How mushrooms feed on sugar

Aurin Vos
Luis Lugones
Han Wösten

Mushroom like the button mushroom (champignon) are produced and consumed at large scale. They are low in fat and are rich in protein and fibre. Moreover, they contain vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds like anti-cancer polysaccharides. Button mushrooms are being produced on compost of horse manure. The proces of composting and growth of the button mushroom mycelium in the compost is a near black box. For instance, it is not known which sugars are preferably consumed and which are not and what the order of degradation is. The importance of this research question is illustrated by the fact that 25% of the compost is not being used by the buton mushroom. We aim to unravel the mechanisms of compost degradation by the button mushroom and to use this knowledge to improve compost composition, compost degradation, and mushroom yield per ton of compost. For this we use molecular, biochemical, and chemical approaches. 

This project is performed in collaboration with companies, CBS, and Wageningen University and financially supported by STW.