Skip to main content

Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Evaluation of maturity by use of pH indicators in sawdust-based cultures ofLentinula edodes


Colorimetric pH indicators were examined for their use in judging the culture maturity of sawdust-based cultures of shiitake,Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler. Bromophenol blue (BPB) was the preferred indicator for judging culture maturity. Culture pH changes were detected as changes in color from bluish purple to yellow by direct spraying. The pH values of such cultures varied from 6.3 before inoculation to 4.0 during the fruiting stage. Culture maturity assessment can be used to control fruit body flush timing. Measurement of BPB staining inL. edodes sawdustbased cultures showed a good correlation with fruit body yield of the first flush. This method was concluded to be of value for detecting fruiting potential and therefore may be useful for evaluating flush timing forL. edodes cultivators using sawdust-based methods.


  1. 1.

    Ohga S (1990) Growth rate of mycelium of shiitake,Lentinus edodes, in relation to water potential of medium. J Fac Agric Kyushu Univ 34:413–420

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Ohga S (1992) Adaptability ofLentinus edodes strains to a sawdust-based cultivation procedure. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 38:301–309

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Ohga S (1990) Effect of nutritional component on mycelial growth and fruit body yield of the shiitake mushroom,Lentinus edodes, on sawdust substrate. J Fac Agric Kyushu Univ 34:405–412

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Leatham GF, Stahmann MA (1987) Effect of light and aeration on fruiting ofLentinula edodes. Trans Br Mycol Soc 88:9–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Donoghue JD, Denison WC (1995) Shiitake cultivation: gas phase during incubation influences productivity. Mycologia 87:239–244

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Royse DJ (1985) Effect of spawn run time and substrate nutrition on yield and size of the shiitake mushroom. Mycologia 77:756–762

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ohga S, Roozendael FV, Aspinwall M, Miwa M (1992) Yield and size response of the shiitake mushroom,Lentinus edodes, depending on incubation time on sawdust-based culture. Trans Mycol Soc Jpn 33:349–357

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ohga S (1992) Comparison of extracellular enzyme activities among different strains ofLentinus edodes grown on sawdust-based cultures in relationship to their fruiting abilities. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 38:310–316

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Read DW, Wong PY, Eade BD (1969) Determination of wood pH with indicators. Pulp Paper Mag Can 70:59–64

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Kutscha NP, Lomerson JT, Dyer MV (1978) Separation of eastern spruce and balsam fir by chemical methods. Wood Sci Technol 12:293–308

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Eslyn WE (1979) Utility pole decay: detection in pine by color indicators. Wood Sci Technol 13:117–126

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Ohga S (1985) Biotechnological studies of edible mushroom cultivation. V. Determination of the degree of maturation in shiitake bed-logs using color indicators (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 31:772–778

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shoji Ohga.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ohga, S. Evaluation of maturity by use of pH indicators in sawdust-based cultures ofLentinula edodes . J Wood Sci 45, 431–434 (1999).

Download citation

Key words

  • Shiitake
  • Lentinula edodes
  • Bromophenol blue
  • Culture maturity
  • Sawdust-based culture