SGFCs are all the rage these days, I guess. I don't get it, but obviously it works for some people - maybe if you have your FC fully loaded with cakes it'll stay humid with all those holes?
It could be the case that SGFCs are only experiencing a slight resurgence in popularity because interest in mushrooms is surging and noobs are finding old Teks and don't bother to put in the time researching the state of the art before putting out their kits and videos.
Also, it might be to justify the sale of a kit since a "kit" that consists of an overpriced unmodified bin that you can get at Mal-Wart for much less cost wouldn't sell very well. But if a hopeful new grower sees a custom modified thingy being sold for it then it must be what folks need to grow 'em or it wouldn't be part of the kit, right?
Potency is soooo strain dependent, and with MultiSpore (I'm sure someone's already mentioned this but I'm too lazy to read 5 pages) you're throwing hundreds or thousands of potential strains into that jar. The one that wins the fight may select for vigor but not potency.
I have a couple questions about MS grows that I would be VERY curious to know the answers to.
One involves hyphal anastomosis. With a dark/opaque spore syringe like mine usually are, we're probably initially getting tens of millions of strains (after hundreds of millions of monokaryons combine into dikaryotic strains) in every BRF jar.
But when compatible strains of mycelium meet, they fuse and exchange genetic material (among other things) to form what I guess is a kind of hybrid between the two dikaryotic strains.
In mycology, anastomosis is the fusion between branches of the same or different hyphae. Hence the bifurcating fungal hyphae can form true reticulating networks. By sharing materials in the form of dissolved ions, hormones, and nucleotides, the fungus maintains bidirectional communication with itself. The fungal network might begin from several origins; several spores, several points of penetration, each a spreading circumference of absorption and assimilation. Once encountering the tip of another expanding, exploring self, the tips press against each other in pheromonal recognition, fusing to form a genetic singular that can cover hectares called a genet.
For fungi, anastomosis is also sex. In some fungi, two different haploid mating types - if compatible - merge. Somatically, they form a morphologically similar mycelial wave front that continues to grow and explore. The significant difference, is that in each septated unit is binucleate, containing two unfused nuclei, i.e. one from each parent that do not undergo karyogamy.
That last line is pretty interesting. I wonder what happens when a mycelial wave front that has already undergone anastomosis meets another expanding wave front that has also undergone anastomosis? Do the septated units become "quadnucleate" or does one dominate the other and replace the weaker nuclei with those of the more dominant strain?
I guess what I'm getting at is that the difference between MS and isolates might be a lot more complicated than it seems. I suspect it is.
I suppose doing DNA sequencing would be enlightening; grow two strains, each on a separate petri dish. Make each one a cross of two strains of monokaryotic mycelium so we know that anastomosis has not taken place yet. Sequence the DNA of both dikaryotic strains. Then transfer some of each to a third dish and let the colonies grow into each other. Wait a day or two for things to take their course. Or not; I have no idea if that matters (testing repeatedly over several days might be interesting too; how long does the migration of nuclei through a colony really take?). Then sequence the DNA from the region where the strains contacted each other as well as from where both original transfers were placed.
That could be very revealing depending on what's found. Based on my understanding of anastomosis, I would expect the same DNA to be found in all three tests of the combined strains. Which essentially makes it a de facto isolate, though it may be binucleate but it's not clear if mycelium from a cloned specimen would be binucleate as well if it was originally cloned from a MS grow.
And when a strain possesses two unfused nuclei, which one determines growth characteristics, potency, etc.?