Summary: The growth of a mycelium of ceases after a period of time characteristic for a given race. As the mycelium grows out from the germinated spore it passes through two physiological states; a ‘non-senescent’ state where the growth potential of the various regions of the growing mycelium remains constant and a ‘senescent’ state where the growth rate remains constant but the growth potential of the mycelium progressively decreases.

The ‘senescent’ state is apparently due to the presence of a variant cytoplasmic determinant which is discontinuously distributed among the cells of the mycelium and whose concentration increases exponentially during growth. The rate of transformation from the ‘non-senescent’ to ‘senescent’ state is directly proportional to the number of hyphae per mycelium. The median length of growth can be greatly extended by short periods of growth in the presence of cycloheximide or cyanide, but not by a variety of other drugs which inhibit mitochondrial functions.


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