Strain improvement in Pleurotus ostreatus using UV light and ethyl methyl sulfonate as mutagens.
Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is the choicest edible species cultivated in various regions of the world. Strain improvement studies were carried out in three strains of P. ostreatus spp. Three strains of P. ostreatus viz. PO-2, PO-6 and PO-7 were used for strain improvement, emphasizing on lower spore count and colour of the sporophore. It is a gymnocarpous genus of mushroom, which continuously release spores in its close vicinity causing various respiratory allergies. Their spores are highly potent allergens which can also cause exogenous allergic alveolitis. Attempts were made to produce low sporing strains of P. ostreatus through mutagenesis using physical mutagen (UV light) and chemical mutagen (ethyl methyl sulfonate, EMS). Spores of three strains of P. ostreatus spp. were given different treatments with UV light and EMS. Mutants exhibited appressed mycelial growth and showed slower spawn run and creamish white sporophore in PO 7(U4). A lower spore count was also observed in PO-7(E3) mutant as compared to control.