Volume 12 Part 1 Article 30: A Tropical Agaricus with Commercial Potential

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 30
Year 1989
Title: A Tropical Agaricus with Commercial Potential
Authors: J.F. Smith and M.E. Love


There are over 40 identifiable Agaricus species found growing naturally in the U.K. and many more in warmer climates. While many of these have been appreciated and gathered for centuries, it is somewhat surprising that only two species i.e. A. bisporus and A. bitorquis have been grown commercially. It is reasonable to suppose that many of the wild species will have commercial potential in their own right if suitable substrates can be found on which to grow them.

As a result of preliminary experiments completed in 1985 to investigate nutritional requirements of a number of wild Agaricus species, one particular species [two strains designated W19 and W20 in the G.C.R.I, culture collection (Elliott and Challen 1981)] was found to produce attractive fruit bodies of good size and quality on traditional substrates when grown at temperatures in excess of 24°C. This species was reported to be typical of A. bitorquis, the salient features including a pileus normally less than 8 cm diameter, faint ochraceous colouration when rubbed and basidia bearing 4 sub-globose spores (Dr. D.N. Pegler, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – personal communication).

This paper describes a series of experiments to determine the environmental parameters necessary for efficient fruiting of this species.

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