Comparative Study on Yield of Pleurotus Species Cultivated From Some Agrowaste Materials

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Comparative Study on Yield of Pleurotus Species Cultivated From Some Agrowaste Materials

Edibility of any food or product is defined as the absence of poisons and the presence of a desirable taste and smell. So it is not enough that a certain mushroom will not make one sick; it has to taste good as well. Very few species meet these criteria, thus most mushrooms are considered inedible (Michael, 2007).

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Mushrooms are a diverse group of saprophytic fungi belonging to the genus pleurotus (Kong, 2004).

According to Croan (2004), these mushrooms are a good source of non starchy carbohydrate with high content of dietary fiber and moderate quantity of protein including most amino acids, minerals and vitamins. The protein content varies from 1.6–2.5%, than that of any other vegetable. Moreover, Randive (2012) reported that oyster mushrooms are rich in vitamin C, B complex and mineral salt required by the human body.
Mushrooms are known as the meat of the vegetable world, edible mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines. Mushrooms represent one of the world’s greatest untapped resources of nutritious food. Cultivation of saprophytic edible mushrooms may be the only currently economical biotechnology for lignocellulose organic waste recycling that combines the production of protein rich food with the reduction of environmental pollution (Obodai et al., 2003). Mushrooms are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins and they contain an abundance of essential amino acids (Sadler, 2003), therefore, mushrooms can be a good supplement to cereals (Chang and Buswell, 1996). However, many people are apprehensive about mushrooms as a food source. Ignorance has led many to become skeptical about whether food of fungal origin can hold any great nutritional promise. It seems much education is needed before full advantage can be taken of this readily available, nutritionally rich food source (Crisan and Sands, 1978; Chang and Mshigeni, 2001).

Mushroom has a high protein content of 25-50% and also composes of fat 25-50% and also composes of fat (205%), sugars (17-47), mycocellulose (7-38%), minerals (8-12%) and vitamins such as D, C, B1, B5, B6, niacin and riboflavin (Miles and Chang, 1986, 1997). Apart from serving as a protein food, for which they are most popular in Nigeria, mushrooms are also medicinal and have biotechnology-based functions (Taniguchi, 2000).
Mushrooms are large reproductive species of edible fungi belonging to either Ascomycotina or Basidiomycotina. Mushrooms are heterotropic and depend upon the organic matter for nutrition and live saprophytically or parasitically or symbiotically on or with other organism. They can be found living on wood, leather, fur, hay, grass, paper, various straws etc (Balkrishnan and Nair, 1995; Yiliz, 1999).
One of the values of commercial cultivation of mushrooms, especially in a developing economy like Nigeria, is the availability of large quantities of several agro-industrial wastes which can serve as substrates for the cultivation of mushrooms (Banjo et al., 2004).

Justification of the Study
Wastes such as cereal straws are largely burnt by the farmers, which causes air pollution. However, these raw materials can actually be used for the cultivation of mushrooms. This kind of bioconversion exercise can greatly reduce environmental pollution.
Mushroom cultivation can be a labour intensive activity. Therefore, it will serve as means of generating employment, particularly for rural women and youths in order to raise their social status. It will also provide additional work for the farmers during winter months when the farming schedule is light.
Mushroom production in rural community can alleviate poverty and improve the diversifications of agricultural production (Godfrey et al., 2010).

It will provide the people with an additional vegetable of high quality, and enrich the diet with high quality proteins, minerals and vitamins which can be of direct benefit to the human health and fitness. The extractable bioactive compounds from medicinal mushroom would enhance human’s immune systems and improve their quality of life.
Mushroom cultivation is a cash crop. The harvested fruiting bodies can be sold in local markets for additional family income or exported for an important source of foreign exchange that will definitely improve the economic standards of the people.

Some warm mushrooms, e.g. Volvariella volvacea (Straw mushrooms) and pleurotus pulmonarius (Oyster mushrooms) are relatively fast growing organisms and can be harvested in 3 to 4 weeks after spawing. It is a short return agricultural business and can be of immediate benefit to the community.
The present study deals with the cultivation of Pleurotus sp. On some common and abundantly available waste available for conversion in food which otherwise is left for natural degradation.

Aims of the Study

To utilize some agro waste in the cultivation of edible mushrooms.

To evaluate the nutritional composition of pleurotus species (oyster mushroom)

To evaluate the yield of oyster mushroom

To determine the growth yields on different agro-wastes

To determine the duration to which the inodafed compost will stay before it sprout the fruiting bodies

To determine the temperature to which the mushroom grows very well.

Mushrooms and Mushroom Biology
Mushroom cultivation exploits the natural ability of fungi to bio-convert solid waste generated by industry and agriculture into food (Tripothi and Yadar, 1992; Chu et al., 2001).
Mushroom can grow at moderate temperature, ranging from 20 to 30oC, and at a humidity of 55-70%, on various agricultural waste material used as substrate. Because of its flexible nature, the pleurotus gene is more acculturated than any other mushroom species (Rosada et al., 2002).
The bioconversion of agriculture and industrial wastes into food has attracted the world attention in recent years.

Mushrooms have been used since early ages by man as food or medicine. It is rich source of minerals (Patrabansh and Madan, 1997), antibacterial activity (Benedict and Brandy, 1972) and antitumourous or anticancerous activity. There is a greater demand for the available world supplies of food and second are the prices of those foods that are increasingly steeply. The obvious ways to meet the situation are to improve the current food production yield.
The mushroom cultivation is a highly efficient method of disposing of agricultural residues as well as producing nutritious food (Chang et al., 1998).

The Pleurotus species also called as “Oyster mushrooms” or Dhingri now ranks second among the cultivated mushrooms in the world (Chang and Miles, 1991). These studies mainly concentrated on the cultivation on wastes of forest and agricultural plants. Almost, all the available, lignocellulosic substances are likely used as substrate for Pleurotus sp.
The number of recognized edible mushroom species has been reported to be 14,000, which is about 10% of the total estimated mushroom species on the earth (Hawksworth, 2001). China is estimated to have about 1500-2000 edible mushroom species with 981 species identified. By 2002, 92 species have been domesticated while 60 of these have been commercially cultivated (Mau et al., 2004).
The practice of eating mushrooms dates back thousands of years.

The first reliable evidence appears with the Chinese, and continues through time to today, spanning many different cultures (Michael, 2007). China is the world’s larges edible mushroom producer. The country produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms, and around 2.7 kilograms (6.01b) of mushrooms are consumed per person per year by over a billion people (Michael, 2007).
Mushroom sauce is a local delicacy, popular among the indigenous southern population of Nigeria.

Prior to the commercial cultivation of mushrooms in Nigeria, a large proportion of the people had relied on collection of wide mushrooms with the occasional dare consequences of mortality (and less frequently morbidity) as a result of consumption of poisonous species of mushrooms (Uraih and Izuagbe, 1990).
There is a very high incidence of malnutrition, especially of protein deficiency in developing countries. The problem of protein shortage in developing countries including Turkey is an existing reality and will continue for the foreseeable future. Protein malnutrition will become even more acute since the supply of protein for the diet has not kept pace with population growth (FAO, 1996). In order to meet the deficit most developing countries tend to import essential protein sources of food from abroad, spending large sums of their meagre foreign exchange earnings. Such a situation has forced planners and nutritionists to think about unconventional alternative sources of protein such as mushrooms (Chang and Mshigeni, 2001).
The major practical steps of mushroom cultivation are:
a) Selection of an acceptable mushroom species;
b) Secreting a good quality fruiting culture;
c) Development of active spawn;
d) Preparation of selective substrate/compost;
e) Care for mycelia (spawn) running;
f) Management of fruiting/mushroom development; and
g) Harvesting mushrooms carefully (Chang and Chiu, 1992; Chang 1998).

Definition of a Mushroom
Mushrooms with other fungi are something special in the living world, being neither plants nor animals. They have been placed in a kingdom of their own called the kingdom of myceleae. But what are mushrooms? The word mushroom may mean different things to different people and countries. It has emerged that specialized studies and the economic value of mushrooms and their products had reached a point where a clear definition of the term “mushroom” was warranted. In a broad sense “Mushroom is a macrofungus with a distinctive fruiting body, which can be either epigeous or hypogeous and large enough to be seen with naked eye and to be picked by hand” (Chang and Miles, 1992). Thus, mushrooms need not be basidiomycetes, nor aerial, nor fleshy, nor edible. Mushrooms can be ascomycetes, grow underground, have a non-fleshy texture and need not be edible. The most common type of mushrooms is umbrella shaped with a pileus (cap) and a stipe (stem) i.e Lentiula edodes. Other species additionally have a volva (cup) i.e Volvariella volvacea or an annulus (ring) i.e Agaricus campestris or with both of them i.e Amanita muscaria. Furthermore, some mushrooms are in the form of pliable cups; others round like golf balls. Some are in the shape of small clubs; some resemble coral; others are yellow or orange jelly-like globs; and some even very much resembles the human ear. In fact, there is a countless variety of forms.
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of macrofungi. They include both edible/medicinal and poisonous species.

However, originally, the word “mushroom” was used for the edible member of macrofungi and “toadstools” for poisonous ones of the “gill” macrofungi. Scientifically the term “toadstool” has no meaning at al. And it has been proposed that the term is dropped altogether in order to avoid confusion and the terms edible, medicinal and poisonous mushrooms are used. Edible mushrooms once called the “food of the gods” and still treated as a garnish or delicacy can be taken regularly as part of the human diet or be treated as healthy food or as functional food. The extractable products from medicinal mushrooms, designed to supplement the human diet not as regular food, but as the enhancement of health and fitness, can be classified into the category of dietary supplements/mushroom nutriceuticals (Chang and Buswell, 1996). Dietary supplements are ingredients extracted from foods, herbs, mushrooms and other plants that are taken without further modification for their presumed health-enhancing benefits.
The structure that we call a mushroom is in reality only the fruiting body of the fungus. The vegetative part of the fungus, called the mycelium, comprises a system of branching threads and cord-like strands that branch out through soil, compost, wood log or other lignocellulosic material on which the fungus may be growing. After a period of growth and under favourable conditions, the established (matured) mycelium could produce the fruit structure which we call the mushroom. Accordingly mushrooms can be grouped into four categories:

(i) Those which are fleshy and edible fall into the edible mushroom category, e.g., Agaricus bisporus;

(ii) Mushrooms which are considered to have medicinal applications, are referred to as medicinal mushrooms, e.g., Ganoderma lucidum;

(iii) Those which are proven to be, or suspected of being poisonous are named as poisonous mushrooms, e.g., Amanita phalloides; and

(iv) A miscellaneous category which includes a large number of mushrooms whose properties remain less well defined, which may tentatively be grouped together as ‘other mushrooms’.

Certainly, this approach of classifying of mushrooms is not absolute and not mutually exclusive. Many kinds of mushrooms are not only edible, but also possess toxic and medicinal qualities. Mushrooms are devoid of leaves, and chlorophyll-containing tissues. This renders them incapable of photosynthetic food production. Yet, they grow, and they produce new biomass; for their survival, for their growth, and for their metabolism, they rely on organic matter synthesized by the green plants around us, including organic products contained in agricultural crop residues. The organic materials, on which mushrooms derive their nutrition, are referred to as substrates. Mushrooms are a unique biota which assembles their food by secreting degrading enzymes and decompose the complex food materials present in the biomass where they grow, to generate simpler compounds, which they then absorb, and transform into their own peculiar tissues. These substrate materials are usually by-products from industry, households and agriculture and are usually considered as wastes. And these wastes, if carelessly disposed of in the surrounding environment by dumping or burning, will lead to environmental pollution and consequently cause health hazards. However, they are actually resources in the wrong place at a particular time and mushroom cultivation can harness this waste/resource for its own beneficial advantage.
Mushrooms lack true roots. How then are they anchored into the substrates where we find them? This is affected by their tightly interwoven thread-like hyphae, which also colonise the substrates, degrade their biochemical components, and siphon away the hydrolysed organic compounds for their own nutrition.

Ecological Classification of Mushrooms
Ecologically, mushrooms can be classified into three groups: the saprophytes, the parasites and the symbiotic (which include mycorrhiza) species. There are only a few parasitic mushrooms. Most of the cultivated gourmet mushrooms are saprophytic fungi. Some of the edible mushrooms are mycorrhizal species, e.g. Perigold black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, and matsutake mushroom, Tricholoma matsutake. It is difficult to bring these highly celebrated wild gourmet species into cultivation because they are mycorrhizal. These species have a symbiotic relationship with some vegetation, particularly trees, i.e. there is a relationship of mutual need.
Saprophytes obtain nutrients from dead organic materials; parasites derive food substances from living plants and animals and causing harm to the hosts; and mycorrhiza live in a close physiological association with host plants and animals –thereby forming a special partnership where partner enjoys some vital benefits from the other. However, some mushrooms do not fall neatly within these man-made categories and can share two of the categories. For example, some Ganoderma spp. Including G. lucidum are common saprophytes, however they can be pathogenic too; also Tricholoma matsutake, while initially appearing to be mycorrhizal on young roots, soon becomes pathogenic and finally exhibits some saprophytic ability.

Magnitude of Mushroom Species
In 1990, the number of known species of fungi was about 69,000 while it was conservatively estimated that 1.5 million species of fungi actually existed on average 700 species were described as new to science each year from 1920 to 1950. however, the annual total catalogued fungi reached around 1,400 in 1961, 1,500 in 1968 and averaged 1,700 each year for 1986 to 1990 (Hawksworth 1991).

Morphology of Mushroom
A mushroom develops from a nodule, or pinhead, less than two millimeters in diameter, called a primordium, which is typically found on or near the surface of the substrate. It is formed within the mycelium, the mass of threadlike hyphae that make up the fungus. The primordium enlarges into a roundish structure of interwoven hyphae roughly resembling egg, called a “button”. The button has a cottony roll of mycelium, the universal veil that surrounds the developing fruit body. As the egg expands, the universal veil ruptures and may remain as a cup, or volva, at the base of the stalk, or as warts or volval paches on the cap. Many mushrooms lack a universal veil and therefore do not have either a volva or volval patches. Often there is a second layer of tissue, the partial veil, covering the bladelike gills that bear spores. As the cap expands, the veil breaks, and remnants of the partial veil may remain as a ring, or annulus, around the middle of the stalk or a fragments hanging from the margin of the cap. The ring may be skirt-like as in some species of Amanita, collar-like as in many species of Lepiota, or merely the faint remnants of a cortina (a partial veil composed of filaments resembling a spiderweb), which is typical of the genus Cortinarius. Mushrooms that lack a partial veil do not form annulus.

The stalk (also called the stipe, or stem) may be central and support the cap in the middle, or it may be off-center and/or lateral, as in species of Pleurotus and panus. In other mushrooms, a stalk may be absent, as in the polypores that form shelf-like brackets. Puffballs lack a stalk but may have a supporting base. Other mushrooms, like truffles, jellies, earthstars, bird’s nests, usually do not have stalks, and a specialized mycological vocabulary exists to describe their parts.
The way that gills attach to the top of the stalk is an important feature of mushroom morphology. Mushrooms in the genera Agaricus, Amanita, Lepiota and pluteus, among others have free gills that do not extend to the top of the stalk. Others have decurrent gills that extend down the stalk, as in the genera Omphalotus and pleurotus. There are a great muber of variations between the extremes of free and decurrent, collectively called attached gill. Finer distinctions are often made to distinguish the types of attached gills: adnate gills, which adjoin squarely to the stalk; notched gills, which are notched where they join the top of the stalk; adnexed gills, which curve upward to meet the stalk, and so on. These distinctions between attached gills are sometimes difficult to interpret, since gill attachment may change as the mushroom matures, or with different environmental conditions.

Oyster Mushroom
Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular edible mushrooms and belong to the genus pleurotus and the family pleurtaceae. Like oyster mushroom (pleurotus ostreatus), many of pleurotus mushrooms are primary decomposers of hardwood trees and are found worldwide. The species type of the genus pleurotus is P. ostreatus. This mushroom has basidia with four basidiospores and a tetrapolar mating system. Its hyphae have clamp connections and most members of the genus, excepting a small minority, have amonomitic hyphal system. To date approximately 70 species of pleurotus have been recorded and new species are discovered more or less frequently although some of these are considered identical with previously recognized species. Determination of a species is difficult because of the morphological similarities and possible environmental effects. Mating compatibility studies have demonstrated the existence of eleven discrete intersterility groups in pleurotus to distinguish one species from the others. Some reports indicate partial compatibility between them, implying the possibility for the creation of another species (Chang et al., 1998).

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