Solution to contrast fungal infections of mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus)

The invention refers to a new yeast strain that can be used to combat fungal infections in mushrooms with agronomic and commercial interest, in particular edible mushrooms of the species Pleurotus ostreatus (better known as Fungo Ostrica or Fungo Orecchione)

Title of the patent Ceppo di lievito utilizzabile contro infezioni fungine in funghi eduli
Thematic area Agro-food
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
Inventors Bergonzoni Federica, Di Francesco Alessandra, Innocenti Gloria, Mari Marta, Roberti Roberta
Protection Italy (opportunity for seeking international patent protection)
Licensing status Available for licensing agreements
Keywords Yeast, Pleurotus ostreatus, Aureobasidium pullulans, Biological control
Filed on Jul 10, 2018

In recent years, “green mold”, a serious disease caused by Thricoderma pleuroti and Thricoderma pleuroticola fungi, has significantly compromised Pleurotus ostreatus production.

Fungicidal “prochloraz” has been reported as the most effective product able to prevent the development of “green mold”. In addition, it is the only permitted product under the Emilia-Romagna regulation.

However, the constant use of that product could cause resistance in the pathogen, damaging the operator, consumers and the environment. For this reason the use of antagonist microorganisms represent a real eco-sustainable alternative to agro-chemicals products.

The solution patented by University of Bologna refers to a yeast able to contrast the Thricoderma spp., principal cause of “green mold” in mushroom growing facility. Experimental results highlighted a remarkable efficacy of the yeast in contrasting the pathogen, even better than the available agro-chemicals.

The application of yeast is in the cultivation of mushrooms Pleurotus ostreatus. The product is used directly in mushrooms growing facility, sprinkled on the organic materials used for the cultivation of mushrooms (in particular, wheat straw).

The main advantage of the proposed solution is being the only biological control product against a specific pathology of the Pleurotus ostreatus. The organic nature of the product allows eliminating chemical residues in mushrooms. Moreover, the yeast production cost is estimated to be lower than that of the main competing chemical products.