The casing layer in the culture of Agaricus bisporus, the cultivated mushroom

  • Richard G. Steane

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The casing layer is an essential component of the system employed in the culture of Agaricus bisporus.
The literature appropriate to the casing layer is fully reviewed, including aspects relating to fructification and morphogenesis in A.bisporus, together with an appraisal of the various media employed, their properties and functions, and the commercial significance of the casing layer.
Equipment is described for use in experiments in mushroom culture, based on a scaled-down version of normal growing technique, allowing the analysis of both weights and number of fruitbodies forming, which was useful in assessing the effects of different casing treatments.
The basic steps in the production of fruitbodies in A.bisporus.are described, including a photographic study of the colonisation of casing and fructification.
Various alterations to the physical structure of peat/chalk casing mixtures were found to have an effect on fructification; those causing an opening-out of the casing structure tended to give better yields, especially in the early stages of production. It was shown that, in order to obtain greater yield through casing amendment, fructification must be stimulated, giving increased numbers of fruitbodies, disproportionate to their total weight and consequently of lower mean
A synthetic casing medium based on the light glass-like mineral, perlite, was developed. The best formula obtained was -.1 part perlite: 1 part montmorillonite clay (by weight): 3 parts 0.01% glucose solution. Perlite/montmorillonite casing could be improved by adding compost colonised by mycelium of A.bisporus, or adding a peat-chalk casing extract.
Perlite was also found to be suitable for admixture with the standard casing medium and a mixture of equal parts by volume performed as well as the peat/chalk casing normally used.
Date of AwardMar 1979
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorW.A. Hayes (Supervisor)


  • casing
  • mushroom
  • Agaricus bisporus

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