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Monday, 12 August 2013

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Oxytocin is a peptide of nine amino acids (a nonapeptide). Its systematic name is cysteine-tyrosineisoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine (cys – tyr – ile – gln – asn – cys – pro – leu – gly - NH2, or (CYIQNCPLG-NH2). Recent news reports indicate increased misuse of  Oxytocin injection in fruits, vegetable farming sectors. Oxytocin injections are  injected in mainly Cucurbitaceae vegetables such as bottle gourds, bitter gourds, sponge gourd, pumpkins etc. This drug injection is administered in the roots of the plants or directly in fruits, vegetables to produce bigger and more quantity of fruits and vegetables. This treatment makes their appearance fresh and fluffy. Keeping this in mind, we have designed several experiments on oxytocin to visualized their effect on mushroom growth. 
Wheat straw (WS) was used as a growing medium for the cultivation of Pleurotus sajor-caju. It was filled in 42×30 cm sized polypropylene bags. These were then washed throughly in fresh water, and pasteurized in a solution of formaldehyde (500 ppm ) and Bavistin (75 ppm ) for 18 hUnder aseptic conditions, these were inoculated with mushroom spawn @ 10% w/w on dry weight basis and incubated at 25-30°C for mycelial growth. Once mycelium has completely colonized the substrate, The polythene covering were trun off and humidity of room is maintained 80-95% with the help of humidifier
Oxytocin treatment: Pure oxytocin and their dilutions (0.1, 0.2 0.3 and 0.5 % v/v) were used in following ways:
T1- The aforesaid dilutions of oxytocin were sprayed separately on wheat straw substrate at the time of spawning.
T2- These were also sprayed on mushroom beds after the date of bag opening. 
T3- Pure oxytocin and its dilutions were directly injected to mushroom sporocarp.

The results indicated that oxytocin treatments neither minimized the production cycle nor it enhanced mushroom yield especially in relation to the size of fruit bodies.

Note: This was just a experimental trial. We do not recommend the use of Oxytocin for mushrooms as well as vegetable cultivation because of its health hazards.


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