Volume 10 Part 1 Article 10: Tests on Breeding with Agaricus arvensis

Volume 10 Part 1 Article 10
Year 1979
Title: Tests on Breeding with Agaricus arvensis
Author: G. Fritsche


At the moment only two species of the genus Agaricus are cultivated on commercial scale. In the Seventeenth Century, people started to cultivate A. bisporus dang. Imbach (Kligman, 1950). Only in 1968 the second species A. bitorquis (Quel.) Sacc. (also called Psalliota edulis Vitt.) was brought into culture (Hasselbach & Mutsers, 1971; Poppe, 1972).

Attempts to cultivate more species of Agaricus seem worthwhile. The selection of mushrooms on the market would be more varied. Possibly there are species for the different seasons of a year. We know that A. bitorquis needs a higher temperature than A. bisporus (Hasselbach & Mutsers, 1971). A change now and then in the species of Agaricus could be a weapon in the battle against diseases, as we have learnt of A. bitorquis, which is immune to mushroom virus (Dieleman-Van Zaayen, 1972; Van Zaayen, 1976) and less sensitive than A. bisporus to Verticillium (Poppe, 1972; Dieleman-Van Zaayen, 1974).

Among the Agaricus species we tried to cultivate a short time ago, the most promising one was A. arvensis Schaeffer ex. Seer, figure 1 shows fruit bodies of the three Agaricus species mentioned. Treschow (1944) already reported success in cultivating A. arvensis on horse manure. Possibly Duggar (1905) had cultivated this species on stable manure. But in contrast to Treschow he published no photograph and was not sure, whether he was working with A arvensis.

During recent years, several laboratories have worked with A. arvensis. Zadrazil et al. (1973) succeeded in producing fruit bodies under sterile conditions on soil and Till-substrate and under normal conditions on Till- Huhnke substrate. Couvy (1974) let mycelium grow through the substrate under sterile conditions and studied the influence of light and temperature on pinning and shape of the fruit bodies. Elliott (1974, 1976) studied its genetics but his strains produced only primordia in compost culture.

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