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Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake is a delicious mushroom, appreciated as a traditional dish in Japan, Korea and China, where it is called ÔÇśXiang-guÔÇÖ or ÔÇśShiang-guÔÇÖ, meaning fragrant mushroom. However, besides its taste and nutritional value, the mushroom also contains many biologically active compounds.

Numerous scientific studies have concluded that shiitake mushrooms lower the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood, strengthen the immune system, relieve stress and have a beneficial effect on the liver and kidneys.

Shiitake mushroom cultivation on wood

For the cultivation of shiitake, wood can be inoculated either with plug spawn or grain spawn. When using grain spawn, shorter and thicker logs with circumference of up to 30 cm should be used. A few months after inoculation, a layer of white mycelium appears on the cut-off part of the log (Picture 1). Eventually, the log turns brown and hardens (Picture 2). Fruiting body formation on such logs is initiated by soaking them in cold water for 24 hours.

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Picture 1

ponudba-gojenjegob-micelj_na_lesenih_cepkih-9
Picture 2

Mushroom fruiting can be additionally stimulated by striking the previously soaked logs. The cut-off part of the log should be struck and not the bark, since it presents a physical protection that must not be damaged.

For shiitake mushroom cultivation, beech, hornbeam, birch or poplar tree wood is recommended, whereas coniferous wood most often does not support spawn growth. On harder types of wood, such as oak, mushrooms can grow annually for up to 10 years, especially when logs with larger circumferences are used. Suitability of wood from various tree species for shiitake mushroom cultivation is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Suitability of various wood species for shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) cultivation

Latin name of the tree

English name of the tree

Suitability for cultivation

Acer sp.

Maple

3

Alnus sp.

Alder

4

Betula sp.

Birch

4

Carpinus sp.

Hornbeam

5

Castanea sp.

Chestnut

4-5

Malus silvestis

Apple tree

1

Populus sp.

Poplar

2

Fagus sylvestris

Beech tree

5

Quercus sp.

Oak

5

Salix sp.

Willow

4

Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip tree

2

Platanus occidentalis

Plane tree

2

 Coniferophyta

Coniferous trees

Wood not suitable!

Suitability of various wood species for shiitake mushroom cultivation: 1-not suitable, 2-low, 3-medium, 4-high, 5-excellent

Table 2: Growth parameters for shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) cultivation

Substrate colonization
Temperature Optimal 21-27┬░C, slower colonization at lower temperatures
Light Not required
Duration 6-24 months, depending on the temperature and wood species
Primordia formation
Temperature 8-21┬░C
Humidity 95-100%
Duration 5-7 days
Light Some light required
Mushroom formation
Temperature 16-27┬░C, depending on the strain
Humidity 60-80%
Duration 5-8 days
Light Some light required