SUMMARY: Five collections from nature, originally identified as representing the three species and have been shown to be interfertile and are therefore designated (Quélet) Saccardo. All stocks can be fruited, and analysis of the life-cycle has revealed heterothallism with sexuality controlled by a single incompatibility locus with multiple alleles: monosporous siblings are self-sterile and cross-fertile in a bipolar pattern. The fertile interaction in compatible matings is morphologically distinguishable in the formation of a differentiated dikaryotic mycelium without the clamp connexions common in the dikaryons of other Hymenomycetes. The segregation pattern of incompatibility alleles and nutritional markers indicates haploidy of vegetative nuclei. Six parental and four rare, non-parental incompatibility types were identified in the sample studied. Heterokaryotic interactions - dikaryons with homokaryons and dikaryons with dikaryons to establish new dikaryons - have been shown to occur. A remote kinship to the cultivated mushroom was demonstrated in the formation of transitory heterokaryons between and but these could not be fruited. The life-cycles and patterns of sexuality in the two species are compared and the possibility that could be an alternative to for mass cultivation and consumption, with emphasis on the advantage in breeding is mentioned.


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