SUMMARY: The differentiation of mushroom primordia in young mycelia of is a localized event: the mycelium is not uniformly competent to differentiate, or even to be induced, in all areas. A narrow zone corresponding to the 24 h growth of the youngest hyphae is the only area capable of receiving the obligatory light induction and of eventually differentiating into primordia. The inducible zone migrates outwards with the peripheral hyphae as the mycelium expands and previously competent zones become inactive and non-inducible. Light induction of a zone fixes the zone of differentiation in space and prevents subsequent zones from becoming induced. The light receptor system appears to involve two independent processes. One is activated by very low levels of light, fixes the zone in space and prevents subsequent zones from becoming induced, but does not permit differentiation. A second, requiring higher light levels, triggers development of the primordia. The induction of a responsive zone can occur at 20 °C, but actual development requires 25 °C.


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