Substrate Optimization | Pleurotus cornucopiae


In today’s video, I will talk about two different scientific studies addressing the need to optimize the growing conditions of Pleurotus cornucopiae. The first study investigated pasteurization and sterilization on different substrates on the yield and biological efficiency. The second study analyzed the influence of different substrates and moisture content on the mycelial growth rate.

The substrates in the first study were wheat straw, maize stalks, and wood-shaving. The substrates were either pasteurized in hot water for 1 hour at 65°C/149°F or sterilized for 1 hour at 120°C/248°F.

The highest yield using pasteurization could be found on wheat straw, followed by maize stalks, and then on wood shavings. For sterilization again, wheat straw leads to the highest yield, followed by maize stalks, and then on wood shavings.

Interestingly the yield on wood shavings that got sterilized is twice as high as for wood shavings that got pasteurized. Meaning pasteurization of wood shaving at 65°C/149°F for 1 hour is not enough to prepare the substrate for the cultivation of the strain.

The second study compared four different substrates mixtures consisting of banana leaves, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, and paddy straw. Besides, the authors varied the moisture content of these substrates between 50% and 90%. All substrate mixture was sterilized at 121.6°C/251°F for 2 hours.

If we compare all the results with each other, we recognize that the highest growth rate was found at a moisture content of 70%. The overall highest growth rate was found on banana leaf mixed with sugarcane bagasse. Followed by Paddy straw plus sugarcane bagasse and banana leaf plus paddy straw.

Of these four substrates, sugarcane bagasse produced the highest mycelial growth rate. Followed by paddy straw and banana leaf. The lowest growth rate was found on sawdust. This comes as no surprise as sawdust has the highest C/N ratio of the four. Meaning the higher the C/N ratio, the slower the decomposition and, therefore, the growth rate.

If you want to improve the growth on sawdust, then the video on the right is for you. In it, I talk about a study in which the authors compared different sawdust types with each other. They could show that with the right sawdust, a biological efficiency of up to 210 is possible. Talk to you there.


[1] 📝Reed, Edgar (2000) The effect of pasteurization and sterilization of substrates on the yield of pleurotus cornucopiae and pleurotus sajor-caju in Zambia.

[2] 📝Suganthi V (2018) Efficacy of different agricultural by product substrates and moisture content on mycelial growth of Pleurotus cornucopia.