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  • Growing experiments with a medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei (MURRILL)

    The demand of natural and medicinal products has been increased for the past years. These products are often made from herbal and medicinal plants, and recently the mushroom products are much called. Nearby some well known species (like Lentinula edodes or Ganoderma lucidum) some not respected biomedicines are available in Hungary. Agaricus blazei (Murrill) is a Basidiomycota fungus, with almond-like taste and nice texture. This medicinal mushroom proved to be useful in cancer therapy and against some bacterial and viral diseases. In our experiment we tested 8 Agaricus blazei strains on fermented mushroom compost. The yields, average mushroom size, productivity and biological efficiency of the species were measured. Our data demonstrate that it is possible to get fruit bodies less than 2 months, and strain "837", "2603" and "MaHe" are suggested for further experiments. These strains gave the highest yield and efficiency in the cultivation.

  • Study on the mushroom species Agaricus blazei (Murill)

    Nowadays, Agaricus blazei is known all over the world as a mushroom species with unparalleled medicinal properties besides its culinary delights and therefore its regular consumption is recommended in the first place for the prevention of various cancers. For the past decade researchers have been active in the study of its therapeutic properties. Its production started only a decade ago and there are a number of questions yet to be answered. At the moment, the most widespread technique is to grow it using composts similar to those of the button mushroom. In contrast to the common button mushroom, its production differs markedly from that of the button mushroom in that it develops fruiting bodies only in light and requires that the compost temperature be high, around 25 °C, also in the fruiting period and has a much higher need for fresh air. It is also sold in fresh form but mainly as a dried product, in powdered form or as capsules or pills.

  • Nutrition content of spent mushroom compost before and after utilization in vegetable forcing experiments

    The Spent mushroom compost means the remained soil without sporophores after the productive.period. The leftover can't be used for mushroom growing again (Gy6r1i, 2001). Unfortunately spent musnroom compost still has bad judgment, as it would be garbage, but on the contrary it is a significant and valuable material, which is full of organic residue, a perfect soil structure improver, nutrition supplement and propagating medium. In our experiment we took the following mediums: control material with 50% flat moor peat and 50% high moor peat (Novobalt) content, 100% spent compost, 50% spent compost and 50% control medium, 25% spent compost and 75% control medium. On the day of plantation and after the forcing experiment we took sample from the control medium  and from all mixtures.

  • Possibility of modernization of Ganoderma lucidum strains substrate

    Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom), the object of our experiments, is also known to contain medicinal compounds. This fungus has been used for many centuries as medicine in China. The fruiting body of the fungus contains carbohydrates, amino acids, little protein, fat, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals. Two groups of its substances are reported to be effective particularly. One of them is constituted by the polysaccharides, whose antitumor and immunostimulating effects are well demonstrated, and the other is constituted by the triterpenes. The latter include ganoderic acids, ganolucidic acids and lucideric acids. These acids have been reported to suppress liver hyperactivity (Lelley 1999). The experiment was carried out with 8 Reishi mushroom strains in 3 repetitions. Experiments were performed on 3 different substrates The spawn run period took approximately 2 weeks, the first fruiting bodies appeared on the 33rd day from inoculation, but the formation of the fruiting bodies took almost 70 days on the different substrates. Spawn run presented a diversified picture as influenced by the specific substrates. No spawn run was seen with any of the strains on the substrate composed of 100% wheat straw. Among the strains the fastest spawn run was produced by GA02 and GA06. The earliest start of spawn run was registered for substrate 1 after 1 week.

  • In vitro investigation of King Oyster Mushroom [Pleurotus eryngii (DC.: Fr.) Quel.] strains in vegetative growing phases

    The king oyster mushroom ( Pleurotus eryngii) is more and more popular amongst the producers due to its excellent taste and relatively easy cultivation . In the course of our work we collected 15 king oyster mushroom strains from various habitats in Hungary in order to get a better picture about the growth of the vegetative mycelia of the species and its different strains. In the in vitro experiments we investigated the growth of the strains at various temperatures and pH. incubated them in light and darkness and in aerobic and anaerobic atmosphere. In addition to these we measured the weight of dry mycelia produced in a given time by the strains. Our results showed that the above mentioned environmental conditions resulted in a very different growth rate of the vegetative mycelia of the various P. eryngii strains. These results may provide valuable data about the vegetative phase of the cultivation.

  • Production trial of Pleurotus sajor-caju (Indian oyster or phoenix) oyster mushroom

    Our experiments aimed at comparing the yields of the oyster mushroom hybrid Pleurotus HK 35 with those of the species Pleurotus sajor-caju on wheat straw. No data concerning the yields of the "Indian oyster" has so far been published in Hungary. The objective was, on the one hand, to discover what "phoenix" yields could be expected on 100 kg substrate, and on the other hand, to compare the yields with those of Pleurotus HK 35 which plays a dominant role in commercial production. We were also curious to know the amounts of harvest losses with the two mushrooms when picked with cut stems. It would be advisable to make progresses in developing production technology, especially in increasing yields. Considering that in its native place this species is able to provide yields even at temperatures of 22-28 °C, it seems possible that in hot summer months, as a shift from the hybrid HK 35, the production of the "Indian oyster" could be more economical.

  • Mushrooms as functional foods

    In this study I compared the nutritional composition of the commonly consumed fruits and vegetables with three of the most important cultivated mushrooms: white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus LANGE/IMBACH), oyster mushroom (Pleurotus spp. JACQ. P. KUMM.) and shiitake (Lentinula edodes BERKELY/PEGLER). I compared the energy content and some mineral values (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and selenium), as these play a major role in the nutritional value of mushrooms. The focus was on the vitamin B group and the vitamin D content in mushrooms, which is especially important due to the fact that fruits and vegetables do not contain this vitamin. Nowadays one of the main research and experimental topic is finding possible ways for enhancing the vitamin D content in cultivated mushrooms by UV-light. The Corvinus University of Budapest is running a project in this research area as well. Based on the data presented in this study we can say that mushrooms and therefore the cultivated mushrooms have an honourable place within the group of functional foods.

  • Relationship between zinc and cadmium contents and cultivating conditions of gourmet and medicinal mushroom Agaricus subrufescens

    Almoust half of the world’s population is at risk for inadequate zinc (Zn) intake, a strategic trace element that is necessary for a healthy immune system. A lack of zinc can make a person more susceptible to disease and illness. There is a need of defining additional sources of zinc in diet. Cadmium (Cd), however, and its toxicity in food chain receives considerable public and scientific attention. Cd is primarily toxic to kidney and can cause bone demineralization. In many areas in the EU, intake of Cd is not far from maximum tolerable. Mushrooms are well known for accumulating metal ions such as zinc and cadmium. Objective of this study was to define relationship between cultivation systems and conditions on zinc and cadmium content in fruit bodies of Agaricus subrufescens grown on different substrates. Cultivation was performed on mushroom composts based on increasing amount of digestate from anaerobic digestion treatment processes mixed with wheat straw and paper. The Zn and Cd concentration was defined in fruiting bodies, correlated with yield, flush and element concentration in substrates. Results showed percentage of food waste digestate and other components used in experiment had influence on concentration of Zn and Cd in mushroom compost and in A. subrufescens. Zn accumulated in collected mushrooms in amounts reaching from 42.8 to 126.9 mg kg-1 Cd content ranged 2.6 to 17.9 mg kg-1. Significant correlations for Zn concentration between mushrooms and substrates showed increase of Zn in mushrooms when cultivated on substrates with higher amount of digestate.

  • Salt tolerance of sweet pepper seedlings

    Laboratory germination tests have been made with three white fruit pepper varieties and with one spice pepper in filter paper rolls wetted with KCl solutions of different concentration. Parallel tests have been conducted with the other species (lettuce, tomato, kohlrabi) to compare the salt tolerance of paprika with that of other vegetable crops.

    In greenhouse, the action of KCl has been investigated with transplants raised in soil mixture, in rockwool and with seedlings transplanted from rockwool into soil mixture. Like the trials in the laboratory, the experiments in soil mixture have been made with other plant species, too.

  • The salt tolerance of vegetable paprika varieties

    In our experiments, we have chiefly tested the salt sensitivity of sweet pepper varieties. In cold forcing, 0.3 1/plant nutrient solutions of different NaCI content were given twice weekly. EC of the nutrient solutions containing 0.25% Volldünger Linz complex fertilizer was made up to 6, 10, 14 and 18 mS/cm, respectively, by 2.51/9.17/17.97/26.76 g/m2 doses of pharmacopeal NaCI every week. The solution used for the control treatment contained Volldünger only (EC 4.4 mS/cm). Irrigation was made with pure water (EC 0.6 mS/cm) when necessary.

    The varieties chosen for the experiments were the following: Feherözön, HRF F1, Syn. Cecei (of white, conical fruit), Boni (of white, blunt, infolded fruit), Titan F1 (of pointed, hot fruit) and Pritavit F1 (of tomato shaped fruit).

    In general, the symptoms caused by NaCI treatments (with doses higher than 10 g/m2 weekly) have been the following:

    • They have reduced the leaf area, the height of the plants, the total and the early yield, the number of fruit set per square meter, the average weight of the fruit (and, in some measure, fruit length, too) and the thousand seed weight.
    • They have increased the calcium and the chlorine content of the leaves and fruits and the dry matter content of the fruits.
    • They haven't affected the dry matter content of the leaves, the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of the leaves and fruits, and the germinating ability of the seed.
    • The effect on stem diameter and on seed production per fruit has been contradictory in some cases.

    The effects of the intermediate treatments haven't been explicit in several cases.

    The results of the examination of cuticular secretion have indicated the increase of the sodium and chlorine content of the leaves. This can be important in field growing where the rainwater may wash out a part of sodium and chlorine from paprika leaves.

    The hot, pointed variety and the tomato shaped paprika haven't shown clearly higher salt tolerance than the varieties of white fruit colour.

  • The effect of soil mixtures of different consistence and phosphorus content in tray transplant-growing by lettuce

    The transplant-growing with root balls gets more and more popular and time to time the only method even in high-quality lettuce transplant-growing. To work out the technology of transplant-growing in trays it was needed to define the accurate physical and chemical consistency of applied soils.

    The transplant production in trays could become a good method in field-grown lettuce technologies. The production of transplants of good quality with this technology could be realised only by accurate soil mixtures.

    The matter of transplant-growing substrates could be a low-moor turf. Its qualities could be positively influenced by adding minerals like bentonite in amount of 5 (or 10) V%.

    To ensure enough phosphorus for the demands of transplants we have to add more fertilisers. The best results by lettuce we got by adding 4 kg/m3 superphosphate to the soil mixture.

  • Foliar application of zinc and its effect on greenhouse grown cucumber

    The experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of zinc on yield and crop quality and on fruit mineral composition of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus cv. Mustang) which were grown in peat in containers under unheated conditions and were not showing visible signs of zinc deficiency.

    In the trial the following 3 treatments were set up in 4 replications: Znl = 0.35 g/litre Zn, as foliar fertilizer; Zn2 = 0.7 g/litre Zn, as foliar fertilizer, control = no foliar fertilization. Foliar fertilization was applied 5 times with 10 day intervals. After their planting out the plants were fertigated daily with water soluble complex fertilisers. Fruits were harvested twice a week, 16 times in all, and were divided into three quality classes (class I, class II and substandard). Shoot length of the plants (plant height) was measured on 3 occasions. Zinc content of the fruits and leaves was analysed at two times.

    From the results of the trials it can be concluded that the 0.35 g/litre Zn (0.35 mg/ml) foliar fertilisation had beneficial effect on cucumber both in terms of yield and quality. Under the conditions of the experiment (daily fertigation through drip irrigation) the effect of a more concentrated foliar application of zinc seemed less beneficial.

    The zinc content of the fruits showed no evident increase in response to foliar fertilization, while a significant increase was seen in the leaves, particularly with the more concentrated Zn treatment. This indicates that in the case of cucumber zinc, through its assimilation in vegetative parts, has an indirect effect on fruit development.

  • Increasing the vitamin D level of oyster mushrooms by UV light

    Vitamin D is essential for the human body and mushrooms are one of the natural sources of it. Many research works are aimed at enhancing the vitamin D2 content of mushrooms with UV irradiation in order to increase their vitamin D2 level, by transforming their natural ergosterol content into vitamin D2. The subjects of most of these studies are different kind of post-harvest cultivated mushrooms. In our experiment biologically active, pre-harvest oyster mushrooms were treated in the growing room with UVB and UVC light. UVB and UVC lamps (operating on 312 and 254 nm) and 6 time periods of irradiation (15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 min) were used. After three consecutive days of treatments the yield were measured and samples were taken for vitamin D2 and ergosterol analysis. Data showed considerable increase (from 0,67 μg/g to 3,68 μg/g, f.w.) in vitamin D2 levels at every time period in case of both wavelengths.

  • Impact of substrate supplemented with CaCO3 on mycelial growth, yield, morphological features and storability of fruiting bodies of black poplar mushroom Agrocybe cylindracea (DC.) Marie.

    Black poplar mushroom, Agrocybe cylindracea deserves special attention, due to its medicinal properties. Water and alcohol extracts from fruiting bodies of the fungus have an anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-fungal, cholesterol and triglycerides blood level lowering abilities. This mushroom is rich in proteins and vitamins, mineral elements and low in fat. The aim of the experiments was to determine effect of a substrate supplementation with CaCO3 on mycelial growth, yield, morphological features and storability of fruiting bodies of four strains of A. cylindracea (DC.) Marie. The amount of additive to sawdust substrate affects rate of mycelial growth and yield of investigated strains. A. cylindracea mycelial growth was not affected by addition of CaCO3 to substrate, however a significant effect of this additive was found on yield, which was the highest with CaCO3 addition in an amount of 8 g/100 g of substrate. Carpophores characterized with the largest caps diameter, and the largest individual mass obtained of substrate enriched with CaCO3 addition of 8 g/100 g of substrate. In addition, it was found that supplementation with CaCO3 affect storability of A. cylindracea. The lowest weight loss of fruiting bodies after 3 and 7 days of storage was found with addition of CaCO3 to substrate in an amount of 4 g/100 g of substrate.

  • Casing-material experiments with Pleurotus eryngii

    Our research led to the gathering some relevant information about the growing technology of the Pleurotus eryngii. In some European countries this mushroom is quiet favourable. The detail of the growing technology has not been determined in detail yet. These partial results led us to carry on with the research towards a development of covering technology. With some new series of experiments and with the use of some new covering mixtures and their application of different thickness we are hoping to clarify the details of the technology.

  • Nutritional values of traditional open-pollinated melon (Cucumis melo L.) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thumb]) varieties

    The aim of our experiments was to investigate the internal quality parameters of some old melon and watermelon landraces or varieties whether they have any desirable characteristics. Measurements were carried out using 8 different types of melon (Cucumis melo L.) and 8 accessions of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thumb]), which were self pollinated under greenhouse conditions. Besides the determination of dry matter content; soluble solids, titratable acidity of the fruit juices, investigation of carbohydrates, total phenol content was measured by spectrophotometer. Total antioxidant capacities were determined spectrophotometrically using the FRAP method. We found some accesions both among melon and watermelon varieties, which could be characterized by outstanding inner content.

  • Top-dressing of paprika transplants in trays with fertilizers of phosphorus- and nitrogen surplus

    By our experiments, we wished to answer the question: may top-dressing with nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, respectively, improve the quality of transplants grown in trays on a substrate enriched by 2 kg/m3 of retarded fertilizers?

    The experiments started in spring and autumn 2002, in a large volume plastic house. The seedlings were grown in trays. Seed was sown directly into KITE trays of 187 cells (28 cm3 volume per cell, 779 seedlings per square meter). The trays were filled by "loose filling" (without packing) with the following soil mixture: 50% Baltic highmoor peat, 50% 'Nitrite lowmoor peat, 1,5 kg/m3 feed chalk, 2 kg/m3 slow acting chemical fertilizer of phosphorus overweight, 2 kg/m3 superphosphate. The test plant was the vegetable paprika variety `Tizenegyes'.

    The trials were made in order to clear up if top-dressing done once or twice improves the quality of the seedlings. For this purpose, perfectly soluble fertilizers of phosphorus or nitrogen surplus were used. 3 I fertilizer solution of 0.2% concentration was given per square meter on every single occasion. The control plots received no top-dressing.

    The following parameters were registered: stem diameter, plant height, fresh weight of the top, dry matter content of the top, fresh weight of the root system per plant, dry matter content of the roots.

    The experimental results with top-dressing have clearly proved the insufficiency of mixing 2 kg/m3 of retarded fertilizer into the substrate, as usual in raising paprika seedlings in trays, because of the long period of transplant raising. According to our experiments the additional nitrogen fertilization influences positively the development of green parts of plants, while the multiple application of fertilizers with higher phosphorus-content helps to develop a strong root system. We suppose, that the more often applied additional fertilizers, maybe the combination of fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus amount could give use even better results.

  • Investigation of nitrate accumulation in green pepper

    Pepper, despite being among the vegetables consumed in largest quantities, does not play an important role as a nitrate source due to the low nitrate accumulation capacity of the cultivars grown in Hungary. Iii the classification of the average nitrate levels or that of the detected hazardous levels it can be sorted into the very 'favorable' class not exceeding 200 and 500 mg/kg respectively. The different elements of the production technology, this way the N supply, do not influence significantly the amount of nitrate accumulated within pepper fruits.

  • Macronutrient accumulation in green pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) as affected by different production technologies

    Based on the experiments, an assessment was made to determine for green pepper the amount of nutrients extracted by unit weight of fruit and plant parts not meant to be consumed (foliage, stem, root), i.e. the specific nutrient requirements of pepper. A further objective was to find out to what extent nutrient accumulation in individual plant organs was influenced by differences in production technology and soil conditions.

  • Hydroponic pepper growing on baked clay pellets

    Nowadays one of the most important issues of greenhouse vegetable production in soilless media is the protection of the environment, in particular, the selection of the root medium to be applied. The objective of the trial was to test the applicability of baked (expanded) clay granules in hydroponic pepper growing with special respect to the growing pot (plastic tubes and buckets with bottom and lateral holes). From the result of the experiment it can be concluded that baked clay pellets, similarly to rockwool, are a suitable medium for providing root anchorage for pepper, however, it is necessary to examine some technological issues (e.g. fertilization, irrigation) prior to starting a large scale commercial cultivation. Relative to the three growing containers tested, it can be concluded that with the 4-8 mm crushed clay pebbles cultivation can be carried out successfully both in the white plastic tube and in the bucket, with the latter it is recommended to locate the drainage holes on the side of the growing container (at 6 cm from the bottom of the bucket).

  • Role of hydrogen peroxide and Pharmaplant-turbo against cucumber powdery mildew fungus under organic and inorganic production

    Cucumber leaves have been sprayed with a solution of hydrogen peroxide (H202) or Pharmaplant-turbo combined with organic or inorganic fertilizers under plasic house. Under the influence of H202, leaves exhibited resistant against Podoshaera fusca fungus, the causal agent of cucumber powdery mildew. H202 (15 mM) was able to decrease the disease severity from 90.4% to 12% in two experiments conducted in two seasons. Pharmaplant-turbo (Turbo) is new chemical compound and used as an antifungal compound. Turbo in 1 ml/L was able to decrease the disease severity from 90.4% to 11.5% in the both experiments as well. Both of H202 and Turbo were combined with organic treatment (compost + compost tea + seaweed extracts) which showed significant effect against cucumber powdery mildew fungus and strongly suppressed it as compared to control leaves. Organic treatment produced higher vegetative growth characters and greater early and total yields as compared to inorganic treatment, also organic fruits produced the lower nitrate content and the higher ascorbic acid content as compared to inorganic fruits. Our study have indicated that, H202 and Turbo combined with organic fertilizers play a role in the resistance of cucumber against powdery mildew by decreasing the disease severity. We suggest to give more attention to the direct application of H202 in low concentration and Turbo against powdery mildew diseases and other plant diseases.

  • N:K ratio and its effect on paprika yield and quality in hydroculture

    Earlier results of experiments with paprika grown in soil have shown the high sensitivity of the crop to nutrient supply. According to these findings, yield and also fruit quality are highly affected not only by the nitrogen and potassium level, the concentration of nutrient solution, but also by the nitrogen-potassium ratio. Our preliminary tests have also proved, that the composition of the nutrient solution, first of all, the N/K ratio has a definite effect on the yield quantity and quality. Therefore we have investigated the ratio of the two nutrients with the aim of developing a nutrient solution of optimal composition for white fruited paprika forcing. The most balanced burden of the plants was found when the N/K ratio was 1:1. The highest yield was produced with N/K 1:1.3. Significant yield reduction (30%) was found with the treatment N/K 1:1.9 as compared to the 1:1.3 and 1:1.6.

  • Research of the elasticity of transplant - growing substrates after watering

    It gets more and more popular to grow transplants in different trays for the field vegetable growing. The best transplant-growing substrates in the world are made of peat. The peat is applied to provide an optimal supply of plants with water and air. To improve the water regulation and the structure of the mixtures there are often mineral matters used in different amounts. By measuring the physical properties of soil mixtures based on peat, the flexibility can be measured by Stable Micro System type table penetrometer. Our measuring confirmed the increase of bulk and flexibility of different kinds of peat by watering.

  • The effect of potassium fertilization on the inner values of spice pepper

    To reserve the fertility of soil is the basic condition of successful cultivation. The field specific nutrient supply, based on soil tests is very important in both economy and ecology aspects. Spice pepper plants have high nutrient demands. Proper nutrient supply has importance not only from the point of potential yield levels, but make a major contribution to quality. This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of nutrient supply as an the elements of the production technology. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this job through our nutrient trials. Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2005 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser closes with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that higher K doses lead to increased yields, and the influence on dry matter and pigment content proved beneficial too. Potassium applied in the form of patentkali seemed to be better than in that of potassium-sulphate.

  • Observing population changes of thrips (Thysanoptera) species damaging forced pepper and their natural enemies

    By the strengthening of environmental protection and food safety efforts in Hungary, integrated and especially biological pest control methods should increasingly put forward, for which a solid knowledge on the life course and efficiency of natural enemies applied against certain pests is necessary. Pepper has distinguished significance in domestic vegetable forcing, and the profitability of production is determined primarily by the efficiency of the control of thrips pests. This is why we attached great importance to study what results may be expected by introducing arthropod predators (Amblyseius cucumeris, Orius laevigatus) to control thrips species under domestic conditions on rock wool in a long vegetation period pepper culture. We also liked to find out what kind of role the cultivars play in the change of phytophagous and zoophagous populations. The A. cucumeris predatory mite introduced in late January proved to be effective in controlling thrips pests until mid-April. Despite repeated introductions, the predatory bug O. laevigatus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) did not proliferate. Among the three pepper cultivars (Hó, Keceli, Titán) grown at Ráckeve, thrips species proliferated in the highest number on cultivar 'Hó', while the population of predatory mites was lowest on the cultivar 'Titan', compared to the other two cultivars.