Edible Fungal Growth and Fruiting on Composted Containerized Inedible Crop Biomass


Current goals for space exploration are predicated upon long-term manned space flights and colonization of planetary habitats. Long periods in space without payloads of necessary items from Earth require the development of a self-sustaining ecosystem that will allow astronauts to grow their own food and efficiently recycle the waste products. Crops suggested for growth in space include wheat, rice, carrots, soybean, mushrooms, etc. Optimal and rapid biodegradation of lignin and other cellulosic material of crop residues by candidate edible white rot fungal strains is paramount in the use of these organisms to achieve effective biomass recycling in an advanced life support system (ALS). The incorporation of organic N into the substrate and pairing crop residues may enhance growth and fruiting of the edible fungi, thus increasing the rate of biodegradation of the substrates and biomass recycling. We investigated the mycelial growth of two strains of Pleurotusostreatus (`Grey Dover' and `Blue Dolphin') on processed single vegetative residues of soybean, cowpea, tomato, sweetpotato, or their 1:1 combination with wheat or rice straw. Growth and fruiting of the two strains including another strain (`Pohu') on rice straw mixed with solid thermophilic aerobic reactor (STAR) effluent for degradation and recycling were also studied. Mycelial growth and fruiting in `Grey Dover' and `Blue Dolphin' were significantly repressed on sweetpotato and basil; however, growth of the two strains was improved when sweetpotato and basil substrates were paired with rice or wheat straw. Fruiting was prolific in paired combinations of soybean with wheat or rice straw. High concentration of STAR residue enhanced mycelial growth; however, a relatively lower concentration was required for abundant fruiting.

Date of this Version

July 2005



Publisher Identifier:

HortScience, 40(4),1006


American Society for Horticultural Science

ALS NSCORT Project Number

Project 12 - Fungi for Crop Waste Degradation/Edible Mushroom Production

Project Lead

Caula A. Beyl




Published Materials

Administrative Contact

Dave Kotterman, dkotter@purdue.edu


Copyright 2005 the American Society for Horticultural Science. For more information please see the publisher's terms and conditions statement at: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/misc/terms.dtl or the publisher's home page at: http://www.ashs.org


This article is not available through e-pubs. To access the article for a fee visit: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/40/4/1006-b. The journal is available in print in the Purdue University Life Sciences Library (Call Number: 635.05 H79).

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