Observation 58581: Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.) P. Kumm.
When: 2008-07-12
Herbarium specimen reported
0 Sequences


The model organism of the Amazon Mycorenewal Project in its many Ecuadorian habitats.

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Former project coordinator Brian Pace with a fruiting bag of spawn, substrate and crude oil.
Small scale ex-situ crates containing various concentrations of crude oil.
Large fruiting bodies feeding on a mixture of crude and substrate visited by a party of hungry Drosophila (?).
One of two large-scale test areas designed to emulate the conditions of a lined, open-air oil pit. Inside are various concentrations of substrate, crude and oyster mushroom spawn.
Copyright © 2007 unknown
At the Charapa pit — the first and oldest pool of discarded petroleum in Ecuador — burlap sacks are filled with a mixture of Pleurotus spawn, woodchips and sawdust from a local broomstick factory, and crude from the pit below. Once filled, these would line an 8 foot embankment at the e...
Copyright © 2007 unknown
Crude is harvested from the pit to mix into the bunker spawn which will line the embankment.
The construction of another large scale, in-situ installation, this one situated in a riverbed which will fill with the arrival of the rainy season.
Oyster spawn mixed with a variety of locally sourced substrates are tightly packed into crosshatching, wedge-shaped crevasses separated by bamboo poles.
The finished installation.
Myceliated soil and substrate taken from one of two piles used in an anecdotal experiment begun in the summer of 2008, each one containing a mixture of petroleum taken from the immediate surroundings, sawdust and woodchips. One and a half years later, this chunk, taken from the pile inoculated wit...

Proposed Names

87% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Found on oil-soaked hay bales and burlap sacks, growing in bouquets in and around on-site installations, fruiting in crates of crude-saturated substrates, bubbling up in test pits, sold in markets, featured on dinner plates, savored by tongues and treasured in tummies.
Used references: Mia Rose Maltz, Bob Rawson, Joanna Zlotnik, Donald Moncayo, Paul Gamboa, Ricardo Viteri
Based on microscopic features: Insatiable appetite for petrochemicals and other hydrocarbon-based pollutants.
Based on chemical features: Potent source of protein. Arch enemy of cholesterol (care of Lovastatin).

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
“To get the gold they will have to kill every one of us.”
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-10-15 03:15:37 CDT (-0400)

Gold as the latest unobtanium on Ecuador’s uncannily Avatar-like natural resource battlefront:


By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-08-16 22:08:31 CDT (-0400)

Patrick: He’s visited some toxic sites and installations, but we’ve not yet had the opportunity to combine forces.

Debbie & Chris: Nothing’s being eaten or sold. Lab results show our heavy metal concentrations to be low relative to the environment they’re growing in, but not low enough to be safe for consumption. Ex situ test plots have been anywhere from milk crate to 6′×6′ pit sized, in situ pits can be anywhere from driveway to olympic swimming pool sized or larger, but our installations only try to tackle them at the edges, at least initially. there are also waterways that carry pollution from one place to another. it’s not unlikely that the entire area has TPH levels above normal or healthy levels given the amount of acid rain in the area. upscaling is most definitely a challenge the project is attempting to overcome. results are mixed across the board. we just need more time/money/participation/research.

i’m presenting on this in Telluride in 5 days. Hop a quick flight if you’d like to get the full run down.

By: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)
2011-08-16 12:16:36 CDT (-0400)

Is Larry Evans working with you on this project?

how large is the contaminated area?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-08-16 11:42:11 CDT (-0400)

how large are your test plots?

what is the source of oyster spawn and what is its cost?

have the oyster fruit bodies themselves been thoroughly tested for potential contaminants, prior to market sale? lots of different mushrooms concentrate toxins in their fruit bodies…I don’t think that I’d want to eat them, tho.

it has been my understanding that oysters breaking down oil works pretty well on a small scale, but becomes far more difficult and expensive on a broader scale. has this changed with more field research? and if so, what makes the difference?

Inspiring work!
By: christopher hodge (christopher hodge)
2011-08-16 11:08:47 CDT (-0400)

If the world only had more roving mycologists! did anyone get to sample the fine flavor or these specimens?

900+ pits, to be exact
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-05-14 18:33:20 CDT (-0400)

but the Charapa pit is only one we’ve done any large scale in situ work on. more to come. and when we do, I’ll post it here. thanks for your interest and kind words, Darv.

By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2011-05-14 10:37:29 CDT (-0400)

Nice project and great to see the photos on how it’s coming together. Looks like you did some small test plots and now you’re gearing up for a larger attempt to degrade the pond of black crude.

Created: 2010-11-12 05:54:18 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-08-16 22:13:10 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 387 times, last viewed: 2017-06-14 00:55:05 CDT (-0400)
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