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Thursday, 30 May 2013

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Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) left after the cultivation of oyster mushroom  is a nutrient rich by-product. It can be used in different ways like as fuel sources, as plant growing media, as disease controlling agents, to re-use in cultivation of mushrooms, to produced ruminant feed and to produced fertilizers etc.    
In present communication, SMS obtained from cultivation of Pleurotus eous was recycled as a fertilizer for the growth and yield potential of Spinacea oleracea

Cultivation methodology:

SMS was used to explore its ability as a fertilizer. It was milled and sieved through 0.2 cm sieves. Three different proportions 1, 3 and 5 % (w/w) were added to the soil as adopted by Shukry et al., (1999). Each proportion was mixed thoroughly with the soil and placed in 15 cm diameter pot. Fifteen seeds of test plant (Spinacea oleracea) were sown 0.5" deep in this mixture and growth in respect of yield (g) was recorded. Completely Randomized Design (CRD) was employed for this experiment. The data were statistically analyzed and the critical difference (CD) was worked out at five percent probability level. 


SMS containing sets showed early seed germination than pure soil. The time of germination decreased with increasing proportion of SMS and recorded minimum in 5% SMS proportion sets. However, such trends were not observed in harvesting time where all the sets took equal time (37 days). The yield of Spinacia oleracea was observed higher in all treatments. It was recorded significant only in 5% SMS containing sets (120 gm). (Table)

Effect of SMS on germination and yield of Spinacea oleracea

The result revealed that supplementation of higher dose of SMS not only gives early seed emergence but also increased the yield performance of Spinacia oleracea.(Figure)

Effect of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) as fertilizer on germination and yield of Spinacia oleracea.


SMS supplemented sets showed shorter time for seed germination. A positive effect of SMS on yield of Spinacia oleracea was also noticed where its high Proportion showed significant production of crop. This may be because of the SMS improved the physical property of soil by decreasing soil bulk density, increasing aggregate stability, reducing surface crust formation and diurnal temperature changes, increasing the infiltration rate, aeration and water retaining capacity of the soil. It is well known that physical properties of soil were directly related to crop yield (Stewart et al., 1998). It also maintains high organic matter content in the soil. Zheng and co-worker stated that it contains higher percentage of three primary nutrients e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as a fertilizer (Rinker et al., 2004) while Zadrazil (1976) suggested that during growth on straw, Pleurotus releases humic acids like fractions when added to soil which increase its fertility. In addition, humic substances may affect the plant biochemical process (Vaughan et al., 1985). Shukry et al. (1999) reported that addition of straw in the soil caused an increase in the number of total bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi of the rhizosphere. Ranyanathan and Selvaseelan (1994) observed that the yield of green gram increased in plots previously supplied with mushroom spent rice straw. López Castro et al., (2008) stated that Pleurotus waste was adequate to sustain the growth of Salvia officinalis by improving air porosity and mineral content of the soil.(See original


  • López Castro, R. I., Delmastro, S. and N. R. Curvetto (2008). Spent oyster mushroom substrate in a mix with organic soil for plant pot cultivation. Mycologia applicada international 20(1): 17-26.
  • Ranyanathan, D.S. and D.A. Selvaseelan (1994). Residual effect of mushroom spent rice straw compost on yield and nutrient uptake in green gram. Madras Agril. J., 81:478.
  • Rinker, D.L. , ZERI and S.W. Kang (2004). Recycling of oyster mushroom substrate. In: Mushroom Growers’ Handbook-1. 9:187-191.
  • Stewart, D. P. C., Cameron, K. C., Cornforth, I. S. and J. R. Sedcole (1998). Effects of spent mushroom substrate on soil physical conditions and plant growth in an intensive horticultural system. Australian journal of soil research 36(6): 899 – 912.
  • Shukry, W.M., El-Fallal, A.A. and H.M.S. El-Bassiouny (1999). Effect of spent wheat straw growth, growth hormones, metabolism and rhizosphere of Cucumis sativa. Egypt. J. Physiol. Sci., 23:39-69.
  • Vaughan, D., R.E. Malcolm and B.D. Ord (1985). Influence of humic substances on biochemical processes in plants. In: D. Vaughan and D.R. Malcolm (Ed.), Soil organic matter and biological activity. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp: 37-45.

Cite this as:

Siddhant and C.S. Singh (2009). Recycling of spent oyster mushroom substrate to recover additional value. Kathmandu University Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology. 5(2): 66-71


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