Volume 16 Part 1 Article 18: Prototype of a Sporeless Oyster Mushroom

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 18
Year 2004
Title: Prototype of a Sporeless Oyster Mushroom
Authors: J.J.P. Baars, P.M. Hendrickx and A.S.M. Sonnenberg


The enormous quantity of spores produced by the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) causes lungrelated health problems among workers engaged in oyster mushroom cultivation. If sporeless varieties were available, then these lung problems could be avoided. With the intent of developing a commercial sporeless oyster mushroom, we used a sporeless strain obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Results of experiments in crossing the strains showed that sporeless trait was easily introduced into a commercial variety. In oyster mushroom, the genetic material is divided between two nuclei, each originating from one of the two parents. We found that mutations causing the sporeless characteristic in the ATTC strain occurred in both nuclear types. The breeding strategy is to introduce the mutations into both nuclear types of a commercial variety, in order to achieve the sporeless trait. In the initial cross between a sporeless culture and a commercial strain, the mutations for sporelessness as well as genes for other, perhaps undesirable, traits are transferred to the commercial variety. Therefore, repeatedly backcrossing progeny with the commercial variety is carried out in order to restore the original genetic material from the commercial parent. Currently, the performance of a number of ‘prototypes’ of a sporeless oyster mushroom is being evaluated.

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