Volume 12 Part 2 Article 11: Cotton Straw Silage as a Substrate for Pleurotus sp. Cultivation

Volume 12 Part 2 Article 11
Year 1989
Title: Cotton Straw Silage as a Substrate for Pleurotus sp. Cultivation
Authors: O. Danai, D. Levanon and N. Silanikove


Cotton and cereal crops generate large amounts of organic agricultural waste in many countries (Silanikove and Levanon, 1986). Cereal straws have an economical value and are utilized mainly in cattle production as feedstuff and as bedding. Moreover, the nutritional value of cereal straw for ruminants may be improved by various chemical treatments (Fan et al. 1982). The response of cotton straw (CS) to conventional alkali and acidic treatments is small (Shefet and Ben-Ghedalia, 1982; Silanikove and Levanon, 1987), which prevents practical utilization of these processes.

In addition, before utilization of CS for any process, a proper storage system must be developed because of its high moisture content. We have recently managed to preserve CS under anaerobic conditions which seems to be also the most economical way to do it (Silanikove and Levanon, 1986).

Many wood decomposing fungi utilize lignocellulose efficiently and this characteristic is related to their ability to metabolize lignm (Kirk, 1971). Pleurotus sp. have found to be one of the most efficient lignocellulose solid state decomposing types of the white rot fungi (Zadrazil and Brunnert, 1981; Piatt et al., 1983, 1984). Pleurotus sp. is cultivated for the production of edible mushrooms utilizing lignocellulose waste as substrate.

Cotton straw was found in laboratory experiments to be an excellent substrate for Pleurotus (Piatt et al., 1983). Water extracts of CS encourage growth and lignm degradation of Pleurotus sp. cfr. Florida (Piatt et al., 1984).

The major obstacle m the application of the new process is its scaling-up. In the present experiment the possibility of growing Pleurotus utilizing CS and a combination of CS and wheat straw (WS) as substrates for the production of edible mushrooms was examined at a pilot plant scale.

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