INCIDENCE OF LECANICILLIUM FUNGICOLA IN WHITEBUTTON MUSHROOM AGARICUS BISPORUS CULTIVATED WITH TWO TYPES OF CASING SOIL
F.J. Gea, J. Carrasco, M. Santos, F. Dianez, M.J. Navarro
The effect of the agent of dry bubble disease Lecanicillium fungicola on mushroom cultivation using two types of casing (mineral soil and peat-based) was evaluated in two artificially infected cropping trials. The incidence of dry bubble and loss of yield caused by the disease were assessed. Biological efficiency (BE) was used to evaluate mushroom productivity for the different casing soils. The results showed that, in the absence of L. fungicola infection, the higher BE obtained using peat-based casing (higher yield of A. bisporus) compensates for the higher cost of the casing. However, when facing serious infection by L. fungicola, the incidence of disease and the yield of healthy mushrooms were statistically similar for both types of casing, although the number of diseased mushrooms was higher when peat-based casing was used. Therefore, the use of peat-based casings cannot be recommended when there is a high risk of outbreaks of dry bubble, since the yield of healthy mushrooms is not sufficient to compensate for the difference in price between both casing types.