Mushroom Spawn

For Mushroom growers,quality spawn of high yielding varieties is being supplied The propogating material used by the mushroom growers for planting beds is called spawn. The spawn is equivalent to vegetative seed of higher plant. Quality of spawn is basic for the successful mushroom cultivation.

At present, the pure culture spawn has been the basis of modern spawn production units all over the world. The manufacture of the pure culture spawn is done under scientifically controlled conditions which demand a standard of hygiene as in a hospital operation theatre. Equipment and substrate used for spawn are autoclaved and filtered air is passed during the inocluation ensures complete freedom from contamination.

Manure spawn

Both composted horse-dung or synthetic compost may be used. The composted manure is thoroughly washed to remove such substance in compost which retard growth. The excess water is squeezed out and moisture content adjusted to 60%. The manure is packed in half-litre milk bottles or heat-resistant polypropylene bags os suitable size. The bottles or bags plugged with non-absorbant cotton-wool and sterlized in an autoculave at 1210C for 2 hr or on 2 consecutive days for an hour each. They are then inoculated with a large bit of agar-containing mycelium and incubated at 220-240C in a dark place. the spawn can be used to inoculate fresh bottles or bags to obtain the second generation spawn.

Grain spawn

Ten kilograms of wheat grains are boiled for 15 min in 15 litres of water and then allowed to soak for another 15 min without heating. the excess water is drained off and the grains are colled in sieves. Turn the grains several times with a spoon for quick cooling. The colled grains, are mixed with calcium carbonate. the gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) and 30 g fo calcium carbonate. The gypsum prevents the grains from sticking together and calcium carbonate is necessary to correct the pH. the prepared grains are filled into half-litre milk bottles or polypropylene bags (at the rate of 150-200 g per bottle or bag) and autocalved for 2 hr at 1210C. After sterlization, the material should have a pH value of 6.5 to 6.7. the bottles are inoculated with grains spawn or with bits of agar medium colonized with mycelium and incubated at 220-240C in a dark place. the mycelium completely permeates the grains in about 2 weeks. Other grains like sorghum and pearlmillet can also be used for spawn making.

Perlite spawn

This was developed by Lemke (1971). Perlite is a mineral which expands at temperature more than 10000C. The ingredients, of the spawn are : Perlite (1,450 g), wheat-bran (1,650 g), gypsum (200 g), calcium carbonate (50 g), and water (665 cc). The gredients are mixed, filled in bottles and sterlized. Thereafter, the process is the same as for grain spawn. Perlite spawn is easy to disperse and can be produced at a cheaper cost. This spawn can be stored for a long time.

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