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SELECTBIO Conferences AgriGenomics India 2017


Mushroom hybridization and Biotechnological Approaches in Fungal Breeding

Manjit Singh, Ex-Director, Directorate of Mushroom Research (ICAR-DMR), Solan, India; General Secretary, World Society of Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products (WSMBMP)

At present six mushrooms viz., Agaricus (button), Pleurotus spp (oyster), Lentinula (shiitake), Auricularia (wood ear mushroom), Flammulina (winter mushroom) and Volveriella (paddy straw mushroom)   contribute 90% of the global mushroom production. Cultivation of mushrooms is a new phenomenon and in last five decades production has increased by more than 200 times from 0.17 million ton in 1961 to 37 MT  in 2014. In the beginning of the 20th century button mushroom was the major contributor and by 1960 its share in global mushroom production was around 80%.  In the last few decades there has been rapid increase in production of other mushrooms and share of button has gone down.  Still in USA and European countries it accounts for 98% of the production and consumption. In India, share of button is around 85%. There had been tremendous progress in cultivation technologies related to spawn and compost production for button in first half of the 20th century, but the development and release of first hybrid (U1) had to wait till 1981. Since then the genomes of both the single spore parents of this hybrid have been sequenced and it has been demonstrated that majority of the hybrids released since then are variants of this hybrid only.   At DMR, Solan we have developed high yielding non-browning hybrids and different molecular markers have  helped us in understanding and analysing diversity for selection of parents, identification of fertile and non-fertile isolates from different parents, confirmation of hybridisation, etc.  The identification of WRKY domain at multiple sites in the genome of button mushroom was the first report of these elements in edible fungi. Conventional breeding methods will remain important, and biotechnology can help in circumventing some of the steps and provide accuracy in our breeding efforts.

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