Today I tried cloning paddy straw mushroom (Volvariella Volvacea) on agar, using a simple all-purpose culture medium.

Here are the making steps we need next:

Step 1: Making the Agar

To make the agar, we'll use:

  • A cup of water
  • Agar powder
  • Rice grain
  • Garlic
  • Sugar

For about 70% cup of water, I use about 2-3 grams of agar. For half a cup, I use a bit less. The amount more or less will make your medium thicker or softer. Softer medium is easier to cut through later. However, either one of them is fine.

Rice grain here is for starch. You can substitute it with yam or potatoes. An alternative for the garlic is onion, which belongs to the same family. For sugar, you can use daikon radish, a veggie that has a very sweet taste. I'll be using regular table sugar here for convenience.

For the first step, pour water into a pot. Gradually heat it up on the stove. Add in the rice grain, garlic and sugar. Stir and let it boil. I then screen out the solids and get the liquid. Then, add in the agar powder gradually to the remaining liquid and stir.

Observe as the water feels a little bit thicker when stirring around, the mixture is about done. We can pour the agar medium then into petri dishes or just 2 oz ketchup cups. I pour about half way or less. With about 1 cup of water, it will make 20 petri dishes. Let the agar cool down. You may see some condensation on the lid but it will go away soon.

Step 2: Get A Piece of Mushroom and Put It On Agar

The next step is to cut a tiny piece of the mushroom and place it on the agar. I use a nail clipper for this job.

Tear the mushroom open with your hand and snip a piece out. I'm not sure yet which part of the paddy straw shroom will clone well. So I cut a bit of this here and there: inside the egg dome, on the fruit stem, a bit in the cup (the volva part) underneath.

Then, place your mushroom piece on the agar. I used to cut very big chunk, thinking it will produce more and faster. I learned though that a smaller piece will work just fine. Maybe it's more suitable with the food available in each container. I also dip the piece a bit into the agar for contact.

Step 3: Place the Agar in A Dark Place (Like Cupboard)

Lastly, after you've put all the mushroom pieces on agar, place them in a dark place (like a cupboard). And... wait.

I will update you on how it turns out. Till then!

The cover photo is the one I made with baby king trumpet mushroom using the same ingredients and steps. Not sure if it will work this time with the paddy straw. Let's wait and see. Until then!

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(to be created)