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AJ, sorry I forgot to cover that in the previous comment.
KOH is very corrosive, so that tissue is already damaged. I cannot not see KOH do more damage especially if the sample has been dehydrated — it should be sequestered in the flesh it penetrated, maybe even crystallize out(?). You can excise the affected pileipellis tissue before drying (I usually try not to apply the chemicals to a large surface area for that very reason).
Ammonium hydroxide is much less basic, besides is just NH3 (a gas) dissolved in water — so when the bulk of water is removed from the tissue, the ammonia will be gone, too.
DNA sequencing requires the hymenophore, so as longs as the chemicals are not there, I wouldn’t be overly concerned.
I have a camera adapter for my scope and will add photos when I do microscopy. I tested with KOH and the results were similar to ammonia. I don’t have iron sulfate, so I’ll have to look into that. Is the mushroom still suitable for an herbarium collection after performing these chemical tests? I only performed them on one of the two collected specimens. Thanks for your help, it’s much appreciated.
You are already half-way there, AJ, with the date, location, photographs, some chemical tests (you may want to get KOH and iron sulfate for your boletes) — all posted on MO. You are about to do some basic microscopy, like spore measurements (taking spore pix is useful, too). Any other observable characteristics not immediately inferred from the pix, i.e., stipe/cap measurements, odor, taste can be included, too. I don’t even have to post all that stuff on MO if you don’t want to, but keeping written records with your herbarium is a good science practice. I know this can be very time-consuming especially if you have many shrooms in your basket. The bottom line is that your voucher description/record can be as perfect/good enough as you want it to be
I’m unsure of what you mean by “writing up this record,” but I’d be happy to do what I can. I collected both specimens pictured and I am spore printing one next to my scope, though the mention of DNA makes me think microscopy may not be very enlightening for this find. Also, has the ammonia testing rendered the one specimen unsuitable for long term storage? Thanks for your help!
I agree that the ammonia test is not very consistent with the colors published on mushroomexpert or in Bessettes’ guide (BRB), but chemical tests are sometimes unreliable or inconsistent for reasons that are not easy to explain. Your mushroom might not be variipes, but that’s as close as we’ll get without DNA sequencing. One thing for sure, it’s not B. edulis, but it’s definitely in the Boletus sensu stricto family.
I noticed you preserved at least 1 specimen, so you should look into writing up this record to make it a vouchered collection. That’s why I asked you about the habitat — as many details as possible always helps.
I’m always happy to provide more info when I can. I’ll have to check out the Bassette book; it looks very cool. The ammonia reaction doesn’t seem consistent with the info on mushroomexpert.com, though.
I added an uncropped photo. Perhaps there is something there that will be helpful for determining the habitat. I do see a Canadian hemlock cone.
It was growing about two feet from a young tree with maple like leaves in mixed hardwoods with lots of Beech, Oak, and several other trees I don’t know how to identify.
Ammonia purple on cap and stem.
Boletes, or any other mycorrhizal macrofungi for the matter, don’t grow with maples.
Created: 2015-06-17 18:25:32 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-06-18 00:09:06 CDT (-0400)
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