Fungus in the Compost

Hi All,
Two weeks ago I began composting for the first time, and I have two questions about fungus in the compost:
1. Can I throw poisonous mushrooms (i.e. Amanita virosa) into a compost pile?
2. Can penicillin from citrus molds slow down decomposition by killing microorganisms?
Thanks,
C.W.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com said:

Since you don't eat the compost, I don't see why not.

Not that I've ever noticed (small amount of citrus, large pile). The mold might be able to keep the citrus remnants all to themselves for a while, but that's about it. The rest of the microorganisms will just keep on going.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Fungi are one of the mechanisms of a compost pile.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) says...

It is more sensible to throw edible mushrooms into the compost. If there are a lot of grass clippings in with your compost, agaricus campestris will fruit nicely in a compost pile, and also on ground where you spread the compost.
Amanitas are mostly mycorrhizal, so probably won't do anything at all to your compost pile.
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Interesting question about the poisonous mushrooms. I don't know the answer. Do you know how long the toxins last after the mushroom decomposes? Do you use the compost on edible plants eventually? Might be worth a call to your cooperative extension.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Toxin from poisonous amanita is a protein, but I'm not sure how long it takes to break down. On the other hand, the poison may be a good souce of nitrogen for plants. I plan to use the compost for fruit trees.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

According to one source http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org . uk/mag/artjun00/jpfungi.html the typical amanita cap contains 30 to 90 milligrams of toxin. You'd have to have thousands of them before the toxin would provide enough nitrogran to measure, except with laboratory instruments.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Good luck. Let us know how that goes! :-)
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(Doug Kanter) says...

Amatoxin is a long chain polypeptide that could not be incorporated into a plant without decomposing first. Unless you plan on eating shovels full of compost, it should be safe enough.
I think the question was if the mushroom would grow in the compost. Since amanitas are not saprophytes, it is highly unlikely. Amanitas are mycorrhizae, literally "fungus root", that live in symbiosis with tree roots.
Compost piles are inhabited by saprophytes, which live by breaking down concentrations of vegetable matter. I once got two years of agaricus campestris, many many pounds, by spreading a manure pile one foot thick and plug inoculating spawn every 3 feet. Every time it rained, they fruited. After a year, lepiotas took over the fruiting, so I spread the compost on my garden and rototilled it in. Every time I watered the garden, I got another crop of meadow mushrooms and lepiotas.
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Interesting. Thanks!
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On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 15:27:04 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I dont understand this question. Why does it matter? The compost is not eaten. Livestock eat near all sorts of toxic plants and they are actually "eating". The only possible problem I see as possible is the spores in these mushrooms growing more mushrooms from the finished compost. However I tend to think the heat produced during composting would kill the spores. But I know little about the manner in which mushrooms reproduce.
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On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 05:11:03 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

What a goofy thread.....good compost is teaming with fungi. Many fungi form symbiotic relationships with plants and provide a healthy soil food web.....
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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