Bulletin Number 12. January 31st, 2015



Dr. Manjit Singh
Chairman, Steering Committee,
President, Mushroom Society of India
Director, ICAR-Directorate of Mushroom Research
Chambaghat, Solan 173213, India

Mushroom Research in India began in the 60s in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, and remained confined to these states with focus only on white button mushroom. The National Centre for Mushroom Research & Training (NCMRT) now known as ICAR-DMR was established in 1983 under the auspices of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. In India, mushroom production systems are of mixed type i.e., both seasonal as well as high-tech cultivation. Although mushroom production in the country is at a young stage, growth rate, both in terms of productivity as well as production, has been phenomenal. The current production is over 120,000 tonnes with the button mushroom holding a major share. About 10-15% of button mushroom production is through seasonal cultivation in huts while the remaining production is under controlled conditions. The cultivation of other mushrooms like oyster, paddy straw and milky mushroom is mainly seasonal.

Conference Circular Inaugural Session

To upgrade our knowledge across the globe on mushrooms, International collaboration is especially needed in the areas of germplasm conservation and maintenance, genetic improvement, cultivation aspects, nutritional and nutraceutical properties, etc. It was really overwhelming for us to hold the 8th International Conference on Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products (ICMBMP) in India. It was a great opportunity to interact and learn new horizons of mushroom science with researchers from around the world. The 8th ICMBMP was hosted in the historic city of Delhi, India at the National Agricultural Science Centre Complex from 19-22 November 2014.


NASC Complex – The conference venue DMR Scientists with Prof Susanna M Badalyan


The conference, with 70 participants from 26 countries from outside India, including about 150 scientists, 40 entrepreneurs, 30 farmers and 20 students from India, was held for four days with multifarious activities ranging from oral presentations, poster presentations, exhibitions, scientists-farmer interaction, a field visit, and networking. The 8th International Conference on Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products included one theme lecture, 13 keynote addresses, 63 oral and 128 poster presentations covering diverse topics such as mushroom diversity, genetics, biochemistry, biology & development, medicinal aspects, value addition, economics of mushroom production, etc. The topics were divided into ten sessions.

Participants of 8th ICMBMP

The conference started with registration and networking on 19th November 2014 followed by a conference dinner. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. S Ayyappan, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Government of India & Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Deliberations began with a theme lecture by Dr. Daniel J. Royse, USA, where the present status of mushrooms in different parts of the world and the changes that have taken place during last few decades were presented. The growth in production of king oyster in last few years in China and Japan has really changed the production scenario and has brought oyster mushrooms as the second most important commodity among different mushrooms.



Inaugural Address by Dr. S. Ayyappan, DG, ICAR Theme Lecture by Dr. Daniel J. Royse

The presentations on Biodiversity and Taxonomy was a journey through various parts of India like the Himalayas, North western plains, central India, western ghats, North East, the Indian desert, Kashmir, Maharashtra, etc. In addition, there was an opportunity to look into the diversity of medicinal mushrooms in Italy and their conservation, the ethnomycology of a volcano reserve in Mexico, and the mushroom diversity of Ghana and Kenya, etc. In nutshell, the conference provided an opportunity to view the spectrum of diversity in different continents, their value, conservation, etc. There is an enormous diversity in tropical and subtropical parts of India and also the hilly regions and there is a need to document and characterize this for posterity. It is time that we place emphasis on ethnomycological aspects and collect, document and conserve as much as possible before both knowledge and diversity is lost.
The discussions on molecular biology and genetic improvement helped us to understand the status of variability in different mushrooms like Agaricus, Pleurotus, Volvariella, Ganoderma, Schizophyllum, etc. and also the application of modern techniques in development of improved strains. Dr. Sonnenberg discussed the tools and techniques in genetic improvement in the button mushroom. There is much hope to exploit and characterize the diversity for its utilization to produce quality mushrooms and use others for developing various products of neutraceutical and medicinal value. Mushrooms growing in unique niches have evolved various survival mechanisms, some of which convert inorganics into nanoparticles that leads to change in their toxic properties. Dr. Absar Ahmed illuminated this aspect through his work done on production of nanoparticles using various endophytic, disease causing and thermophilic fungi, and mushroom extracts. Bioinformatics is going to play an important role in understanding applications of biology. The presentations on whole genome sequence of Volvariella, WRKY transcription factors in button mushroom, and transcriptome analysis in Lentinula has paved the way for future applications.


Dr. Anton Sonnenberg Dr. Ofer Danay Dr. José E Sánchez

Understanding fundamental pathways and developmental processes in edible fungi is important for generating new applications and finding new vistas. The session on biology, biochemistry, physiology and development provided an opportunity to discuss fungal nonspecific peroxygenases, genetic transformation of mushroom, lignocellulosic enzymes, laccasses, glutamate d-carboxylase and various other enzymes with respect to their functions and gene expressions. The study and purification of various polysaccharides, lectins, glucans, phenolics, dyes from edible mushrooms like Agaricus, Pleurotus, Hypsizygus, Psathyrella, Coprinus, Morchella, Calocybe, Lenzites etc., and their effects helped in comprehending the current status. The use of marine fish waste in mushroom cultivation was another non-conventional topic.

Dr. Martin Hofrichter and Dr. Yoichi Honda

 Dr. Lisdar Sudirman

Utilizing raw materials effectively and producing quality seed for higher productivity will continue to remain a primary area and attract maximum contributions. The present conference was no exception and we had four keynote lectures, ten oral and 35 posters listed for presentations and discussions in this area. Understanding cultivation methods of shiitake, biotechnological potential of oyster, biochemical features of substrate degradation and correct methods of spawn production set the tone for discussions. Various aspects of button mushroom like biological efficiency of wild types, use of thermophillic fungi in compost, metagenomic profiles of bacterial communities in casing, new methods of irrigation, etc., were discussed. The number of papers dealing with Pleurotus spp. dealt with vegetative growth on different substrates, quality attributes, bioremediation, cultivation of different species and improvement, such as spore deficient strains. Lentinula, Volvariella, Tuber, Calocybe, etc. also attracted the attention of researchers with respect to various cultivation aspects. The stage is set for mushroom diversification.
The discussions on mycomolecules and medicinal properties attracted the attention of researchers and set the tone for discussion by keynote lectures on advances in cultivation of medicinal fungi and production of compounds in bioreactors, and also potential of mushroom bioactive molecules in development of different healthcare products. The work done on the role of polysaccharides in oxidative stress in diabetic rats, antioxidant properties, mitochondrial dysfunction, cardio-protective antitumor hypolepidemic, antioxidant properties were some of the topics of discussion based on the compounds from Calocybe, Fomitopsis, Lentinula, Auricularia, Ganoderma, Hypsizygus, Pleurotus, Antrodia, Termitomyces, Cordyceps, etc. The status of mushroom research in Sri Lanka was also presented during the session.
Mycorrhizal, entomopathic and other novel mushrooms will continue to remain important and the Cordyceps group is an important component. Applications like dyes from Pycnoporus, biocontrol using Trichoderma and toxicological studies on Inocybe were some of the areas covered in addition to the basic studies on Termitomyces and other novel fungi. Studies on newer mushrooms like Agrocybe, Lentinus squarrosulus, Cordyceps tuberculata, Calocybe gambosa, Astraeus hygrometricus, Trametes spp., Psathyrella and Agaricus subrufescens were also discussed during the session.

Dr. Susanna M Badalyan Dr. RP Singh Dr. Marin Berovic

Pest and diseases are an integral component of any biological system and mushrooms are no exception. However, the emphasis seems to be shifting from biocontrol agents and IPM with greater emphasis on hygiene and pasteurization. Infection of Cladobotryum mycophilum on Agaricus and Pleurotus crops in Spain, the effect of essential oils on mycopathogens, and integrated approaches to control Mycogone perniciosa in Agaricus crops were some important highlights of the session. In addition, strategies for control of insect pests, nematodes and diseases of button and the paddy straw mushroom were also discussed during the session.

Dr. Nelson Colauto Dr. András Geösel  Dr. RC Upadhyay


Mushroom fortification and development of products is an ongoing process and an important component for popularizing mushrooms. There were number of presentations relating to nutritional values, cooking, packaging, shelf life and various other products.
The role of IT in mushrooms is projected as an important area in the future. The changing global scenarios with respect to availability of substrates, labor, etc. are going to impact the economics and marketing of mushrooms. The discussion of these aspects was focused on India and was supplemented through interactions in the scientist-farmer-interface.
Thus, a wide spectrum of issues ranging from diversity to applications were discussed and the discussions on mushroom biology and mushroom products will help in promotion of the growth of mushrooms across the globe and will also pave the way for generation of more basic knowledge that will be essential for continued growth. All discussions of the conference have been summarized in the form of an Abstract book and two volumes of Proceedings. The same is available on the society website of WSMBMP (

Dr. John Buswell receiving Outstanding
Researcher Award presented by Dr. Nelson Colauto and Dr. András Geösel
Dr. José E Sánchez, Dr. Tan Qi, Dr. Shwet Kamal, Dr. Nelson Colauto, Dr. Manjit Singh, Dr. John Buswell, Dr. Anton Sonnenberg, Dr. András Geösel and Dr. Daniel J Royse after the award

The conference ended in the afternoon of 22 Nov 2015. It was a suitable occasion to acknowledge the contributions of a legend, Dr. John Buswell, to the world of mushroom science by conferring him Outstanding Researcher Award. The award ceremony was followed by a field visit to nearby seasonal mushroom farms at Sonepat (Haryana) that collectively contribute about 10% of the button mushroom production of India (rest being from environment controlled units). In the evening of the previous day i.e., 21st Nov 2014, a general council meeting of World Society of Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products was held and new councilors were elected.

Dr. Anton Sonnenberg, Dr. Manjit Singh, Mr. Roel Dreve and other participants during the field visit
Participants during the field visit

The successful completion of the conference depended mostly upon the participants and contributors. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all keynote speakers and presenters, without which this conference would not have been a success. I would like to thank my colleagues and staff of DMR and others in India for their help and support. I would like to thank Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and the Government of India for their support and financial assistance. I also acknowledge the help rendered by various ministries in granting visa to the delegates from outside India.


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Dr. José E Sánchez
Apdo. Postal 36, Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico

With pleasant memories of the last conference in New Delhi still fresh in our minds, we start 2015 hoping this New Year will be a great one for all of us, for mushroom science and technology and also for our Society. The 8th Conference was wonderful. More than 320 delegates from about 25 countries attended the conference so it was excellent place to discuss and make the point about mushrooms. Dr. Manjit Singh, in a separate article in this same issue of our Bulletin, provides an account of what this conference entailed.

At the business meeting of our Society, held during the Conference, the current situation of WSMBMP was presented. Dr. Alma Rodríguez, Treasurer of the Society informed us that the number of regular members, although small is increasing and that the finances of the society are healthy. More efforts should be made to contribute to the dissemination of mushroom information and to encourage more research and education on mushrooms.

The website has been working well and has reached (by November 2014) over 10,700 visits since it was launched on May 1, 2010, averaging 2,338 visits per year or 7.1 visits per day. The site provides information on Proceedings of WSMBMP International Conferences (all articles are free and downloadable), also it is the place where a new Bulletin of the Society is displayed twice a year (already 12 issues). The website also provides information about research and education centers on mushrooms throughout the world.

The Awards Committee of the Society launched two calls for nominations before the 8th Conference. Those calls were The Outstanding Senior Researcher and the Outstanding Young Researcher Awards (OSRA and OYRA, respectively). The OYRA received no nominations. That was a pity, since the committee tried by means of this award, to recognize the efforts of young mushroom scientists on the development of mushrooms science and technology and with this fact, to promote and encourage young scientists to embrace mushroom research. We hope that for the next conference, a wider and earlier distribution of the call for nominations will allow regular members to participate in this effort, so the committee receives more nominations and thus helps accomplish the objective of the program. In regard to the OSRA, the committee recognized Prof. Dr. John A. Buswell with this award. The committee emphasized that Dr. Buswell was elected because he has made important contributions to our knowledge of mushroom enzymes and mushroom technology and has devoted a very important part of his life to mushroom research, mushroom education and mushroom extension. Congratulations, Dr. Buswell!

The Council also saw some changes among its members. Three members left the Council (Dr. José E. Sanchez, Dr. Helen Grogan and Dr. Katsuji Yamanaka). The new Council, elected for the period 2015-2018, now consists of members as follows: Dr. Tan Qi (China, President), Dr. András Geösel (Hungary, Vice President), Dr. Jean Michel Savoie (France, Vice President), Dr. Alma Rodríguez (USA, Treasurer), Dr. Manjit Singh (India, General Secretary), Dr. Johan Baars (Netherlands, Council Member) and Dr. Mary Obodai (Ghana, Council Member).

Finally, Dr. Tan, New President of the Society informed the audience of her willingness and commitment for hard work and her desire to make a stronger society. She also proposed, and it was accepted, that the next Conference (the 9th) be held in Shanghai in 2018.

The 2014 Outstanding Researcher Award was presented to Dr. John Buswell. In the photos, Dr. Buswell stands (left photo) with Dr. Tan Qi and Dr. José E Sánchez and (right photo) with his wife Barbara and an Indian delegation led by Dr. Manjit Singh (second from left), Chairman of the 8th International Conference.

From 2008 until 2014, the WSMBMP headquarters were based at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur), located in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. During this period, technical and administrative support to the Society’s Council was provided by (from right to left) René Andrade (Bulletin Distribution), Enoc Cabrera (Website Manager), Paulina González and Fabiola Roque (Diffusion), José H. López (Staff) and José E Sánchez. The group sends their warmest regards to the mushroom community worldwide, and wishes the new WSMBMP Council, and support staff in Shanghai, every success in all their future endeavours.


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Dr. Tan Qi
Institute of Edible Fungi,
Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Shanghai 201106, P. R. China.

Dear President Sanchez, Members of the WSMBMP,

I am very honoured to be invited to serve as the next president of the WSMBMP.

Since its establishment in 1993, the Society has made enormous contributions to mushroom biology and to the industrial development of mushrooms worldwide. Highly successful Society-sponsored international conferences have been held on eight occasions, and have promoted exchange between mushroom scholars and entrepreneurs from many countries. However, there are still many mushroom researchers and industrialists who know little about the WSMBMP. Therefore, I will continue to publicize the Society and its aims, strive to expand its influence globally, and endeavour to expand both individual and corporate membership. Using the WSMBMP as a platform, I will further strive to promote exchange and cooperation between the scientific community and enterprise, facilitate scientific research directed at resolving practical problems faced by the mushroom industry, and convert the achievements of scientists into rapid and tangible developments within the industry.

During the past 30 years, the mushroom industry in China has developed strongly, and the country is currently the world’s largest producer and consumer of mushrooms. In 2012, the country’s total mushroom output reached 28.28 million tons. During the process of such development, China’s mushroom producers have accumulated abundant experience including the creation of cultivation techniques oriented to diverse cultivation environments. However, they have also faced many technical problems associated with ever increasing production levels. Therefore, I will undertake to strengthen interaction between researchers and growers in China with the rest of the world to jointly advance the global development of the mushroom industry. In this context, the WSMBMP can serve as a platform for disseminating and popularizing China’s cultivation techniques to countries seeking such assistance. At the same time, the Society can also serve as a conduit for the transfer from elsewhere of advanced administrative systems, production equipment, high quality inocula and production techniques into China in order to further improve the overall development of China’s mushroom industry, thereby promoting the sustainable development of the mushroom industry worldwide.

Nowadays, a large number of young researchers are engaged in mushroom R&D in China. They are the young generation, full of vitality, and it is my intention to build bridges for the purpose of encouraging mushroom biologists from other mushroom-producing countries to come to China to deliver lectures and to communicate with them, and to jointly explore the future of mushrooms.

Finally, I hope that, together with the help and efforts of mushroom biologists and entrepreneurs everywhere, we can build on past successes and create a better tomorrow for the WSMBMP.

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András Geösel, PhD.
Corvinus University of Budapest
Department of Vegetable and Mushroom Growing.
H-1118 Budapest, Villányi str. 29-43.

 It has been a great honour to participate in the activities and development of the WSMBMP as a council member. Amongst our achievements these past few years , I should like to highlight the growth in the number of Society members and, due to the efforts of our outgoing President, the regular publication on the Society’s webpage of a bulletin that has become increasingly informative. As Vice-President, I shall endeavour to further enhance the reputation, acceptance and importance of our association by improving cooperation within the industry, and by supporting new ideas and trends in mushroom research.





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Dr. Johan Baars
Plant Breeding, Wageningen University
And Research Centre, Droevendaalsesteeg1,
6708pb, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

I am honoured to have been elected as a member of the WSMBMP council and will work hard towards making the new council as successful as its predecessors. I fully subscribe to the aims of the WSMBMP which, according to the Society’s constitution, are “to promote the enhancement and application of knowledge relating to the basic and applied aspects of mushroom biology and mushroom products by publications, meetings and other means deemed appropriate”. Fungi have much to offer humankind, and the full extent of the possibilities they hold for us have yet to be wholly realised.


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The WSMBMP Bulletin is the official electronic publication of the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products. The bulletin is intended to keep members informed about Council activities and to share general information about mushrooms. It is designed to allow communication between society members and alert them about new topics and opportunities related to mushrooms. Society members and general public are kindly invited to submit letters, comments and information of interest for the mushroom community to be published in the bulletin. Please submit your contributions electronically in free format to the editors José E. Sanchez, John, Daniel J. Royse or Helen Grogan

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