Volume 12 Part 1 Article 52: The Effect of Temperature Manipulation during Cropping on the Flushing Pattern of a Hybrid Strain of the Cultivated Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 52
Year 1989
Title: The Effect of Temperature Manipulation during Cropping on the Flushing Pattern of a Hybrid Strain of the Cultivated Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus
Authors: M.E. Love and J.F. Smith

Abstract:

Strains of A. bisporus produce a distinct pattern of fruit body formation during the cropping cycle. Mushrooms grow in “flushes” which occur at approximately weekly intervals. Therefore, to harvest a high-yielding, good quality crop requires each flush to be picked over several days.

Experiments to investigate the effect of temperature manipulation during the cropping cycle have shown that improved synchronisation of growth within flushes can be achieved (Flegg 1979b, 1980). Recent investigations using two commercially available strains of A. bisporus, a smooth white and an off-white type, produced the highest degree of synchronisation when mushrooms grown at 16-18°C, were exposed to temperatures of 24°C and 22°C respectively after attaining a cap diameter of 1 cm (Love, Smith and Randle 1986). Exposure to a period of elevated temperature resulted in the mortality of small, latedeveloping sporophores of the flush whilst allowing any fruit bodies with a cap diameter of 1 cm or more to mature rapidly to a harvestable size and so reduce flush duration. This temperature treatment, although producing no significant reduction in yield, reduced the number of fruit bodies and thereby increased the average weihgt of individual mushrooms. Good quality fruit bodies of similar size and maturity were harvested in fewer picking days than that achieved using the standard procedure of growing where only one temperature is used throughout the cropping cycle.

The experiments reported here were done to determine if a similar method of temperature manipulation could be used to improve synchronisation of growth within flushes of a hybrid strain now popular with U.K. growers.

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