Volume 13 Part 1 Article 39: Carbon dioxide enrichment to control the growth of the mushroom Agaricus bisporus for mechanical harvesting

Volume 13 Part 1 Article 39
Year 1991
Title: Carbon dioxide enrichment to control the growth of the mushroom Agaricus bisporus for mechanical harvesting
Authors: R. NobIe and M.E. Love

Abstract:

Experiments were conducted to determine whether improved synchronisation of fruitbody development, especially stipe elongation, could be achieved by enriching the COj concentration In the air at defined stages during sporophore development. The effects of CO2 enrichment on crop yield and quality were monitored. Mushrooms were grown in small containers at 0.08% CO2. When the cap diameter of the largest sporophore per container had attained 15, 20, 25, or 30 nm, containers were transferred to a CO2 enriched atmosphere containing 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5% CO2. The stipe elongation of sporophores greater than 10 mm in diameter was more rapid in the CO2 enriched atmospheres, and was greatest at 1.0% C02. The growth of smaller sporophores was suppressed until the flush was harvested and the container subsequently returned to an environment of 0.08% CO2. The proportion of “open” sporophores was highest in mushrooms exposed to a C02 concentration of 0.5%, and in containers transferred when sporophore cap diameter attained 30 mm. The proportion of “open” sporophores was lowest in mushrooms exposed to CO2 concentrations of 1.0 and 1.5% at the 15 and 20 mm stage and in those remaining in 0.08% CO2. Exposure of sporophores to levels of CO2 of 0.5 to 1.5% generally reduced yield compared with fruitbodies maintained in 0.08% CO2 continuously. Yield loss increased with higher CO2 concentrations and the earliness of the transfer Into the higher CO2 atmosphere. The treatment which appeared to produce sufficient stipe elongation, which would facilitate mechanical harvesting, while minimising yield loss and cap opening, was a transfer into 1.0% CO2 at a cap diameter of 15-20 mm.

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