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Chanterelles – Trumpet Chanterelle Cantharellus tubaeformis

Chanterelles are ectomycorrhizal. Mycorrhizal fungi grow in a mutually beneficial, or symbiotic, association with the root tips of green plants. Ectomycorrhizal fungi are a subset of mycorrhizal fungi that form sheaths over the root tips of certain trees and shrubs. Because chanterelles obtain their carbohydrate nutrition from living trees through this symbiotic association, forests are essential to their survival and productivity.

Trumpet Chanterelle Cantharellus tubaeformis is a popular edible member of the chanterelle family found in well-drained coniferous woodland where sunlight penetrates. Particularly, the mushroom is particularly common in spruce forests on acidic soil. Trumpet Chanterelle Cantharellus tubaeformis (yellowlegs) is mycorrhizal, forming symbiotic associations with plants so making it very challenging to cultivate. Chanterelle hyphae also permeate the surrounding soil, absorbing water and minerals that they translocate to host trees. In return for greatly extending the tree’s effective root sys-tem, the tree provides chanterelles with carbohydrates that are needed for growth and reproduction. The mushroom can be found in temperate and cold parts of Northern America, Europe including Scandinavia region, and Asia in coniferous forests… It has a very distinctive smokey, peppery taste when raw. The mushroom has a dark brown cap with paler gills and a hollow yellow stem.

Cap: Typically 2 to 5cm across; thin fleshed; brown above, with a pale margin; veined beneath the cap; funnel-shaped, with a very wavy margin.

Stem: Tall, somewhat flattened and hollow. Typically 5 to 10mm in diameter and often slightly club-shaped or bulbous at the base.

Mostly Trumpet Chanterelle Cantharellus tubaeformis is available for harvest in mid-winter through mid-spring or September to January. The mushroom can be preserved, dried, or pickled. After foraging, the mushrooms are carefully cleaned with water. The dust and soil in the caps and the gills are cleaned using a dry and soft brush. It is to be noted that soaking the mushroom or leaving it wet for a certain period of time may cause sogginess.

Cultivation: Mushroom harvesters often spread old mushrooms around hoping to establish new patches by dispersing spores, but the efficacy of this well-intentioned practice remains unconfirmed. Scientists and entrepreneurs intent on establishing new chanterelle colonies need more reliable methods. One approach is to isolate the fungus of interest, grow it in pure culture, and then inoculate the mycelium onto tree seedlings that lack other mycorrhizae.  Once such inoculated seedlings develop mycorrhizae, tree nurseries and their customers must be able to confirm the identity of the mycorrhizal fungus to ensure that contaminant fungi did not become established. Further, to demonstrate that this method will eventually lead to chanterelle producing plantations, scientists must demonstrate that the inoculated mycorrhizae will persist on the seedlings after they are outplanted into soils where many competing mycorrhizal fungi already exist.

One reason chanterelles have been so difficult to cultivate is the presence of bacteria and other foreign microorganisms within the sporocarp tissues, ex. mainly fluorescent Pseudomonas but also Streptomyces, Xanthomonas, and Bacillus. Analyses show that amino acids, organic acids, and sugars released by chanterelles serve as a likely nutrient source for the bacteria. Researchers have noted beneficial interactions between bacteria and other mushrooms. The role of Pseudomonas during fruiting of the button mushroom. They detected that the possibility that chanterelle mycelia obtain nitrogen indirectly by exuding enzymes that are used by associated bacteria to break down organic matter and then reabsorbing the resultant nitrogen containing breakdown products. Bacterial contamination has plagued all who have tried to culture chanterelles. When chanterelle tissue is transferred to nutrient media, bacteria from the chanterelles grow more quickly than fungal hyphae, thus precluding subsequent isolation of uncontaminated chanterelle hyphae. Recently, Dutch scientists used an antibacterial nutrient media formulation (Fries1979) to grow and isolate pure chanterelle mycelium from chanterelle tissues.

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