Development of a Korean Cultivation Technique for Thermophilic Crop(Calocybe indica) in Response to Climate Change

Currently, various indicators of global warming are showing a clear upward trend in South Korea. As most domestic mushroom cultivation farms maintain optimal environments (16-20°C) for production, it is essential to devise strategies to counter the rising production costs caused by global warming. The milky mushroom, classified under the Agaricales order, Lycoperdaceae family, and Lycoperdon genus, was first documented in India in 1974. It is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, demonstrating consistent growth in temperatures ranging from 25 to 35°C year-round. Its remarkable shelf life translates to advantages such as reduced discoloration and blemishes during storage, setting it apart from button mushrooms. In light of the need to respond to climate change with thermophilic mushroom species, this study centers on the formulation of Korean cultivation techniques tailored for the milky mushroom, a variety cultivated in tropical regions. The milky mushroom cultivation entails inoculating cultivated mycelium into cotton waste substrate according to fermentation, traditionally employed for oyster mushroom cultivation, following complete mycelial colonization. Mycelial growth is carried out at temperatures at 30-32°C, while fruiting body initiation takes place within the temperature range of 25-30°C. The average weight of the milky mushroom fruiting bodies measures 42.2g, accompanied by a cap diameter of 40.5mm and a stipe length of 111mm. Morphologically, the cap showcases a smooth elliptical shape with a white hue, accentuated by prominent white ridges. The stipe exhibits a longitudinally split surface, also maintaining a white coloration. Microscopic observations conducted using an optical microscope uncover the presence of clamp connections and a four-spored basidium. Spore dimensions fall within the range of 4 to 6 μm in length and 3.5 to 4 μm in width, displaying cream-colored appearance. The mycelium is characterized by clamp connections and appears white. Based on on-site validation of the research outcomes, introducing the cultivation of heat-resistant milky mushrooms during South Korea’s warm seasons is deemed imperative. Addressing challenges encountered during real-world implementation will facilitate the dissemination of these Korean cultivation techniques among local farms.

This work was carried out with the support of “Project No. RS-2021-RD009497” Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.