The beech mushroom is one of the popular edible mushrooms cultivated worldwide. The cultivation takes place in autumn and winter. The texture is firm and crunchy with a delicate mild, sweet flavor. People say that its tastes fresher than the oyster mushroom. Its context is thicker than that of Pholiota nameko and its character is more pliable than that of Shiitake. Besides, reports say that the beech mushroom has medicinal properties.
As the substrate influences the nutritional and medicinal properties, we must ask ourselves the following question.
What are the best cultivation parameters to get the most out of the mushroom?
To find out, we have to run several experiments. Lucky for us, the authors of today’s research article did precisely that. They conducted six different experiments on two different strains of the beech mushroom.
In the first experiment, they varied the temperature between 10°C and 35°C (Fig. 1). They found for both strains, the lowest growth rate at 35°C and the highest growth rate at 20°C.
In the second experiment, they changed the pH level between 5 and 9 (Fig. 2). They found that the optimal pH level is between 7 and 8. Increasing or lowering the pH value will drop the growth rate.
In the third experiment, the authors tested different carbon sources (Fig. 3). The carbon sources used were fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. They found, for the brown strain, that sucrose and fructose led to the highest growth rate, while maltose the lowest growth rate. These results are different for the white strain. Here, the authors found the highest growth rate only for sucrose, while maltose led again to the lowest growth rate.
The authors then tested the effect of different nitrogen sources (Fig. 4). For this experiment, they used ammonium phosphate, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, and urea. They found, for both strains, that ammonium phosphate led to the lowest growth rate. Calcium nitrate, on the other hand to the highest growth rate.
In another experiment, the authors tested the effect of several culture media (Fig. 5). They tested Czapek dox, Hennerberg, Glucose peptone, Potato Dextrose Agar, and Yeast Maltose. Testing these culture media showed that using the Czapek dox led to the lowest growth rate. Using Potato Dextrose Agar instead led to the highest growth rate.
As the beech mushroom grows well on wood, the authors tested the effect of several types of sawdust (Fig. 6). They tested mango, mahogany, and koroi sawdust and found the following. The colonization of the bags filled with mahogany took four weeks. During the same timeframe using koroi sawdust instead only reached 70-85% colonization. More important, koroi sawdust never got fully colonized. That would be quite different on mango sawdust. Here, the bags were already colonized after three weeks.
These results ensure quick and healthy cultivation of the beech mushroom.
If you want to test different culture media on your own, a list of them and their ingredients comes in handy. You will find the link to this list with over 70 here.
 IMTIAJ, Ahmed & Sultana, Sharmin & Hossain, Muhammad & Rahman, S. & Ohga, Shoji. (2016). Performance of Vegetative Growth and Artificial Fruit Body Formation of Hypsizygus marmoreus in Bangladesh. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University. 61. 257-262. 10.5109/1685879.
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