Dec. 2000 The Mushroom Research Group (MRG) provide technical support, diagnostic, and analytical services to the mushroom industry. The group provides vital technical support to Irish mushroom growers and is seen as an essential service by the growers involved. The group have won contracts with several leading Irish mushroom companies including the industry representative body, The Irish Mushroom Growers' Association. Recently the MRG has joined forces with mushroom researchers in Queen's University Belfast and the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland, under the auspices of the entre for Innovation in Biotechnology. The aim of this research project is to enhance the competitiveness of the mushroom export business throughout the island of Ireland.
The Mushroom Research and Technology Services Group has been involved in extensive research, funded by the IMGA/NEP, for the past seven years. Our research has involved studies on Trichoderma (green mould) throughout the industry; tunnel sterility and the effectiveness of disinfectants; examination of compost batches throughout the composting process for fungal and pest levels; monitoring fungicide resistance of Dactylium dendorides (Cobweb), and the role of Red Pepper Mites in the spread of Trichoderma species. The Group has also conducted research on Health and Safety within the industry, for the IMGA and the European Commission, and has engaged in the development of quality systems for compost production. The Group is also involved in the development of biocontrol products for the control of pests in the mushroom industry. Our latest development is at the field trial stage.
The group provides a selection of diagnostic services directly to the industry, which include:
Fungal diagnostics of compost and casing.
Hygiene and disease surveys for compost production yards, growing units, and casing production facilities.
Pest analysis of compost and casing.
Mushroom virus analysis.
Consultancy and general technical support.
Advisory services: disease control.
In addition, the group participates with Government departments and State promotion agencies in charting the future development of the Irish mushroom industry. In particular, the Group assists An Bord Glas in the compilation of its Mushroom Quality Manual and promotes the Board's Quality and Hygiene Awards Scheme. Over the past three years, the Group has provided advanced training in Pest and Disease Diagnostics Technology to advisors from Teagasc, individual company advisors and grower/managers.
The Mushroom Research and Technology Services Group has joined forces with mushroom researchers in Queens University Belfast and the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland (DANI), Loughgall, under the auspices of the Centre for Innovation in Biotechnology (CIB). This co-operative research strategy is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), with industry support.
The aim of this research project (Mushroom Demonstration Project), is to enhance the competitiveness of the mushroom export business throughout the island of Ireland, by an integrated programme of applied biological research and development and technology transfer to industry. The latter will extend from improving the quality and supply of edible mushrooms by minimising the impact of weed moulds and fungal pathogens, to the development of diagnostic technology.
The recent 'Profit from Science' cross border conference was organised by this IFI research group, in conjunction with the IMGA/NEP and the UFU, to disseminate the findings of our combined research to mushroom growers country-wide.
Technical Services Provided
1. Fungal diagnostics of mushrooms, compost and casing for Trichoderma, Dactylium, Verticillium, Mycogone and Penicillium species: using traditional cultural mycological techniques, which are backed up by molecular identification.
2. Hygiene and disease audits/surveys of compost and casing production facilities and growing units: samples of raw materials, the finished product, air and swab samples, are assessed for the major fungal diseases, and control recommendations given, where necessary.
3. Pest analysis of mushrooms, compost and casing: novel extraction techniques are used to assess the levels of major pests (Sciarid larvae, Phorid larvae, nematodes, Predatory mites, Red Pepper mites and Cecids) present in mushroom samples, compost and casing samples.
4. Virus testing service: this service is generally used on a contract basis, where growers have their crops monitored regularly for mushroom viruses, particularly those growers producing mushroom 'breakfast flats', who could be most at risk. Detection of mushroom viruses is carried out on a routine basis, using IEM (Immunosorbent Electron Microscopy) and double-stranded RNA analysis (ds RNA).
5. Consultancy and general technical support is provided for individual companies, under customised technology support agreements. The Mushroom Research Group assists An Bord Glas in the compilation of its Mushroom Quality Manual and promotes the Board's Quality and Hygiene Awards Scheme. The Mushroom Research Group provides advanced training in Pest and Disease Diagnostics Technology to individual company advisors and grower/managers.
Contact Elizabeth Morris, M.Sc., Project Manager, Mushroom Research and Technology Services, NAVBC Biotechnology Centre, U.C.D., Dublin 4. Tel: +353 1-706 2801/2809; Fax: +3531 2692016.
8/10/2002 7:17:23 PM I would like to start a mushroom farm in Wales. Can you give me some clues as to how to get going.
Our climate is cold and wet, and the farm is also on wet ground. We intend to grow in a pollytunnel- can you please help. John Trickey, Caersws
8/12/2002 11:08:39 PM John
you should contact the MGA (mushroom growers assoc)They should be able to help and advise you. ed., ireland
Comment on this article
Please do not post website links here as these will be treated as spam.