Volume 17 Part 1 Article 60: Experience with Sporeless Strains of Oyster Mushroom (Pleutorus ostreatus) in Commercial Production

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 60
Year 2008
Title: Experience with Sporeless Strains of Oyster Mushroom (Pleutorus ostreatus) in Commercial Production
Authors: J. Baars and H. Hesen


In commercial cultivation of oyster mushrooms, abundant basidiospore production leads to the development of allergies in many workers. In addition to this, it is postulated that the accumulation of spores on farms gradually leads lower yield and quality in successive crops. In a project financed by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, prototypes of sporeless oyster mushroom strains were developed. This paper describes how the best line was selected and introduced into the market. Experimental batches of spawn were made available by Sylvan Spawn. After an initial test involving 30 sporeless prototype strains based on HK35, two strains were selected for evaluation on commercial oyster mushroom farms. Commercial sporulating strains were used as controls. Both sporeless strains showed a production cycle similar to commercial strains and their mushrooms had a comparable shelf life. The strain with the highest productivity was subsequently made available by Sylvan Spawn as a commercial line designated as H-195. To introduce Sylvan H-195 into the market, it was tested by 12 growers from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. They tested its performance in about 300 tonnes of H195-inoculated substrate. They compared H-195 with sporulating strains such as HK35, 3009, Le Champion 30 and K12. Currently, the sporeless strain has a market share of at least 25% in the Netherlands and is also cultivated in Germany, Belgium and the UK. Its productivity varies between 22 and 28% (kg of mushroom per kg of substrate). While sporulating strains normally decline in yield after being grown for some months, some growers have now been growing H195 for 18 months without a decline of yield. Also, the climatic needs are similar to those of normally sporulating strains. Lowering the fructification temperature during outgrowth and harvest favours darker colour of the mushrooms and a longer shelf life.

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