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Wild Mushrooms:
Manna of the
Mountains
Dr. Bradford Condon
University of Kentucky
Department of Plant Pathology
Retail Food seminar, Frankfort KY
2016
What are fungi?
How are mushrooms identified?
What are the common poisonous and edible
wild mushrooms?
Grocery store mycology:
farmed mushrooms
Portabellos Buttons
Cremini
Common fungi:
cultivated forest mushrooms
Lion’s mane Shitake Oyster
What is a
mushroom?
The fruiting body of a
fungus
Produces spores,
which fungi use to
reproduce and
spread
Mushroom
Hyphae
mycelia
What is a fungus?
Our not so distant relative
What is a fungus?
Mushrooms
Yeasts
Molds
Fungi are diverse and abundant!
• We estimate that there are over 1.5 million species
of fungi, only 5% are currently know
• Relatively few fungi are mushroom-producing
– Macroscopic v. microscopic fungi
• A dominant life form in soils
– Fungi make of 90% of biomass in soil (excluding
roots)
Roles of fungi
• Recyclers
– Decay dead plants
– Recycling carbon
– Easy to cultivate
Roles of fungi
• Pathogens
– Feed off of living plants
and causing disease
– Can also be pathogens
of insects and other
animals!
Cordyceps insect pathogens are sold as
herbal supplements
Roles of fungi
• Mutualists
– Symbiotic with the roots of trees (mycorrhizal)
– Carbohydrates from plant, nutrients from fungus
– Other mutualistic relationship (ex. lichens)
Mutualists cooperate with plants
Mutualism: Mycorrhizae
Unbridled: wild mushrooms
While prized edibles elude cultivation, wild mushrooms will be an issue!
Mushroom identification
basics
Requirements for serving wild mushrooms
(Conference for Food Protection)
1. The Latin binomial name, the author of the
name, and the common name of the mushroom
species
2. [a statement] that the mushroom was identified
while in the fresh state
3. The name of the person who identified the
mushroom
4. A statement as to the qualifications and training
of the identifier, specifically related to mushroom
identification
Cap
Ring
Stem
Base
Gills
What are the parts of a
mushroom?
Cap characteristics
Dichotomous key
Cap characteristics
Cap characteristics
Spore print
Vovla (or bulb at base)
Different life stages
Collection location/ site info
Absolute identification of a typical
mushroom is daunting!
Michael Kuo, Mushroomexpert.com
Why identify fresh mushrooms?
2. [a statement] that the
mushroom was identified while
in the fresh state
Identifying any given wild mushroom
is challenging for novices
Identifying the common, safe wild
mushrooms can be easy with a little
training!
What are the common poisonous and edible
wild mushrooms?
Wild mushroom consumption
• Be very wary of poisonous mushrooms
Cultivated mushrooms are not
poisonous
Amatoxins: destroying angel and death cap
Eastern destroying angel
Amanita bisporigera
Symptoms:
5-12 hours: gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea,
nausea, abdominal pain), followed by relief.
Liver and kidney failure and enter a hepatic
coma, ending in death. ~60% of amatoxin
poisonings are fatal.
What is amatoxin?
Shuts down liver, kidneys.
Fatal dose: 0.1mg/kg body weight (50g
mushroom)
Found in some other mushrooms as well
(Lepiota, Conocybe, Galerina)
Foreign collectors (Southeast Asia) mistake
Amanitas for “paddy-straw” mushroom
Tippler’s bane/Inky cap
Coprinus atramentaria
• Edible, but incompatible with alcohol
• Facial reddening, nausea, vomiting, palpitations
• Blocks acetaldehyde metabolism
• Dangerous up to three days after consumption
Sickness from nonpoisonous
mushrooms
• Most mushroom illnesses from improperly
stored edible mushrooms
• Allergies
• Pesticides/herbicides
• Raw consumption
Shared concerns with cultivated!
How common is fungal food-borne illness?
Analyzed CDC data from 1998-
2008
Fungi responsible for 4,542
cases of illness, mostly from
toxins or pesticides
Does not account for rate of
consumption (note low illnesses
for wild game)
Painter et al., Emerging Infectious Disease, 2003
What about death?
Cultivated mushrooms are
very safe
Most commonly harvested
wild mushrooms are safe
assuming adequate
knowledge
Eating wild mushrooms
• Be very wary of poisonous mushrooms
• No reliable kitchen or field test and folklore is
dangerously misleading
• Mushrooms are different in different parts of the
world
• Stick to known “safe” mushrooms
Morels
• Mycorrhizal
• Associated with
wildfire (western US)
Source: mountainmushroomfestival.org
Morels in Kentucky
Chanterelles
And many others!
Beware of look-alikes
False morel
Wild mushroom harvesting in
Kentucky
• No permit necessary in federal
forests/national parks for personal collecting
(Daniel Boone National, Land Between the
Lakes)
• Mushroom collecting not allowed in state
parks
• Can’t commercially collect on federal or state
land
Mushroom identification is hard
A select group of choice edibles are comparatively easy to
ID
Most mushroom illnesses occur because of storage, not
poisonous mushrooms
Conclusions
Resources:
Resources:
Questions?

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Ky retail food_seminar

Editor's Notes

  1. Likely to find at grocery store These are mass farmed because of their lifestyle which I’ll talk about
  2. These guys- tend to grow on dying or dead trees possible to cultivate commercially- we have shiitakes growing in our back yard in logs If we can grow these mushrooms, why do we need to/want to pick wild mushrooms?
  3. So if a fruiting
  4. May recognize the tree of life- the idea that all life has a common ancestor, three major domains of bacteria, archae, eukarya Below domain is kingdom, such as animal, plant fungi fungi used to be grouped with plants, but we now know fungi are more closely related to us than to plants!
  5. Disease, drought, salt tolerance
  6. 10 seconds
  7. 10 seconds
  8. Don’t want to just scare you, there are lots of poisonous mushrooms out there but cultivated mushrooms will not be poisonous because they are grown from verified individuals Only a danger of misidentifiecation of wild mushrooms
  9. 8-20$/lb fresh
  10. Also mycorrhizal Found worldwide Heavily prized for flavor Vase shape Predictable
  11. Lion’s mane Chicken of the woods - David Aurora, foolproof four Oysters