Mycelial growth and mushroom yields of three strains of Pleurotus eryngii produced on wheat bran-supplemented umbrella plant (Cyperus alternifolius) substrate were assessed using surface brightness, bromophenol blue color reactions, ergosterol and glucosamine contents, and water potential as indicators of strain performance. Mycelial growth was 31%-46% greater, depending on strain, on the umbrella plant substrate compared with the mushroom industry standard sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) substrate. Mushroom yields on the first flush were 20%-23% higher, depending on strain, on the plastic bottle-contained umbrella plant substrate. However, yields on the second break were lower from the umbrella plant substrate. Because many growers in Japan only harvest one flush, production of P. eryngii on umbrella plant substrate may offer commercial producers an alternative basal ingredient to diminishing supplies of sugi sawdust.
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