• About
  • Morphology
  • Life cycle of mushroom
  • Mushroom cultivation requires


  • Mushroom is a fungus which has a fleshy, spore bearing fruiting body, generally growing on the soil surface of on decaying woods.
  • The word ”mushroom” is used for the fungi which has a stem, a cap and gills on the lowerside of the cap.
  • The function of gills is to produce microscopic spore which further spread across the ground and give rise to many more mushrooms.
  • The spores produced by the gills are called basidiospores.
  • Mushroom lacks chlorophyll and is saprophytic in nature because they grow on dead organic matter.
  • Consist of mainly two parts stalk (stipe) and cap (pileus).
  • A mushroom develops from underground mycelium it is protected by a thin membrane which eventually raptured as the growing mushroom pushes upward, leaving fragment on the cap.
  • There is another membrane which is attached to the cap and the stalk, also raptured and develops into a remnant ring (annulus) on the stalk.
  • On the cap’s undersurface there is radiating rows of gills which bears club-shaped reproductive structures (basidia) give rise to minute spores basidiospores each spores germinates into a mushroom.


  • A mushroom develops from a primordium which is nodule or pinhead less than two millimetres in diameter, found nearly on the surface of the substrate.
  • The mass of thread like hyphae make up the fungus.
  • Mushroom consist of mycelia which absorbs nutrients from the soil, it doesn’t require sunlight for growth.
  • The primordium develops into a round structure of hyphae similar to an egg called “button”. Button has a roll of mycelium, the universal veil that surround the developing mushroom.
  • With the expansion of the mushroom the universal veil ruptures and remains as cup (volva) at the base of the stalk.
  • The cap like structure is called as pileus.
  • Mycelium is the underground part which contains numerous branched network of hyphae used to absorb nutrient from organic matter where it grows.

Life cycle of a mushroom:

Cultivators follow the path of the life cycle of mushroom as the life cycle is generally difficult to observe


  • Spores from mushroom are spread on substrate and after getting favourable condition it germinates.

Spore germination:

  • Spores give rise to the hyphae; compatible hyphae then mate and create mycelium.

Mycelial expansion:

  • Work of mycelium is to break down organic matter and absorb nutrients from the surroundings.
  • During the growing stage of the mushroom the mycelium grows at an exponential rate, mycelium encounters many predators  which mycelium repels with a collection of enzyme and compounds hence, mycelium is also known as the immune system of the mushroom.

Hyphal knot:

  • Mycelium then condenses into hyphal knot which then give rise to primordia (baby mushroom).

Primordia formation:

  • Produces enzyme and optimizes the constituents of both mycelium and developing fruitbody.

Fruitbody selection:

  • During the development of mushroom a thousand of primordial formed, but the most promising is selected and developed into mature fruitbodies.

Mature fruitbody:

  • In this stage all the nutrient and energy is used to develop the fruitbody which then produces spores by sexual reproduction.

Spore release:

Spores produced by the mature fruitbody release into the environment for propagation those that land on the favourable substrate get germinated and begin the new life cycle.

Mushroom cultication requires:

  • Closed rooms with proper ventilation
  • Power/fuel supply for maintaining the temperature.
  • Well skilled labour.
  • Air cooler, humidifiers.
  • Contamination condition like sterilized paddy straw in hot air oven.

Mushroom cultivation process:

Spawn production:

  • The first process of mushroom cultivation is spawn production, the spores is bought from the market


  • Compost is the key ingredient for growing mushroom; compost is made up of straw, gypsum, chicken manure and water added to the horse manure.
  • These ingredients play its unique role in the compost preparation, gypsum ensures proper acidity, straw improves structure and both the manure provides nutrient.
  • The compost is prepared in tunnels which prevent smell from it.
  • The fresh compost looks like dark brown (earth from forest).

Preparing the bag:

  • Packing of compost is done in the plastic bags of dimensions 12*24 inches.
  • Two inches of straw than sprinkle few spores on the top of the straw along the edges. Spores sprinkled in the middle will not grow so the spores are sprinkled along the edges.
  • Watering of inoculated compost filled trays:
  • Watering should be done twice a day or less depends on the moisture availability.
  • Water is spread on the newspaper to maintain humidity.
  • Room temperature should be at 24oC for 12- 15 days for good growth of the mycelium.

Harvesting of mushroom:

  • Harvesting is by twisting and uprooting the fruitbody,
  • The lower part of the stalk is removed where the compost remains attached.

Storage of mushroom:

  • The fruitbody is stored at 4OC for few days.

Nutritional value and medicinal value:

  • Most mushroom has high protein content
  • Fibre lowers the cholesterol and is necessary for the digestive system.
  • Vitamin D – absorption of calcium.
  • Having all essential amino acids.
  • Contain folic acid
  • Contain vitamins like B, C, D and K.

Some edible and poisonous mushrooms:

Edible mushrooms:

Agaricus brunnescens

Agaricus Campestris

Pleurotus edodes

Poisonous mushrooms:

Amanita phalloides

A. virosa (destroying angles),

 A. verna (fool’s cap),

 A. muscaria

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