Effect of different substrate sterilization methods on performance of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Shrestha, Ram Kumar
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Proper sterilization of substrates is an indispensable step in oyster mushroom cultivation. Oyster mushroom growers in Nepal usually follow three different substrate sterilization methods; however, their comparative effectiveness is vastly unexplored. Thus, these experiments were carried out at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Lamjung Campus, Lamjung, Nepal from January to March, in the years 2017 and 2019. The objective of these experiments was to identify the most appropriate method of sterilization. Three different types of sterilization methods viz chemical sterilization (formaldehyde + carbendazim), steam sterilization, and hot-water sterilization were evaluated for the growth parameters and productivity of oyster mushroom cultivated on rice straw. The experiments were laid out on Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with ten replications. The results showed that the spawning rate was 3.2% of the wet substrate. Data were collected until the third flush. A significantly longer duration to colonize the substrate (29.7 days) was observed under chemical sterilization. The oyster mushroom performed best under steam sterilization as it took the shortest time for pinhead formation (34.30 days), fruiting body formation (43.60 days), cropping duration (89.30 days), and produced the highest mushroom yield (1401.9 g per 4 kg bag), and consequently, the highest biological efficiency (101.38%). Average pileus diameter and stipe length were statistically indifferent among the treatments suggesting the significant effect of sterilization methods on the yield of oyster mushroom but not on its morphological attributes.