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Thursday, 22 August 2013

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Trust in your mushrooms

Pleurotus sajor-caju, an edible mushroom belonging to order Agaricales of class Basidiomycetes is most promising mushroom, coming next to button mushroom in respect of its production at global level, although it is not valid oyster species even then it is as nutritious as other valid taxa which makes it an ideal food for human consumption.  In India, it is admired in especially due to its flavour, taste and above all easy method of growing without using any sophisticated infrastructure as compared to button mushroom. The Pleurotus spp. can be cultivated on a wide range of agro-industrial waste which is attacked by several competitor of fungal and bacterial origin. The antagonistic relationship between these micro-flora and desired fungus contribute a low productivity of mushrooms. In severe cases, complete failure of mushroom crop may take place. To eliminate weed, proper disinfection of substrate is recommended which is achieved by various means such as autoclaving, hot water application, radiation treatment, chemical applications etc. At commercial level it is done by steam sterilization method. Disinfection of substrate at home is probably a big goal for mushroom lovers. Sometimes, due to unproper pasteurization, wild microflora get a chance to compete with mushroom mycelium for space and nutrients. Generally, in such circumstances, contaminated bags are discarded. 

Photo © Dr. Siddhant Oys

I recommend to keep a trust in your mushrooms, they never hurt you. Give a long incubation period for contaminated bags so that mushroom mycelium may overcome the substrate. Once it happen, you can get healthy mushroom crop (Plate1 &2). 

Photo © Dr. Siddhant Oys


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