Development and growth of fruit bodies and crops of the button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus

G. Straatsma, A.S.M. Sonnenberg, L.J.L.D. van Griensven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the appearance of fruit body primordia, the growth of individual fruit bodies and the development of the consecutive flushes of the crop. Relative growth, measured as cap expansion, was not constant. It started extremely rapidly, and slowed down to an exponential rate with diameter doubling of 1.7 d until fruit bodies showed maturation by veil breaking. Initially many outgrowing primordia were arrested, indicating nutritional competition. After reaching 10 mm diameter, no growth arrest occurred; all growing individuals, whether relatively large or small, showed an exponential increase of both cap diameter and biomass, until veil breaking. Biomass doubled in 0.8 d. Exponential growth indicates the absence of competition. Apparently there exist differential nutritional requirements for early growth and for later, continuing growth. Flushing was studied applying different picking sizes. An ordinary flushing pattern occurred at an immature picking size of 8 mm diameter (picking mushrooms once a day with a diameter above 8 mm). The smallest picking size yielded the highest number of mushrooms picked, confirming the competition and arrested growth of outgrowing primordia: competition seems less if outgrowing primordia are removed early. The flush duration (i.e. between the first and last picking moments) was not affected by picking size. At small picking size, the subsequent flushes were not fully separated in time but overlapped. Within 2 d after picking the first individuals of the first flush, primordia for the second flush started outgrowth. Our work supports the view that the acquisition of nutrients by the mycelium is demand rather than supply driven. For formation and early outgrowth of primordia, indications were found for an alternation of local and global control, at least in the casing layer. All these data combined, we postulate that flushing is the consequence of the depletion of some unknown specific nutrition required by outgrowing primordia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-707
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • morphogenetic cell-death
  • cultivated mushroom
  • primordium formation
  • mathematical-model
  • genome sequence
  • histogenesis
  • sporophores
  • initiation
  • substrate
  • mycelium

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