Mushrooms and Mushroom Cultivation


A mushroom is a macrofungus with a distinctive fruiting body, which can be found either above ground (epigeous) or below ground (hypogeous), large enough to be seen with the naked eye and to be picked by hand. Cultivation of mushrooms starts from spawn, which is used to inoculate substrate. Under optimum conditions, mushrooms can be harvested from 10 days to 6 months after spawning depending upon the strains of species used.

Keywords: mushroom; fruiting body; spawn; toadstool; mushroom cultivation; bioconversion

Figure 1.

Lentinula edodes, a ‘typical’ mushroom, with pileus and stipe only.

Figure 2.

Volvariella volacea, with volva.

Figure 3.

Agaricus campestris, with annulus.

Figure 4.

Amanita muscaris, with an annulus near the top and with the bulbous base adorned with several concentric zones of white scales representing the volva (courtesy of Mrs Helena Pereira Lima Caruccio, Brazil).

Figure 5.

Know your poisonous mushrooms.

Figure 6.

Know your edible mushrooms.



Chang ST (1993) Mushroom biology: the impact on mushroom production and mushroom products. In: Chang ST, Buswell JA and Chiu SW (eds) Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, pp. 3–20. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

Chang ST and Buswell JA (1996) Mushroom nutriceuticals. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 12: 473–476.

Chang ST and Miles PG (1989) Edible Mushrooms and Their Cultivation, p. 345. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Chang ST and Miles PG (1992) Mushroom biology – a new discipline. The Mycologist 6: 64–65.

Chilton WS (1978) Chemistry and mode of action of mushroom toxins. In: Rumack BH and Salzman E (eds) Mushroom Poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment, pp. 88–117. West Palm Beach, FL: CRC Press.

Danell E and Camacho FJ (1997) Successful cultivation of the golden chanterelle. Nature 385: 303.

Editorial (1997) The magic of mushroom. Nature 388: 340.

Kendrick B (1985) The Fifth Kingdom, p. 364. Waterloo, Canada: Mycologue Publications.

Miles PG and Chang ST (1997). Mushroom Biology: Concise Basic and Current Developments, p. 193. Singapore: World Scientific.

Shepherd CJ and Totterdell CJ (1988). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Australia, p. 162. Sydney: Inkata Press.

Further Reading

Chang ST (1996) Mushroom research and development – equality and mutual benefit. In: Royse DJ (ed.) Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, pp. 1–10. USA: Pennsylvania State University.

Chang ST and Hayes WA (1978) The Biology and Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms. New York: Academic Press.

Courtecuisse R and Duhem B (1994) Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe. London: Harper Collins.

Groves JW (1962) Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: Canada Department of Agriculture.

Quimio TH, Chang ST and Royse DJ (1990) Technical Guidelines for Mushroom Growing in Tropics. Rome: FAO.

Ramsbottom J (1953) Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: Collins.

Rumack BH and Salzman E (1978) Mushroom Poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment, 263 pp. West Palm Beach, FL: CRC Press.

Stamets P (1993) Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Berkeley, CF: Ten Speed Press.

Van Griensven LJLD (1988) The Cultivation of Mushrooms. Rustington, Sussex: Darlington Mushroom Laboratories.

Young T (1994) Common Australian Fungi: A Naturalist's Guide. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

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How to Cite close
Chang, Shu‐Ting(Jun 2001) Mushrooms and Mushroom Cultivation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000370]