Keywords: Mushroom, Yield, Substrate, Cultivation, Lignocellulosic wastes, Medicinal plants
Mushrooms are prominent umbrella-shaped fruiting body of macro fungi known to be highly medicinal, nutritious and tasty; possessing extensive enzyme complexes, which enable them to degrade different lignocellulosic (linin and cellulose) materials. The present study evaluated the growth performance of Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus florida) on five different lingocellulosic wastes such as water hyacinth, rice straw, saw dust, paper and sugar cane bagasse. This study also determined the effects of medicinal leaves (Radish horse drum stick leaf (Moringa oleifera), African basil (Ocimum basilium) and Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) on growth and nutritional contents of the mushrooms. The mushroom substrates were sterilized, inoculated with actively growing spawn of P. florida and incubated under suitable conditions in a dark room for 3 weeks. The harvested mushrooms were determined for growth parameters such as cap size, stipe, girth and weight. Proximate analysis of mushrooms was carried out for crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, ash, and moisture content using the guidelines of the Association of Official Analytical Chemist. Growth parameters and proximate analysis data were subjected to simple descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that the cultivation cycle of sugar cane bagasse was the shortest (39 days) compared to the other four lignocellulosic substrates. Rice straw gave the highest yield of P. florida for all the harvested flushes with an average weight of 54.1 ± 10.2 g. For supplemented rice straw, the highest yield was observed on rice straw supplemented with African basil with value of 211.68 g and biological efficiency of 105.84%. The study revealed that medicinal leaves could be used to increase the yield of P. florida and influence availability of mushroom throughout the seasons.