Growth Pattern and Pests of the Mushroom Pleurotus tuber-regium (Fr.) Singer Found in Awka, Nigeria
Okigbo, R. N.* & Chukwuma, N. G.
Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria
Dr. Okigbo, R. N., Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria.
Keywords: Pleurotus tuber-regium; Sclerotia; Pathogen; Insect Pest; Mushroom Location
Mushrooms which are saprophytes have been used in biodegradation. Pleurotus tuber-regium (Fr.) Singer, is the most common edible saprophytic mushroom in Nigeria especially, among those living in the South-East. This work studied the conditions necessary for the growth of this mushroom and its insect pests. Time of insect pest infestation and its abundance in the growing environment, was also examined. Top soil was used as substrate while the sclerotium was bought from Eke-Awka market, Awka. After planting the sclerotia into the substrates, they were placed in five different locations namely: under tree (A), inside laboratory (B), shaded area (C), inside cupboard (D) and under sun (E). The substrates were monitored for emergence of sporophores and the different stages of pest infestation. The following insect pests; Alphitobius sp., larvae of Alphitobius sp.; larvae of Bradysia sp.; Staphlinus sp. and Scaphisoma sp. were observed to be associated with the growth of Pleurotus tuber-regium in Awka, Anambra State. The insect pests attacked the sporophore from the sixth day after emergence. The fruit bodies observed for 10 days revealed that P. tuber-regium gave highest primordial length increase (1.41±0.01cm to 10.80±0.01cm) in Location D and lowest (4.90±0.00cm to 7.10±0.00cm) in Location A. Result of the percentage occurrence of insects revealed that the larvae of Bradysia sp. gave highest occurrence in Location B (15.38±0.00%). In comparison between locations, the occurrence of insects was higher in Location A (16.92±11.41%). The result revealed that of the entire insect pest that attacked P. tuber-regium in this study, Alphitobius sp. and its larvae caused the most significant damage to the mushroom body. The study showed that, the occurrence, abundance, severity and activity of these mushroom insect pests are dependent on the environment of the mushroom.
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