The effect of culture conditions on the mycelial growth and luminescence of naturally bioluminescent fungi

Hedda J. Weitz, Angela L. Ballard, Colin D. Campbell, Ken Killham

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The effects of temperature, light and pH on mycelial growth and luminescence of four naturally bioluminescent fungi were investigated. Cultures of Armillaria mellea, Mycena citricolor, Omphalotus olearius and Panellus stipticus were grown at 5°C, 15°C, 22°C and 30°C, under 24 h light, 12 h light/12 h dark and 24 h dark, and at a pH ranging from 3.5 to 7 in three separate experiments. Temperature and pH had a significant effect on mycelial growth and bioluminescence, however light did not. Bioluminescence and mycelial growth were optimum at 22°C and pH 3-3.5, the exception being M. citricolor for which bioluminescence and growth were optimum at pH 5-6 and pH 4, respectively. With the exception of M. citricolor, bioluminescence and mycelial growth were greater under 24 h darkness. An understanding of the effect of culture conditions on mycelial growth and luminescence is necessary for the future application of bioluminescent fungi as biosensors. © 2001 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2001


  • bioluminescence
  • culture condition
  • Armillaria mellea
  • Mycena citricolor
  • Omphalotus olearius
  • Panellus stipticus
  • temperature

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