An Evaluation Of Local Isolates Of Hericium Americanum For Use In Mushroom Production
The use of wild collected isolates of Hericium americanum (lion’s mane) in the commercial production of mushrooms was investigated. Six isolates of H. americanum (He 1, He 2, He 3, He 4, He 5, and He 6) were collected from the Ithaca area in the fall of 2007. The in vitro vegetative growth of these isolates was compared to that of a commercial isolate of H. erinaceus (FFP3) on PDA at three temperatures (150C, 250C, 300C). We found that the fastest growth was displayed by some of the wild isolates at each temperature. Three wild isolates of H. americanum (He 1 which had very fast in vitro growth, He 4, which had moderately fast in vitro growth and He 2 which had very slow in vitro growth) and the commercial isolate of H. erinaceus (FFP3) were selected to be grown indoors in supplemented sawdust (Fagus grandifolia or Acer rubrum) filled bags. A comparison of fresh and dry weight yields showed that the isolate with the fastest in vitro growth (He 1) did not have the highest yield of mushrooms as we had hypothesized. For this production method holes were poked in the plastic bags to allow mushrooms to form on the outside of the bag, however, we observed fruiting inside the bag (FIB); a phenomenon in which malformed mushrooms form inside the bags. The weight of FIB was higher for the wild isolates compared to the commercial isolate. There was also an inverse relationship between the weight of FIB and yield for the wild isolates. When the weight of FIB and yield were combined (total yield) there was no difference among the wild and commercial isolates. This leads us to believe that if FIB could be reduced for the wild isolates the yields of those isolates would be comparable to those of the commercial isolate. Post harvest characteristics were also investigated. Mushrooms from the four strains (He 1, He 4, He 2 and FFP3) had higher percent weight loss after the first three days of storage than is considered acceptable for the common button mushroom (Agaricus bisporous). If this weight loss is not acceptable for Hericium mushrooms newer storage methods should be investigated to reduce moisture loss in storage. A subjective quality rating was also used in postharvest evaluations of these isolates. In general, the quality ratings among the wild isolates were not different. Mushrooms produced by the wild isolates were never better than the commercial isolate. Three wild isolates (He 3, He 4, and He 5) and the commercial isolate (FFP3) were grown outdoors on American beech (Fagus grandifolia) logs. The wild isolate, He 3, had the highest percentage of logs produce mushrooms (over 60%) compared to the other isolates (approx. 20%). The best prospect for wild Hericium isolates in commercial production appears to be in outdoor cultivation.
dissertation or thesis