Development of a pilot mushroom farm disease monitoring scheme (MU12007)
What was it all about?
There are several fungal and viral diseases that commonly infect commercial white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) crops in Australia and cause yield losses in the order of 10 per cent.
The diseases which cause the greatest losses in the Australian industry are:
- Lecanicillium (previously Verticillium)
- Bacterial blotch.
The Australian mushroom industry is continually seeking to improve management practices that increase disease control effectiveness, improve workplace health and safety, and protect product integrity.
This project built on earlier research to develop rapid diagnostic tests to detect the presence of disease-causing agents.
As a result of the work, the Australian mushroom industry now has a validated method for identifying the four most common diseases listed above.
Sampling protocols for shelf, tray and block mushroom farms have been developed for all the diseases, and for a range of infection levels ranging from the ongoing monitoring of disease control measures to managing severe disease outbreaks. A diagnostic testing kit is now commercially available for growers.
The researchers’ cost benefit analysis revealed the costs of testing are favourable. The test kit was found to be simple to use, with step-by-step guidance.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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