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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
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ISSN Druckformat: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v7.i3.1070
477 pages

Minicultivation of Medical Mushrooms

Anatoly Trostanetsky
Institute for Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, ARO, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel


Most medical mushrooms are grown on specialized farms. These farms are often located far from the end-user living in big cities. The time needed for transportation and sale can be shortened only to a certain extent. Even observing all the necessary requirements, transportation and storage may result in mushrooms' losing taste and medicinal properties.
It is proposed to use a method of minicultivation for growing medical mushrooms under home conditions. Minicultivation of mushrooms is usable as well in laboratory practices to select high-productive mushroom strains and to examine the quality of spawn.
The main parameters for this method can be seen in the example of growing oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fr.:Fr.) Quél. or P. ostreatus (Jacq.: Fr.) P. Kumm.). For preparing a nutrient medium, rye powder is mixed with vermiculite and water (3:12:4 v/v). The received mixture is thoroughly stirred and transferred to 200−250 mL autoclavable jars, leaving a 1−2 cm space at the rim. The jars should have tapered sides and lack shoulders. For this purpose, regular glasses are appropriate. Then dry vermiculite is put into the jar, the jar is closed and sterilized under high pressure for 1 hour. The medium can be inoculated either in spores and/or suspended mycelium using a syringe with a long needle, or with spawn plugs which are stuck into the substrate. Inoculated jars are kept at the optimal temperature for each strain. When the substrate is completely covered with mycelium, the jars are opened, the top layer of dry vermiculite is removed, and the mushroom block is shaken out and hung in a cultivation chamber by plastic holders.The cultivation chamber should be transparent, provide high air humidity (approximately 90%), and inflow of fresh air. For a cultivation chamber, one can use an aquarium or transparent plastic box. To maintain high humidity, one should spray the chamber walls twice a day. Normal fruit formation requires adequate illumination. In 7%10 days following the transfer of the block to the cultivation chamber, oyster mushrooms are supposed to appear first, and then in the following 3 weeks three waves of fruiting are achieved, just as in industrial cultivation. Each block usually bears 20−25 grams of mushrooms.
This method, with some modification, is used for growing Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Singer and nonwoodland mushrooms Psilocybe cubensis (Earle) Singer and Stropharia melanosperma (Bull.:Fr.) Bres.

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