Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Centre (MU16004)
What was it all about?
From 2017 to 2022, this investment supported the running and development of the Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Centre (MLMRC) at the University of Sydney. The MLMRC is a world-class facility dedicated to mushrooms and the research that takes place there will help the mushroom industry drive innovation, adopt best practice and tackle issues, while encouraging new expertise in the industry.
This project was delivered jointly by The University of Sydney, who provided and maintained the research facilities and took charge of employing growers, and Applied Horticultural Research (AHR), who provided the management services outlined in the proposal.
The Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Centre was directed by an industry-focused independent Steering Committee that prioritised research directions and led planning discussions towards transitioning to a new research facility. This Steering Committee has now developed into an important source of technical expertise that provides an industry overview into mushroom research funded by Hort Innovation and the industry levy.
Key impacts for the project include input into shaping the research direction for the mushroom industry, maintenance and improvement of the purpose build mushroom research facility at the University of Sydney, and progress on transition to new growing and composting research facilities.
The project, either directly or through the research facility has contributed the following outcomes for the Australian mushroom industry:
- Commercially available PCR-based disease testing of compost and growing facilities
- Assessments of recycled organics as a substitute up to 25 per cent of the peat used casing soil
- Data to support a label extension of the fungicide metrafenone to control mushroom disease
- Improved understanding of the microbial processes in mushroom compost production which may lead to more productive or functionally improved compost
- Evaluation of products that can improve the whiteness and freshness of mushrooms.
The MLMRC project delivered a total of 11 webinars aimed at producers, communicating research outcomes involving Australian and international researchers.
Watch the webinars below:
- Recycled organics as an alternative to peat in mushroom casing
- Climate change and the Australian mushroom industry – risk, adaptation and opportunities
- Can nitrogen be better managed in compost production?
- Spent mushroom compost as casing soil
- Mushrooms for healthy diets – what’s new?
- Can mushrooms feed Africa?
- What’s happening with mushrooms in China?
- Managing COVID-19 related risks in mushroom businesses
- How can compost biomarkers help produce better compost?
- Mushroom production waste streams: Novel approaches to management and value creation
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund