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Yield Comparison of Hybrid Agaricus Mushroom Strains as a Measure of Resistance to Trichoderma Green Mold

July 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  7
Pages  731 - 734

M. G. Anderson , D. M. Beyer , and P. J. Wuest , Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, 210 Buckhout Lab, University Park 16802

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Accepted for publication 15 March 2001.

Commercially available strains of hybrid white, hybrid off-white, and brown Agaricus bisporus mushrooms were compared for resistance to green mold caused by Trichoderma harzianum biotype 4 (Th4). Seven mushroom spawn strains were assessed for total weight of mushrooms (grams per 0.1 m2) with or without the addition of an aqueous Th4 spore suspension added at spawning time. Cropping studies were conducted at the Mushroom Research Center (Pennsylvania State University) to emulate commercial growing operations. Excessive spawn handling had no significant effect on development of green mold. Severity of green mold was related to time between infestation and green mold appearance, with more significant yield losses occurring when green sporulation was detected early in production. Significant differences in yield were measured among mushroom strains in response to Th4 infestation. Hybrid white strains were extremely susceptible, with a mean yield loss of 96%. Hybrid off-white strains exhibited intermediate susceptibility, with mean yield losses of 56 to 73%. Brown strains were highly resistant, with mean yield losses of 9 to 16%. From these findings, we report the existence of green mold resistance, with a continuum of resistance among spawn strains. The findings suggest use of brown strains to manage green mold outbreaks, particularly where benomyl resistance in Trichoderma spp. is a threat.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society