Authors; CM Ayyub, Saqib Ayyub, M. Muzammil Jahangir, Amna Anwar (IHS, UAF), Naheed Akhtar (Horticultural Research sub-station, DGK)

Moshroom is considered among vegetables regarding its consumption. Various types of mushroom are available in the market now a day. Ganoderma lucidum is botanical name of Ganoderma Mushroom which is an edible medicinal mushroom known as “Lingzhi” in China and “Reishi or manetake” in Japan. The name Ganoderma came from the Greek word “ganos” which means shinning and “derma” which means skin. As the fruiting body of this mushroom is bright and shiny.

 Its reddish-brown varnished kidney-shaped cap with bands and peripherally inserted stem gives it a distinct fan-like appearance. It is a highly prized vitality-enhancing herb for >2000 years. After more than 40 years of clinical use, its efficacy and safety have been recognized by neurologists. Due to the presence of various medicinal properties, this mushroom is often called “MUSHROOM OF IMMORTALITY”. In China, lingzhi is regarded as herb of longevity. Lingzhi strains are commercially cultivated for the preparation of health products.

A long incubation time (2-3 years) is required to harvest mature fruiting bodies on such substrates. Along with the recognition of the medicinal properties of lingzhi, commercial interest in Lingzhi products sharply increased during 1980-2000, not only in Asia but also in North America and Europe. Meanwhile, different techniques and media have been successfully utilized for Lingzhi production and developmental products not only based on Lingzhi fruiting bodies, but also based on Lingzhi mycelia or spore powders.

Collection of this mushroom from the wild was difficult and unable to meet the increasing demand for its raw material in the global market, so the attempt to artificially cultivate the mushroom started. The first successful cultivation of G.lucidum was done in the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing in 1969. Since then, several attempts have been made with significant results in different parts of the world.

Today, almost all Lingzhi growers prefer to adopt shooty wood log cultivation for the production of Lingzhi fruiting bodies, and the time-saving fermentation techniques for the production of Lingzhi mycelia.

With the development of various techniques for culturing Lingzhi, artificial cultivation of Ganoderma gradually spread from China, Japan, and the united state to all over the world.

IMPORTANCE

Lingzhi is one of the primary herbs of choice in any immune deficiency disease. It possess a broad spectrum of immune-stimulating activities, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-antiallergenic properties.

Following are some benefits of Ganoderma Lingzhi Mushroom

  1. Boost the immune system
  2. One of the most important effect of the lingzhi mushroom is that it can boost the immune system.
  3. Lingzhi can affect the genes in white blood cells, which are critical parts of our immune system.
  4. Research in cancer patients has shown that some of the molecules found in the mushroom can increase the activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells.
  5. Although most immune system benefits of lingzhi mushrooms have been seen in those who are ill, some evidence has shown that it can help healthy people too.
  6. Anti-cancer Properties
  7. Many people consume this fungus due to its potential cancer-fighting properties.
  8. One study of over 4000 breast cancer survivors found that around 59% consumed lingzhi mushrooms.
  9. Additionally, several test-tube studies have shown that it can lead to the death of cancer cells.
  10. Some research showed that one year of treatment with lingzhi decreased the number and size of tumors in the large intestine.
  11. Although lingzhi mushroom appears to hold some promise for cancer prevention or treatment, more information is needed before it becomes standard therapy.
  12. However, it may be appropriate to use in addition to normal care in some cases.
  • Could fight fatigue and depression
  • Reishi’s effects on the immune system are often most emphasized, but it has other potential advantages as well.
  • The researchers found that fatigue was reduced and well-being was improved after 8 weeks of taking the supplements.
  • Another study found that fatigue was reduced and quality of life was improved after 4 weeks of taking reishi powder in a group of 48 breasts.
  • Heart Health
  • One 12-week study of 26 people showed that reishi mushrooms may increase
  • “Good” HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides.
  • Another research on healthy adults showed no improvement in these heart disease risk factors.
  • Moreover, a large analysis demonstrated no beneficial effects for heart disease after examining five different studies containing around 400 people. 
  • Overall more research is needed in regard to reishi mushrooms and heart health.
  • Blood Sugar Control
  • Several studies have indicated that molecules found in the reishi mushrooms can “decrease blood sugar” in animals.
  • Antioxidant status
  • The antioxidant is molecules that can help prevent damage to your cells.
  • Because of this important function, there is substantial interest in food and supplement that can enhance antioxidant status in the body.

PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY OF MUSHROOM

  1. Growing condition
  2. Nutritional factors

A carbon source markedly contributes to the life activity of lingzhi. It supplies energy for growth and development.

The carbon source is commonly used for cultivating mycelia are glucose and sucrose.

A nitrogen source is one of the major components of protein. The growth and development of lingzhi an appropriate ratio of carbon to nitrogen source

  • Environmental factor

Temperature is a necessary condition for enzymatic reactions during the development process of the mycelia and fruiting bodies.

The optimum temperature for the development of fruiting bodies is within the range of 24-28C.

If there is great difference in temperature, fruiting bodies will readily grow abnormally.

During the spawn run, the relative humidity within the incubator should be 60-65%. During the fruiting bodies growth period, the relative humidity within the mushrooms house should be increased to a level of 85-95%.

Oxygen is one of the most important elements required to sustain life activity only when carbon dioxide concentration is lower than 0.1% does the fruiting body become large, thick, with a rounded cap, and short stipe.

Light inhibits mycelial growth but weak light can promote the primordium differentiate and pileus formation in the early stage of fruiting bodies.

  • Cultivation patterns

The cultivation pattern of lingzhi is the same as other cultivation edible mushrooms and can be divided into two major patterns based on whether cultivated on a solid-state medium or in a liquid state medium.

  • Production of fruiting bodies

The production procedure can be divided into two major stages.

 The first stage involves the preparation of the fruiting culture, stock culture, mother spawn, and planting spawn.

Wood log cultivation technology is defined as using broadleaf tree wood cut to length to artificially cultivation mushroom.

Substitute cultivation technology is defined as using the sawdust of hardwood, cotton seed, husk, or agricultural by-products to cultivate mushrooms.

Lingzhi is either gathered from the wild or cultivated on solid media such as wood rather than submerged culture.

May investigators have tried to cultivate lingzhi on solid-state media for the production of fruiting bodies in order to obtain protein and other metabolites used for the production of drugs or health products, depending on species and substrates.

  • Production of substrate
  • Preparation of logs

The growth of lingzhi and the yield of fruiting bodies are greatly influenced by the tree species.

The tree is cut down and transported to the site for inoculation cut the trees into 10-13 cm segments and make sure each section is flat. In general, a log with large diameter should be cut shorter and a log with a small diameter should be longer.

  • Preparation of spawn and inoculation
  • Preparation of spawn    

        Spawn is the seed inoculums that sterilize substrate after cooling, which has two types;

  • Solid
  • Liquid spawn

Many growers are used solid spawn

While some prefer liquid spawn.

The solid spawn is divided into different types based on the substrate use as grain, sawdust, bran spawn, dowel, skewers, and grooved woody plug spawn.

Preparation of the seed inoculums involves three steps:

  1. Preparation of stock culture
  2. Mother spawn
  3. Planting spawn
  • Inoculation:

Methods of inoculation are different in liquid and solid cultivation. After sterilization and cooling of substrate inoculation should be carried out in a clean and dry place to avoid uninvited contamination. Spawn in the bag should be compacted in order to prevent spawn movement. Seed age of 30 to50 days should be better for the cultivation of lingzhi fruiting bodies.

  • Duration, Number of flushes:
  • Spawn Running:

After inoculation, the incubated bags are displayed in the glyph arrangement, stacked in three layers, and then set up for spawn running at26 C in darkness. The RH is adjusted to 60-70 % during spawn running. If the incubated bags have too much water they can be directly pricked with a sterile needle to create a pin hole. If the pin holes are relatively large a piece of gummed paper tape might be pasted outside to keep the halves together.

  • Management of fruiting body development:

The development process of fruiting bodies can be artificially divided into different stages. The most crucial management practice during pileus differentiation is to increase ventilation to reduceCO2 concentration. The fruiting body of Lingzhi could grow out within 7-14 days if the temperature continues to be higher than 25C. The fruiting body of the best quality has a dense texture and a deep brown color cortex at 25C.

  • The number of flushes:

Flushes are refers to the harvesting time or the number of harvests.  When harvesting the first flush, adding water to the substrate for spawn running should be paid more attention. After the 2 week period of spawn running, second flushes could be harvested. Lingzhi could be harvested for two flushes. From primordial formation to the fruiting body for harvest takes approximately 25-30 days. The reasons of harvesting time are:

  1. Utilizing the unused substrate in the bottom of bags and accumulation of nutrients of residual mycelia.
  2. Promoting mycelia metabolism by adding nutritional supplements.
  3. Promoting the transfer and accumulation of nutrients by adding water.

Diseases and pests in the cultivation of Lingzhi:

  • Main Lingzhi diseases and insect pests:
  • Trichoderma spp
  • Mycogone pernicioso
  • Neurospora
  • Prevention strategies for diseases and pests:
  • Agricultural control G. locidum species with strong resistance to diseases and pests, good quality, and high yield should be selected to make sure that spawn does not introduce pests.

  • Physical Control. The cultivation side could be managed to avoid being a breeding ground for insects eggs and fungal spores. If possible it is better to use a fly net and sun shade net for isolating the culture chamber and Lingzhi greenhouse.
  • Chemical Control.  The chemical agent is the most effective measure to prevent diseases and pests in the cultivation of Lingzhi. When chemicals is used improperly, it is easy to damage human health. Chemical control is considered only when necessary. Chemical agents produced by local manufacturers are various and should be selected according to manufacturer instructions.

Uses of Lingzhi:

  • Lingzhi mushroom is bitter-tasting fungus with no proven health benefits.
  • It is thought to have some effects on the immune system.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood.
  • Taking Lingzhi mushrooms by mouth does not seem to lower cholesterol levels in people with diabetes or high cholesterol.
  • As a powder or extract, Lingzhi can be added to smoothies or drinks.
  • It has been used in promoting skin wound healing.
  • It is deeply hydrating and detoxifying while working against premature aging redness and fine lines.

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