To obtain a cost-effective production of oyster mushrooms, invasive aquatic weed water hyacinth has been tried out as a substrate in different combinations with rice straw (1:1, 1:2, 2:1) for the cultivation of Pleurotus species. The yield of mushrooms significantly increases with their 1:1 combination (RS + WH 1:1), especially in the first flush. No significant differences are observed between the nutrient qualities of the oyster mushrooms that grow either on rice straw or on water hyacinth supplemented rice straw (1:1). Minerals (Fe, Cu, Zn) and toxic elements (Pb, Cd, As) though flow from the substrate of RS + WH (1:1) to the mushrooms do not accumulate at a toxic level. The results of the present study indicate that biomass of water hyacinth weed can safely be used with rice straw (1:1) as the alternate substrate for the cultivation of Pleurotus species to reduce the cost of production of protein-rich oyster mushroom and to recycle the vast amount of nuisance weed in an eco-friendly way.
Part of the book: An Introduction to Mushroom