The MycoHarvester Mk I

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NOTE: due to the availability of spare parts,
production of the MycoHarvester Mk 1 ended in 2005
we regret that full support for these machines can no longer be provided.

During the development of 'Green Muscle', two of the key technical aspects were mass production and delivery systems (formulation and application). These procedures are linked by a critical process: the separation of spores (fungal aerial conidia) from their substrate. Before a purpose built device was developed, spore separation was time consuming and messy, producing preparations that caused problems with formulation (and therefore application), sometimes resulting in variable efficacy. With the help of an MSc student (Sylvia Mermelstein) these problems were solved with a substrate agitator coupled with a dual cyclone (see Dyson technology) spore extractor. Although they served their purpose, early machines were bulky and difficult to clean, so a more streamlined version: the MycoHarvester Mk I was developed in 1998 by ACIS R&D in collaboration with CABI Bioscience and IPARC.

Mycoharvester Mk I

The MycoHarvester is a device designed to harvest fungal spores safely and efficiently from a solid substrate (e.g. conidiated grains such as rice). It is suitable for small-scale, non-continuous preparation of mycopesticide samples or similar products, concentrating conidia in a form that is easy to desiccate and package. Experience in the international LUBILOSA programme has shown that this is a key process in the development of commercially acceptable mycoinsecticide formulations. The MH1 model extracts a product of high particle size quality, on a laboratory scale.

Separated spores of Green Muscle

The advantages of the MycoHarvester (over techniques such as sieving) include:

  • High quality spore separation (see graph), which:
    (a) prevents blockages of sprayer nozzles and filters and
    (b) enables the development of high quality formulations.
  • Operator safety: spore dust is sucked into the machine.
  • Fast processing: typically 1 kg of substrate is processed in less than 5 minutes.
  • Cost effective processing of experimental quantities of mycopesticides.
  • Facilitates better storage by concentrating spores for subsequent thorough drying.

Specifications: MH 1

Dimensions: approx. 650 mm high, 750 mm wide, 210 mm deep (25¾" x 29½" x 8¼").

Weight (unpacked): 13.9 kg (30lb 10oz).

Electrical supply: 220-240 v. For N. America and other 110 v. areas, a transformer was required.

Particle classification: Based on analysis of extraction samples of aerial conidia of Metarhizium anisopliae, the MH1 easily conformed to the particle size specifications established during research by the LUBILOSA Programme. For production of stable formulations, the size spectrum of extracted material (by volume) should be:
    <10 µm: >80%
    <100 µm: 100%

Operating Instructions: MH1
Operating instructions:
Mk I - version 2: 2001-05
More information

Updated 2/4/2012