Growing Yellow Oyster on agro-waste

Growing Yellow Oyster on agro-waste

Pleurotus mushrooms are commercially important to the world market. They are widely cultivated and appreciated for their specific taste and nutritional values all over the world. They are rich in proteins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

Pleurotus citrinpileatus forms large clusters that bear a spicy-bitter-nutty flavor but unfortunately its fragility makes it difficult for post-harvest distribution to far away markets. This kind grows rapidly through pasteurized straw and sterilized sawdust. It develops well at higher temperatures than the common oyster mushroom. Will grow on logs and stumps, particularly of Ulmus and Carpinus. In China, farmers grow them on cottonseed hulls, sugar cane bagasse, sawdust, and straw. In the U.S.A., the most frequently used substrate compositions imply wheat straw or hardwood sawdust. For fruiting, substrates range from pasteurized wheat, chopped corn cobs to hardwood sawdust. Alternative substrates that are being developed commercially are represented by paper by-products, banana fronds and peanut hulls. Straw inoculated with grain spawn is considered to have considerably greater yields than straw inoculated with sawdust spawn.

Regarding to yield potentials it needs to be said that this species in not as prolific as the more popular Pleurotus ostreatus in the conversion of substrate. Studies have shown that using cottonseed amended substrates provided higher yield efficiencies. The biological efficiency ranges from 50-100% on wheat straw.

One study selected seven locally available substrates for figuring out the growth and yield performance: bean straw, sawdust of African mahogany, maize cobs, rice straw, wheat straw, sugarcane bagasse, and banana leaves. The best performance was obtain on bean straw substrate. In this particular study all seven substrates were pasteurized at 70°C for 2h. After cooling, they were individually spawned at a rate of 5% under laminar air flow and then, labeled and incubated in the dark at 25±2°C for 8-21 days. After completing this task, they were transferred into a humid growing room and kept at a 12 h light/ 12 h dark photoperiod at 23±2°C. After completing the experiment, data gathered concluded that all substrates recorded great fruiting and mycelia colonization. Maximum yield and biological efficiency (148%) was found at a spawn rate of 5% using bean straw substrate. Closely following was rice straw, with an efficiency of 90%, sugarcane bagasse 78%, wheat straw 41%, banana leaves 16% and the lowest, maize cobs 5%.

Another recent study focused on growing this type of mushroom on pea pod shell, paddy straw, brassica straw, radish leaves and cauliflower leaves separately and on various combinations. Pleurotus citrinopileatus apparently failed to grow on pea pod shells, radish and cauliflower leaves but developed very well on paddy straw in combination with other kinds of substrates. When harvested from paddy straw only, the total yield and biological efficiency was lower than on other wastes combined with paddy straw. The maximum biological efficiency was held by 70% paddy straw with 30% other wastes. Six essential amino acids were found in the mushrooms grown on the mixed substrate and also higher quantities of protein, sugar and non-reducing sugar.

It’s important to highlight the fact that using these agro-wastes gave high yields and definitely playing around with random substrate combinations or factors is key, but hey! once you got a great recipe a great strain and know what this particular strain likes and dislikes you’ll get happy results.

A report by Maina Puia



Musieba, et al., “Suitability of Locally Available Substrates for Cultivation of the Kenyan Indigenous Golden Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotuscitrinopileatus Singer)”, 2012.

Paul Stamets, “Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms”, book 1993.

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