Summary: Growth of was studied on sterile compost and on sterile compost pre-grown with the thermophilic fungus . Early growth was characterized by depressed, slowly growing hyphae. The mycelial radius extended exponentially in this stage. Mycelium on sterile compost switched to a fluffy growth type of radially orientated hyphae that extended at a linear rate, , of 5mm d. On compost pre-grown with , early growth continued up to 30 mm, then extension became linear at = 7·2 mm d. If cultures were well ventilated, was higher. A new growth function was derived to combine both growth phases. The width of the peripheral growth zone, , of mycelium was 3 mm. The exponential specific growth rate, μ, was calculated from /w = 2·4 d, which is much higher than a previous estimate of 0·19 d. In addition to growth-promoting effects, had inhibitor, effects; the period of early growth was reduced if was inactivated in pre-grown compost. Under commercial conditions, maximum growth rates are not exploited. The introduction of selected strains of thermophilic fungi in compost and the development of a new kind of spawn inoculum of might lead to improvements in commercial practice.


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