Chapter

Snow White and Baby Bella

Nicholas P. Money

in Mushroom

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732562
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732562.003.0005
Snow White and Baby Bella

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Research on the use of robots to pick mushrooms has shown some promise, but, for now, modern practices in mushroom cultivation remain as labor intensive as the original methods developed in the seventeenth century in France. The button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, is the most widely-cultivated species, and China is the largest supplier. More than half of the production in the United States occurs in Chester County in Pennsylvania, where Quaker farmers introduced mushroom growing in the 1880s. There is little genetic variation among strains of the button mushroom and, like other clonal crops, the cultivated fungus is subject to many diseases. Other cultivated mushrooms include shiitake, enokitake, oyster, wood ear, silver ear, lion's mane, maitake, and reishi. These fungi are not close relatives, but share relatively simple life cycles in nature, based on the decomposition of plant tissues, that can be replicated in cultivation.

Keywords: robots; button mushroom; shiitake; enokitake; oyster; wood ear; silver ear; lion's mane; maitake; reishi

Chapter.  5532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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