Volume 16 Part 1 Article 41: Progress of Xiang-Gu (Shiitake) Cultivation in China

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 41
Year 2004
Title: Progress of Xiang-Gu (Shiitake) Cultivation in China
Author: X.C. Luo


China was the first country to cultivate xiang-gu (shiitake), Lentinula edodes. Historical records indicated that the cultivation of xiang-gu originated during the Song dynasty in 1100 A. D. The original location was a boundary region between three counties, Longquan Qingyuan, Jingning, Zhejiang, where Wu Sangong pioneered xiang-gu cultivation using the “hatchet notch” method. Since then, the cultivation of xiang-gu has undergone three innovations as follows: wood log cropping, bed log cropping, and substitute cropping (sawdust block, artificial log, plastic bag log and column system). In the long history of mushroom cultivation, Chinese farmers have amassed a wealth of knowledge on substrate preparation, strain selection, and cropping management for xiang-gu. Today, the cultivation of this edible mushroom species by the substitute cropping method is an important agricultural industry in China. An estimated 18 million farmers are engaged in xiang-gu production, and, in recent years, the annual production has increased steadily. In 2002, the total production of xiang-gu in China was estimated at 2 million tons (fr. wt.), of which 45 thousand tons were exported to other countries and regions. Meanwhile, research has focused on applications for the reuse of the residual substrate following cropping.

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