Alternative Substrates for Cultivating Shiitake


The search for the optimal substrate continues. In today’s video, I will, therefore, go over a research paper in which the authors investigated four different strains on four different substrates for the cultivation of shiitake.
For the substrate, the authors used vineyard pruning, sorghum stubble, sugarcane bagasse, and oak shavings.

All substrates were hydrated for 12 hours. After the excess water was removed, the moisture content was 70% for vineyard pruning, 70% for sorghum stubbles, 80% for sugarcane bagasse, and 60% oak shavings.

All substrates were sterilization: 121°C/250°F for 1.5 hours. After the cooldown, the bags were inoculated with 5% and incubated at 24 to 26°C/75 to 79°F in the dark.

After the bags were fully colonized, they were transferred into the fruiting room and maintained at 17 to 19°C/63 to 66°F and relative humidity of 85 to 90%.
Lighting was applied at 350 lx for 12 hours.

Here are the results:
The number of flushes ranged from 1 and 3, with a mean of 2.4.
Treatment T5 and T16 produced only 1 Flush.
The yield per flush ranged from 47 to 100%, with a mean of 75%.
The lowest yield per flush was found using the T7 treatment.
The highest obviously on T5 and T16 as they produced only one flush.
The total weight ranged from 113 to 495g with a mean of 288g.
The lowest weight was found on treatment T16. The highest on treatment T11.
These numbers then lead to the following biological efficiencies.
BE range from 39 and 145, Mean 91, with the lowest on treatment T5 and the highest on treatment T15.
The best results could be achieved using sorghum stubbles, followed by vineyard pruning then sugarcane bagasse and finally oak shavings.
A moisture content of 70% produced higher biological efficiency than 80% and 80% higher than 60%.

If you want to increase your biological efficiency even further, then the video on the right is for you. In it, I talk about a research paper in which the authors used similar strains but a different substrate and tested several spawn materials. They could show that with the right combination, a biological efficiency of up to 320 is possible.

Talk to you there.


📝Gaitán-Hernández, R., E. N. Aquino-Bolaños, M. Herrera, and D. Salmones. “Yield, and Phenolic Content of Shiitake Mushrooms Cultivated on Alternative Substrates”. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 32, no. 3, Apr. 2020, pp. 188-97, doi: