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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.716 CiteScore™: 2.6

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v1.i2.50
pages 153-167

A Practical Guide for Synthetic-Log Cultivation of Medicinal Mushroom Grifola frondosa (Dick.: Fr.) S. F. Gray (Maitake)

Alice W. Chen
Specialty Mushrooms, 1730 Penfield Rd., No.41, Penfield, NY 14526, USA


This article presents an easy to follow guide for maitake mushroom cultivation. Synthetic-log cultivation, a methodology well tested technically, is chosen for growing Grifola frondosa, a prized edible mushroom of biomedical importance. Characteristics of this promising species are highlighted for growers to keep in mind as they learn how to grow the mushroom. Details are given for the process of cultivation, including selection of strains, types of spawn, where to obtain the spawn, where to obtain bags for mushroom cultivation, and substrate formulation. Guidelines on how to regulate growth parameters (temperature, relative humidity, light, and ventilation in terms of C02 vs 02) for each growth stage are constructed in tabular form, readily accessible for application. Practices in China, Japan, and North America are given for comparison. Time required for incubation and expected yield are also included. Vivid sequential images are used to demonstrate how the maitake mushroom grows. Selected photos taken during the process of production are shown. Landmark stages of maitake growth and differentiation are delineated, from spawn run to the formation of mature maitake fruiting clusters. Emphasis is placed on major morphogenetic transitions, such as mycelial-coat formation, primordia initiation, and fruiting-body development. Clear descriptions of maitake fruiting clusters at peak, ready for harvest, are provided, as well as what to avoid. Information on how to harvest the mushroom can also be found. Of particular interest is a section on problem solving and helpful notes. It is hoped that these discussions will benefit both novice and more experienced growers who encounter difficulties in the process of growing maitake. Growers must be aware that single-minded devotion is required to cultivate Grifola frondosa, a mushroom with intricate structure, larger than usual size, and great appetite for oxygen. Once you learn how to grow the mushroom, however, you will find it a most rewarding experience.

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