tolerance to adverse conditions including dehydration, because it still has yeast physiology.

Yeasts evolved from molds, when sugary solutions appeared some time after modern biology began 65 million years ago. With sugary solutions, yeast were no longer exposed to the atmosphere; so they lost the ability to tolerate dehydration.

When the morel evolved from a yeast, it could not re-aquire the ability to tolerate dehydration, which mushroom mycelium requires for growing on clay type soil. So the morel grows in sand, which does not dry out easily, because it lacks capillary action. Still, in the summertime, too much heat and drying would be intolerable to morel mycelium. So the mycelium converts into sclerotial cells, which are specialized for tolerating adverse conditions.

When rain occurs, morel sclerotia grows back into mycelium. The cells are constantly going back and forth between sclerotia and mycelium. There is not much loss of cell mass, because sclerotia stores up energy.


Morel Home Page

morel