Pak. J. Bot., 39(7): 2685-2692, 2007.
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND YIELD OF OYSTER
MUSHROOM, PLEUROTUS OSTREATUS (JACQ. EX. FR.)
KUMMER AS AFFECTED BY DIFFERENT SPAWN RATES
M.I. BHATTI1, M.M. JISKANI1*, K. H. WAGAN1,
M.A. PATHAN1 AND M.R. MAGSI2
1Department of Plant Pathology, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan.
2Cotton Research Institute Sakrand, Sindh, Pakistan
The oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq. ex. Fr.) Kummer was cultivated on wheat
straw in polythene bags (containing 500 g wheat straw on dry weight basis per bag) using sorghum
grain spawn at different rates. The spawning was done followed by boiling of substrate and
sterilization of bags. The bags were kept in mushroom growing room at 25 to 35oC with 80 to
100% humidity under regular white fluorescent light arranged by the tube lights in mushroom
growing room (10'x14'x14').
The pinheads first appeared 32.33 days after spawning by using 70 g spawn rate per kg on
substrate dry weight basis. The minimum period of 4.66 days after pinhead formation for
maturation of fruiting bodies was recorded by using 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 g spawn rate. The
minimum period between flushes (6.33 days) was taken by using 20 g spawn rate. The maximum
flushes (4.00) were harvested by using 70 g spawn rate. The maximum number of bunches per bag
(7.66) were obtained by using 100 g spawn rate. The maximum number of fruiting bodies per
bunch (7.30) was observed by using 70 g spawn rate. The maximum yield on fresh weight basis
(45.4%) as well as on dry weight basis (4.63%) was also obtained by using 70 g of spawn rate per
bag. The results were highly significant from each other. It is concluded that spawning at 70 g per
kg on substrate dry weight basis found to be the best dose for obtaining early and high yielding
crop of oyster mushroom, with minimum period for maturation of fruiting bodies, maximum
number of flushes and fruiting bodies per bag.
The mushrooms are naturally grown in fields, forests, on manure heaps, water
channels and hilly areas, mostly during and just after rains. The most popular varieties
are Agaricus bisporus (European or white button mushroom), Pleurotus spp., (Oyster
mushrooms or dhingri), Volvariella volvacea (Chinese or paddy straw mushroom)
Lentinus edodes (Shiitake mushrooms) and Auricus laria (Black ear mushroom).
The oyster mushroom is grown under natural conditions on living trees as parasite or
dead woody branches of trees as saprophyte and primary decomposer. The chemical
composition of the fresh fruiting bodies of oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus indicates a
large quantity of moisture (90.8%), whereas fresh as well as dry oyster mushrooms are rich
in proteins (30.4%), fat (2.2%), carbohydrates (57.6%), fiber (8.7%) and ash (9.8%) with
345 K (cal) energy value on 100 g dry weight basis; while vitamins such as thiamin (4.8
mg), riboflavin (4.7 mg) and niacin (108.7 mg), minerals like calcium (98 mg), phosphorus
(476 mg), ferrous (8.5 mg) and sodium (61 mg) on 100 g dry weight basis, are also found
present (Pandey & Ghosh, 1996). Rambelli & Menini (1985) reported that this mushroom is
reputed to be antitumoural because of its chemical composition.
*Corresponding author E-mail: email@example.com
M.I. BHATTI ET AL.,
The oyster mushrooms can be cultivated successfully under semi controlled
conditions in a small space by using agricultural as well as industrial waste and other
refuse as substrate. Badshah et al., (1992) have grown Pleurotus ostreatus on wheat
straw, sugarcane bagasse, corn cobs or sawdust by mixing 120-130 g of spawn with 2 kg
of substrate and placing the mixture in sterilized polyethylene bags which were kept in
the dark at 25OC for 2-3 weeks. Fruiting bodies were harvested at maturity with yields of
49.8 g/2 kg substrate (sawdust), 432.8 g/2 kg substrate (wheat straw), whereas control
(grown in the field) yielded only 18.5 g/2 kg substrate. Bernabe-Gonzalez & Arzeta-
Gomez (1994) mixed P. ostreatus inoculum at 4 g/100 g substrate in 4-kg plastic bags
using peanut hulls and maize leaves cut to 5- or 10-cm lengths. Kausar & Iqbal (1994)
used 5% spawn of Pleurotus (w/w basis) in 15kg paddy straw, pinheads formed 28 days
after spawning. The yield varied from 18.6 to 83.5% based on different nitrogen
supplements amended with straw. Cangy & Peerally (1995) used spawning rates 0.75,
1.50, 3.00 and 6.00% of substrate fresh weight for 10 species of Pleurotus. Results
showed that 1% spawning rate was found to be adequate when using the smaller bags
(yields >16% of spawned substrate weight) at mean temperature 18OC (range 13-23O).
Marimuthu (1995) reviewed the use of crop residues as growing media for oyster
mushroom (Pleurotus) production. Paddy and wheat straw, cotton waste, maize cobs,
waste paper and cotton stalks are all suitable for high production capacity, whole grains
of sorghum, bajra (Pennisetum glaucum) or maize are recommended. Patra & Pani
(1995) cultivated five different species of Pleurotus in polythene [polyethylene] bags
containing chopped paddy straw (2 kg) + spawn (200 g) + boiled wheat (200 g). The
fungi took 13-16 days for complete mycelial run in the bags and 20-24 days for initiation
of fruiting bodies, producing the heaviest (12.2 g), and the lightest (6.9 g) fruiting bodies.
Singh et al., (1995) recorded the maximum yield from baggase than from the paddy
straw and wheat straw respectively. Mathew et al., (1996) have grown P. ostreatus on
various substrates for both (spawn production and cultivation) and found that sorghum,
wheat and paddy grains were equally good for spawn production. Fan et al., (2000)
carried out the studies with 2.5-25% spawn rates, 25% spawn rate appeared superior, but
recommended 10% spawn rate in view of the process economics. The first fructification
occurred after 20-23 days of inoculation and the biological efficiency reached about
90-97% after 50-60 days. Labuschagne et al., (2000) reported wheat straw as main raw
material for cultivation. Bughio (2001) cultivated the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus
ostreatus on combination of wheat straw, cotton boll locules, paddy straw, sugarcane and
sorghum leaves at 1:1 ratio in polythene bags (650 g/bag) using sorghum grain spawn @
30 grams per bag, followed by boiling of substrates and sterilization of bags. The present
studies were undertaken on the effect of sorghum grain spawn rate on growth,
development and yield of oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus by using wheat straw as
substrate, with a target to find out the best grain spawn rate for getting early and high
yield crop with short duration.
Materials and Methods
The experiment was carried out at the Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of
Crop Protection, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam from July 2001 to January
2002. The primary inoculum was prepared from the fresh fruiting body of the mushroom
through tissue culture method and was maintained and multiplied by sub-culturing on
sterilized PDA medium in Petri dishes and test tubes, incubated at room temperature
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND YIELD OF OYSTER MUSHROOM 2687
The spawn was prepared on white sorghum grains. The grains were half boiled and
filled in transparent glass bottles at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 g/ bottle.
The bottles (containing half boiled grains) were sterilized in an autoclave at 15 psi for 30
minutes. The inoculation was made on the following day under aseptic conditions
provided in isolation chamber and then were incubated at room temperature (32±2°C),
till the grains were covered with white mycelial growth.
The wheat straw was used as such of a wheat threshing machine. Initially, the
substrate (wheat straw) was boiled for 15-20 minutes to get rid of insects and other
micro- organisms. The moist straw was taken out from the water and spread in thin layers
over cemented floor till the remaining excess of water was removed. When the
temperature of substrate dropped down to about 25 to 30oC and moisture content become
about 70 to 90%, the substrate was filled in the polythene bags of 30x45 cm size @ 500
g of wheat straw in each bag on dry weight basis. The filled bags were sterilized in the
autoclave at 15 psi for an hour. After cooling of sterilized bags, the spawning was done
with pure sorghum grain spawn @ 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 grams per
kg on substrate dry weight basis.
The spawned bags were placed on iron racks in order to provide them maximum
space, in a mushroom growing room. When the bags become full of mycelial growth and
or pinheads started appearing on the mycelial surface, the bags mouth were opened or
required portion of the bags were cut-off with blade to facilitate the development of
fruiting bodies. As soon as the fruiting bodies developed with full size, these were
harvested just above surface of the substrate with sharp knife or blade.
Temperature, humidity and light are basic factors for the proper growth and
development of mushroom. Efforts were made to maintain these requirements by
furnishing mushroom growing room (14'x10'x14') with one desert room cooler (Woods,
China) and two fluorescent lamps (Philips tube lights, 40 W/54) for the promising
cultivation of mushroom. The temperature and humidity remained within the required
range i.e., 25-35°C and 80-100% respectively, during the course of experiment.
The experiment was laid out as complete randomized block design with arrangement
of three replications and ten treatments. The growth and development of mushroom was
observed daily. The time taken for pinhead formation from the date of spawning and time
taken from the date of pinhead formation to maturation of fruiting bodies (ready for
harvesting) was recorded by counting the taken days, but the time taken between flushes
was calculated by using the following formula:
Days taken from first harvest to last
Period between flushes = Total number of flushes (harvesting)
The total numbers of flushes from harvesting of first flush up to last flush were also
recorded. The total number of bunches harvested from each bag (or replication) were
counted. The data on number of fruiting bodies per bunch was calculated by applying the
Total no. of fruiting bodies
No. of fruiting bodies per bunch = Total no. of bunches
M.I. BHATTI ET AL.,
Table 1. Effect of grain spawn rate on time taken (mean days) for pinhead
formation, maturation of fruiting bodies and period between flushes of oyster
Spawn rate (g per kg
substrate DW basis) Pinhead
formation Maturation of
fruiting bodies Period between
10 76.00 i 5.66 0.00 a
20 71.33 h 5.33 6.33 ab
30 67.33 g 5.33 12.42 cde
40 64.00 ef 5.00 8.16 cd
50 61.33 e 5.00 16.72 e
60 35.00 ab 4.66 16.72 e
70 32.33 a 4.66 15.11 de
80 38.00 c 4.66 14.05 cde
90 38.67 c 4.66 15.67 de
100 46.67 d 4.66 16.72 e
LSD 0.05 3.919 Non-significant 8.004
Similar letters do not differ from one another.
The weight of fresh mushrooms was recorded after harvesting of each flush. The dry
weight of mushroom (g) was recorded by keeping the fresh mushroom in hot air oven at
70oC for 48 hours. The total yield was recorded by adding the fresh as well as dry weight
of mushrooms of all flushes, while the fresh and dry yield percentage (g) was calculated
on substrate dry weight basis using the following formula:
Total yield of all flushes from each replication (g)
% Age yield (g)
= Substrates dry weight of each replication (500 g constant) x 100
Results and Discussion
Pinhead formation: The mean number of days taken for pinhead formation of oyster
mushroom from the date of spawning exhibited significant difference between different
spawn rates (Table 1). The pinheads first appeared (32.33 days) by using spawn rate at
70 g per kg substrate dry weight basis, which proved to be the best spawn rate followed
by 60 g (35.00 days), 80 g (38.00 days), 90 g (38.67 days), 100 g (46.67 days), 50 g
(61.33 days), 40 g (64.00 days), 30 g (67.33 days), 20 g (71.33 days and 10 g (76.00
days) respectively. Kausar & Iqbal (1994) and Kausar & Zafar (1995) reported 28 days
for pinhead formation after spawning. Patra & Pani (1995) revealed that mushroom took
20-24 days but Jiskani (1999) stated 25-50 days for pinhead formation, whereas Jiskani
et al., (1999) concluded that pinhead formation took 51.6 days after spawning in case of
using wheat straw. Fan et al., (2000) observed that first fructification occurred after
20-23 days of inoculation, Bughio (2001) reported 43.25 to 53.00 days after spawning by
using sorghum grains @ 30 g per 650 g in case of using wheat straw, sugarcane and
sorghum leaves at 1:1 ratio on substrate dry weight basis.
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND YIELD OF OYSTER MUSHROOM 2689
Maturation of fruiting bodies: The mean number of days taken from pinhead formation
to maturation of fruiting bodies exhibited significant difference between different spawn
rates (Table 1). The minimum period (4.66 days) for maturation of fruiting bodies was
taken by using 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 g spawn per kg substrate dry weight basis followed
by 40 and 50 g (5.00 days), 30 and 20 g (5.33 days) and 10 g (5.66 days) respectively
(Table 1). Jiskani (1999) reported 30-55 days, Jiskani et al., (1999) recorded 60 days
after spawning for maturation of fruiting bodies, Fan et al., (2000) observed that the first
fructification occurred 20-23 days after inoculation, whereas, Bughio (2001) reported
that maturation of fruiting bodies took 5 to 6 days after pinhead formation.
Period between flushes: The mean numbers of days between flushes are given in Table 1.
The results revealed significant difference at LSD 0.05 on average basis. The minimum
period (6.33 days) between flushes was taken by using 20 g per kg substrate dry weight
basis, followed by 40 g (8.16 days), 30 g (12.42 days), 80 g (14.05 days), 70 g (15.11 days),
90 g (15.67 days), 70, 50 and 100 g (16.72 days). However, only one flush was harvested
by using spawn at 10 g per kg on substrate dry weight basis, hence, no days were recorded
between flushes. Lozano (1990) reported that seven harvesting were carried during 60 days,
whereas Jiskani et al., (1999) reported 7.5 days, but Bughio (2001) recorded 8.53 to 14.33
days between flushes.
Number of flushes: The observations for total number of flushes from each spawn rate
are given in Table 2 as mean numbers. The results indicating highly significant
difference between different spawn rates and has been proved that the oyster mushroom
gave maximum (4.00 flushes) by using 70 g per kg substrate dry weight basis. It was
followed by 60 g (3.66 flushes), 80 g (3.00 flushes), 90 and 100 g (2.66 flushes), 40 and
50 g (2.33 flushes), 30 g (2.00 flushes) 20 g (1.33 flushes) and 10 g (1.00 flushes)
respectively. Lozano (1990) reported 7 flushes, Moorthy & Mohanan (1991), Kausar &
Zafar (1995), Jiskani et al., (1999) harvested 3 flushes, but Bughio (2001) reported 3.00
to 6.25 flushes.
Number of bunches: The data recorded for total number of bunches (per bag) of oyster
mushroom (Table 2) indicates highly significant difference between different spawn rates.
The maximum number of bunches per bag (7.66 bunches) were obtained by using 100 g
spawn per kg on substrate dry weight basis. It was followed by 80 and 90 g (6.37 bunches),
70 g (5.33 bunches), 60 g (5.00 bunches), 50 g (3.33 bunches), 40 g (3.00 bunches). The
spawn @ 30, 20 and 10 g gave 2.00 bunches (Table 2). No reference from different
research journals, text books, reports and internet etc. could be obtained on this aspect.
Number of fruiting bodies: The mean number of fruiting bodies per bunch exhibited
significant difference between different spawn rates (Table 2). The result showed that the
maximum number of fruiting bodies (7.30/bunch) was recorded by using 100 g/kg
substrate dry weight basis followed by 90 and 80 g (5.33 fruiting bodies), 70 g (4.98
fruiting bodies), 60 g (4.83 fruiting bodies), 50 g (4.61 fruiting bodies), 40 g (4.22
fruiting bodies), 30 g (4.13 fruiting bodies), 20 g (3.07 fruiting bodies), and 10 g (2.73
fruiting bodies) respectively (Table 2). Similar to that of number of bunches per bag no
any single reference is available on number of fruiting bodies per bunch.
M.I. BHATTI ET AL.,
Table 2. Effect of grain spawn rate on number of flushes, number of bunches and
number of fruiting bodies of oyster mushroom (P. ostreatus).
Spawn rate (g per kg
substrate DW basis) Number of
flushes/bag Number of
bunches/bag Number of fruiting
10 1.00 e 2.00 b 2.73 b
20 1.33 de 2.00 b 3.07 b
30 2.00 cde 2.00 b 4.13 ab
40 2.33 cd 3.00 ab 4.22 ab
50 2.33 cd 3.33 ab 4.61 ab
60 3.66 ab 5.00 ab 5.33 ab
70 4.00 a 5.33 ab 7.30 a
80 3.00 abc 6.33 ab 5.33 ab
90 2.66 bc 6.33 ab 4.98 ab
100 2.66 bc 7.66 a 4.83 ab
LSD 0.05 1.155 4.934 3.775
Similar letters do not differ from one another.
Table 3. Effect of grain spawn rate on percentage yield on fresh and dry weight
of oyster mushroom (P. ostreatus).
(g per kg substrate DW
(%) Dry yield
10 10.53 f 1.15 e
20 15.13 e 1.55 e
30 15.66 e 1.62 e
40 27.20 d 2.65 d
50 32.00 c 3.30 c
60 44.26 a 4.10 ab
70 45.40 a 4.63 a
80 39.93 b 3.96 b
90 38.26 b 3.72 bc
100 33.40 c 3.70 bc
LSD 0.05 1.903 0.5307
Similar letters do not differ from one another.
Yield percentage: The results obtained for percentage yield of oyster mushroom on
fresh (wet) and dry weight basis are highly significant at LSD 0.05 (Table 3). The results
reveals that the maximum percentage yield (45.40% on fresh and 4.63% on dry weight
basis) was obtained by using spawn at 70 g/kg on substrate dry weight basis, which is
near to 60 g spawn per kg substrate (44.27% fresh and 4.10% dry). These spawn rates
were found to be the best followed by 80, 90, 100, 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 g per kg (39.93
and 3.96%, 38.27 and 3.72%, 33.40 and 3.70%, 32.00 and 3.30%, 27.20 and 2.65%,
15.67 and 1.62%, 15.13 and 1.55% and 10.53 and 1.15%) fresh and dry yield
respectively (Table 3). Lozano (1990) reported 43% yield, Moorthy & Mohanan (1991)
recorded 332 to 474 g/bag yield from polyethylene bags containing 1.2 kg dry
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND YIELD OF OYSTER MUSHROOM 2691
substrate/bag when inoculated with 150 g spawn/bag using a multi-layered spawning
technique. Badshah et al., (1992) reported 49.8 g on saw dust, 432.8 g on wheat straw
and 18.5 g per 2kg substrate grown in the field (control). Kausar & Iqbal (1994) reported
that yield varied from 18.6 to 83.5% on the basis of different nitrogen supplements
amended with straw. Kausar & Zafar (1995) reported that average yield varied from
57.17- 73.39%. Jiskani et al., (1999) obtained 24 and 7.6% fresh and dry yield on the
basis of substrate dry weight, in case of using wheat straw. Jiskani (1999) reported that
100% of substrate dry weight, means one kg of fresh mushroom can be obtained from
one kg of dry substrate (before soaking and boiling). According to Bughio (2001) the
maximum fresh (wet) and dry yield percentage on substrate dry weight basis (29.61 to
77.91 and 5.91 to 21.70) were obtained from wheat straw using in combination with
cotton boll locules, paddy straw, sugarcane and sorghum leaves at 1:1 ratio in case of
using sorghum grain spawn @ 30 g per bag.
The difference between achievement with the results reported by other research
workers may be due to the variation in controlled, semi controlled conditions,
physiological requirements for cultivation of oyster mushroom e.g., constant temperature,
humidity and light arrangements. The response of different substrates also show
differences in respect of time taken for formation of pinheads, maturation of fruiting
bodies, period between flushes, number of flushes and yield. However, our results are
very much closer to other research workers. It is concluded that spawning at 70 g per kg
on substrate dry weight basis found to be the best dose for obtaining early and high
yielding crop of oyster mushroom, with minimum period for maturation of fruiting
bodies, maximum number of flushes and fruiting bodies per bag.
Badshah, N., N. Ur-Rehman and M. Wahid. 1992. Yield and quality of mushrooms grown on
different substrates. Sarhad J. Agriculture, 8(6): 631-635.
Bernabe-Gonzalez, T. and J. M. Arzeta-Gomez. 1994. Cultivation of Pleurotus ostreatus on peanut
hulls and dry maize leaves. Revista Mexicana de Micologia, 10: 15-20.
Bughio, I. 2001. Yield performance of oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq. ex. Fr.) Kummer on
combination of different straws. M. Sc. Thesis, Deptt. of P. Path. S.A.U. Tandojam. pp. 69.
Cangy, C. and A. Peerally. 1995. Studies of Pleurotus production on sugar-cane bagasse. African J.
Mycol. & Biotechnol., 3 (2): 67-79.
Fan, L., A. Pandey, R. Mohan and C. R. Soccol. 2000. Use of various coffee industry residues for the
cultivation of Pleurotus ostreatus in solid state fermentation. Acta Biotechnol, 20 (1): 41-52.
Jiskani, M. M. 1999. A brief outline “The fungi” Cultivation of mushrooms. Izhar Pub. Tandojam.
Jiskani, M. M., M. A. Pathan and K. H. Wagan. 1999. Yield performance of oyster mushroom,
Pleurotus florida (Strain Pk-401) on different substrates. Pak. Jr. Agri., Agril. Engg. Vet. Sci., 15
Kausar, T. and S. H. Iqbal. 1994. Supplementation of rice straw with various nitrogen sources to
improve the yield of P. sajor-caju. Pak. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 37 (1-2): 615-519.
Kausar, T. and S. I. Zafar. 1995. Introduction of tower system for the cultivation of mushrooms
(Pleurotus spp.). Pak. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 38 (9-10): 362-364.
Labuschagne, P.M., A. Eiker, Tas. Aveling, S. de Meillon and M.F. Smith, 2000. Influence of wheat
cultivars on straw quality and P. ostreatus cultivation. Bio resource technology, 71 (1): 71-75.
M.I. BHATTI ET AL.,
Lozano, J. C. 1990. Commercial production of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in coffee
pulp. Fitopatologia Colombiana, 14 (2): 42-47.
Marimuthu, T. 1995. Prospects of oyster mushroom cultivation in Tamil Nadu. Journal of
Ecobiology, 7 (1): 27-34.
Mathew, A. V., G. Mathai and M. Suharban. 1996. Performance evaluation of five species of
Pleurotus (oyster mushroom) in Kerala. Mushroom Research, 5 (1): 9-12.
Moorthy, V. K. and R. C. Mohanan. 1991. Evaluation of various organic substrates for the
cultivation of Pleurotus sajor-caju. Journal of Plantation Crops, 19 (1): 65-69.
Pandey, R. S. and S. K. Ghosh. 1996. A Handbook on Mushroom Cultivation. Emkay publications,
Delhi. pp. 134.
Patra, A. K. and B. K. Pani. 1995. Yield response of different species of oyster mushroom
(Pleurotus) to paddy straw. Current Agril. Res. Supplement No. 8:11-14.
Rambelli, A. and U.G. Menini, 1985. Manual on mushroom cultivation. FAO Plant Production
and Protection paper: 43 pp.65.
Singh, A. K., G. B. Singh and S. Solomon, 1995. Cultivation of mushroom on Sugarcane Research.
Rai Bareli Road. Lucknow 226 002. UP India. Sugarcane agro industrial alternatives, 245-256.
(Received for publication 14 February 2006)