Maintenance as a grain culture

If storage for a relative short period (less than one year) is required, the grain culture technique may be helpful. Park (1971) and Gobi (1975) have found this method suitable for the preservation of some ectomycorrhizal fungi for up to 9 months when making inoculum preparations. Liquid medium inoculum is introduced into a bottle or into autoclavable plastic bags containing cooked and sterilized wheat or other cereal grains with the addition of some calcium carbonate or calcium sulphate. The fungi are allowed to grow and the containers are shaken gently once a week. The cultures developed can then be stored in a cold room for up to nine months. The value of this simple and cheap method as a maintenance method should be carefully determined for different types of ectomycorrhizal fungi.

Grain cultures as forest plantation inoculants have also been used by other research workers as reviewed by Marx (1980) although these were not always found to give good results.

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