Kombucha leather x Mycelium

We’ve had some cross breeding going on in our experiments. Mycelium settled on some kombucha leather pieces that had already dried.

I haven’t really checked if it has different properties now, but it looks really cool. Did anyone have similar things happen? Did you notice any changes in properties?

looks cool, esp the green, but not sure I much like it from a biosecurity standpoint! :wink:

The green is food colouring, not nasties :wink: It’s some leftovers on the piece of wood it has dried on.

The white is mycelium from a species that we also work with. Likely it’s Pleurotus or Coriolus. So not harmful at all

Is it more water-proof the part with the mycelium?

I’ll test it! Good thinking. It makes a lot of sense, actually.

One major property difference I can see - it has converted from translucent to opaque! For applications in clothing, that’s generally a useful transformation, lol.

Hi Elise,

What exactly causes the bacterial leather to absorb moisture? Something having to do with its structure?

Am I correct that there is no hemicellulose present in the bacterial leather, like there is in plants, and that it is mainly this hemicellulose responsible for the moisture absorption in plants?

I’m not such an expert in bacterial leather actually, so I don’t know (should look it up).

But the reason why it would be waterproof with the mycelium is because there is chitin in the cell wall of the hyphae (the white thing you see on the picture), which is hydrophobic.

I was thinking about lipids actually to make it hydrophobic, but not in post-production… Reading about all this stuff, I’m starting to get the feeling it’s way over my head :wink:

I’ve tried this two different ways. First was adding grain spawn on top of growing kombucha. That turned into a mold bomb, lol.

I also tried growing it on kombucha that I had taken out of it’s liquid, layed on cardboard, and pasteurized with a boiling water soak, and inoculated with a little grain spawn. That worked okay, but has been colonizing reaaaaaaaaaaally slowly.

I’m curious, @winnieponcelet did that mycelia grow while the scoby was dry, or did you moisten it once you saw it growing? Do you know how the mycelia got there (like a visible piece of something that had been colonized), or was it just magic? Is it still growing, or did something halt it?

They were dried pieces lying around in the lab. We didn’t do anything, they just kind of started growing :smiley:

I’m assuming from the pattern that many small pieces of starter (spores or pieces of mycelium?) fell on it somehow.

Crazy that it would grow on a dry piece. I’m assuming it must have had some water content, maybe 5% or 10% or something, otherwise it’d be impossible (unless the fungus was drawing moisture directly from the air?!). But the fact that the mycelia could grow on something that feels totally dry is fabulous, because that significantly reduces the chances of contamination. You should consider trying to culture that out and keep the strain!

Is it eating your bacterial leather? Or is it attached to the bacterial leather because the bacterial leather is sticky? Could coating with dried mycelium powder prove interesting to make the leather hydrophobic?

Not sure if it’s eating it, but the mycelium is on top of it as an extra layer. Maybe coating would work, worth trying out.

I will try coating the bacterial leather with mycelium powder as my first experiment, rubbing it in, pressing it in, spraying it on…

Growing the mycelium and bacterial leather myself seems like a nice way to get some hands on experience with fungi and what not…

Which strain/species did you use @JasonPadvorac? because some species don’t like cellulose as much as others.

More info can be found in the paper of @haneef: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep41292

I’m also surprised @winnieponcelet, were they really dry or still humid and sticky?

@winnieponcelet I think it is a fresh piece of bacterial leather got contaminated with fungi. So I mean fresh piece have some moisture inside and you can see some gree spot, it is another kind of fungi. It is mostly looked like a mold type. What is your experience @Elise?

Here is what winnie said about the green spots: [quote=“winnieponcelet, post:3, topic:8146”]
The green is food colouring, not nasties :wink: It’s some leftovers on the piece of wood it has dried on.

Its look very interesting as you are describing.