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Effect of water potential on fruit body formation ofLentinula edodes in sawdust-based substrate


The influence of substrate water potential (ψ) on the growth and fruiting of three genotypes of shiitake (Lentinula edodes) was investigated. A slight reduction ofψ (−0.5MPa) stimulated mycelial and colony growth on liquid, agar, and sawdust-based substrates.L. edodes has been found to grow well at aψ around −0.5 MPa, which corresponds to a moisture content around 55%. A small decrease inψ at the final vegetative growth phase had positive effects on flush quantity. The substrateψ was significantly affected by the interaction between genotypes and spawn run time. Theψ of well-colonized mature substrate was −0.7MPa before and −4.OMPa after the fruiting. Theψ rose again to −0.7MPa during rapid absorbance of water by soaking, and this rise was repeated during the second and third flushes. It is suggested that the water-holding capacity of a substrate is related to culture maturity. Excellent water-providing capacity (higherψ) is expected in the substrate of well-matured cultures with a high density of mycelial colonization.


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Correspondence to Shoji Ohga.

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Ohga, S. Effect of water potential on fruit body formation ofLentinula edodes in sawdust-based substrate. J Wood Sci 45, 337–342 (1999).

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Key words

  • Shiitake
  • Lentinula edodes
  • Water potential
  • Sawdust-based cultivation
  • Strain variety