Reproduction and Life Cycle
We’ve said in the previous part of this introduction that the mycelium is formed by the connection of many hyphae , but how do they germinate , expand and grow?
The life cycle of fungi begins with the germination of spores but it’s crucial to know that the spores released by the hymenophore of a mushroom have two different polarities ( positive or negative ) and even though an hyphae can germinate from just one spore forming what we call a primary mycelium ; it will not have a long life unless it merges with another primary mycelium born from a spore with the opposite polarity . Once the two primary mycelium combine , they will give life to the final secondary mycelium (dycariotic) which will be able to survive and create new mushrooms which will then give birth to new spores .
A detailed graphic of a mushroom reproductive cycle:
This reproduction just described is called “sexuate reproduction” , but fungi can also propagate through Asexual or agamic reproduction which allows faster spread of the species into the environment .
Asexual reproduction has different modalities , one of them is the “vegetative propagation” which occurs with the fragmentation and separation of mycelium parts . This kind of reproduction is common in more simple kinds of mushrooms organisms and is called “Fission” when referred to unicellular mushrooms .
It is a personal grower’s decision if starting the propagation of hyphae from spores or from mycelium parts . The second method is obviously faster since it skips the germination process but it may not be that satisfying for those who are interested in observing the complete natural cycle.