Volume 16 Part 1 Article 20: The Species of Edible Mushrooms in China

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 20
Year 2004
Title: The Species of Edible Mushrooms in China
Author: M.M. Chen


A historical monograph of China recorded six- to seven-thousand years ago, during the Yang Shao civilization, that people collected and consumed wild mushrooms. Since this time, mushrooms have become a traditional food and delicacy in the Chinese culture. This long history has created a wealth of knowledge on the cultivation and medicinal, nutritional and culinary qualities of mushrooms. According to mushroom bio-geographical and systematic studies, 95 domesticated and 74 wild edible mushroom species are grown in six regions of China today. Additionally, 20 new species are being explored for commercialization and include, Pleurotus rhodophyllus, P. tuber-regium, Hohenbuchelia serotina, Oudemansiella radicata, Lyophyllum ulmarium, Hypsizigus marmoreus, Macrolepiota procera, Agrocybe cylindracea, A. praecox, Stropharia rugasaannulata, Naematoloma sublateritium, Kuehneromyces mutabilis, Gloeostereum incarnatum, Agaricus blazei, Fistulina hepatica, Hericium alpestre, Tremella aurantialba, T. polytricha var. argentea, Pleurotus erygi, and P. nebrodensis. As the demand for mushrooms continues to increase with the rapidly growing global population, the natural resources for mushroom cultivation will become limiting. This paper will examine the central role mushrooms have played in the Chinese culture and explore the biotechnological advances (i.e., artificial hybridization of mushroom species) that will be needed in order for production to remain instep with the rising demand for mushrooms throughout the world.

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