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  Section: General Biotechnology / Microbial Biotechnology
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Single Cell Protein (SCP) and Mycoprotein


Cultivation of Paddy Straw Mushroom

The paddy straw mushroom, Volvariella sp. prefer to grow on paddy straw hence it is known as paddy straw mushroom. It's cultivation was started in China during 18th century. In India, it was cultivated for the first time in Coimbatore. It grows at temperature from 30-40°C on paddy straw. Other substrates which have been tasted are sugarcane bagasse, cotton wastes, water hyacinth, etc.


Species of Volvariella, which are grown in India are three viz., V. esculenta, V.displasia and V. valvacea. Thomas et al, (1943) for the first time, gave the method of cultivation of V. esculenta on three twisted bundles of 10 kg paddy straw soaked with water and placed on wooden platform (75x75x30 cm) in a haphazard manner. The paddy bed (prepared separately) was spawned and covered with the third twist. The whole bed was covered with the polyethylene sheet to maintain moisture (Fig. 18.8).

  Diagram of preparation of paddy straw beds for the cultivation of Volvariella spp.  

Fig. 18.8. Diagram of preparation of paddy straw beds for the cultivation of Volvariella spp.


Bahl (1982) has given a new technique (polybag method) for cultivation of V. volvacea. The polybag method follows the following steps : (a) chop the paddy straw, and soak in water for 24 h, (b) cut waste paper into small pieces and soak for the same period as above, (c) decant water after 24 h, (d) mix thoroughly the chopped straw, paper pulp and spawn, (e) fill the mixture in polyethylene bags, (f) puncture the bags with needle to facilitate the exchange of air and drainage of water, (g) tie the mouth of bag and keep them at 35-40°C, (h) cut and remove polyethylene bag carefully to leave its contents undisturbed, (i) maintain the humidity of the contents to about 85-90 per cent by spraying water. After 10-15 days of incubation, small pins appear to grow.


Advantages of producing microbial protein

Microorganisms use as single cell protein (SCP)

Substrates used for the production of SCP

Nutritional values of SCP

Genetic improvements of microbial cells

Production of algal biomass


Factors affecting bio­mass production


Harvesting the algal biomass


Spirulina as SCP, cultivation and uses

Production of bacterial and actinomycetous biomass


Method of production


Factors affecting biomass production


Product recovery

Production of yeast biomass


Factors affecting growth of yeast


Recovery of yeast biomass

Production of fungal biomass (Other than Mushrooms)


Growth conditions


Organic wastes as substrates


Traditional fungal foods













Mushroom culture


Historical background


Present status of mushroom culture in India


Nutritional values


Cultivation methods



Obtaining pure culture 



Preparation of spawns



Formulation and preparation of composts



Spawning, spawn running and cropping


Control of pathogens and pests


Cultivation of paddy straw mushroom


Cultivation of white button mushroom


Cultivation of Dhingri (Pleurotus sajor-caju)


Recipes of mushroom


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