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Monday, 14 May 2012

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Waste paper: An alternative substrate for growing oyster mushrooms

Most of the edible fungi are saprophyte in nature. They utilize lignocellulosic complex as an energy source and for making their carbon skeleton. The oyster mushroom has strong enzyme profile that breakdown these complex organic macromolecule to simple form and help them to grow on a wide range of agricultural waste like cereal and millet waste, pulses and oil crop waste, vegetable and fruit waste, cotton and palm waste, sugar crop waste and wood and wood by-products etc. 
              These agro-wastes are scarce in the big cities, the people are unable to grow their own mushroom. Waste paper, on other hand, is an accessible cellulosic waste that provides carbon source to mushroom and  promotes their cultivation in such circumstances. 
Fruit bodies of Pleurotus flabellatus on waste-paper. 
Photo © Dr. Siddhant Oys
                  For this purpose, waste register paper is  dip over night in the solution of Formaldehyde (500ppm) and Bavistin (75ppm). Next morning, it is squeezed to drain off excess water and layer spawning is done under hygienic conditions using polythene bags. After inoculation, bags is incubated at 25oC-30oC. When mushroom mycelium fully colonized the substrate, several cuts (1.0-2.0cm diameter) are made on mushroom bags instead of complete removal of polythene film. The humidity of substrate is maintained at 85-95 per cent with the help of sprayer. The  mushroom appears about 33 days after spawning. However, waste paper doesn't show good response as compared to conventional substrate. It produces 70-75% of fresh mushrooms on dry weight basis of substrate. (See Table)

Source- Siddhant, Ruchira Singh and R.S. Kanaujia (2009): Cultivation of Pleurotus flabellatus (Berk. Et Br.) Sacc. using different waste substrate. Journal of the Indian Botanical Society. 88(1&2): 137-139. 

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