Spatial Distribution of Green Mold Foci in 30 Commercial Mushroom Crops

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Plant Disease





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Statistical analyses were performed on spatial distributions of mushroom green mold foci caused by Trichoderma spp. in 30 standard Pennsylvania doubles (743 m2 production surface) selected at random from over 900 total crops mapped. Mapped production houses were divided into four tiers of six beds each with 16 sections per bed (total = 384 sections per double). Each section contained approximately 2 m2. Green mold foci were mapped according to presence or absence in each section as they became visible during the course of the mushroom production. There was a trend toward higher disease incidence at the ends of the doubles, although this was not consistent from level to level. Spatial analysis revealed that green mold foci were more likely to occur in neighboring sections along the beds rather than above, below, or across from each other. Cultural practices that were associated with movement along the beds, i.e., nutrient supplementation, spawning, bed tamping, surface covering, etc., were considered the most likely factors influencing the incidence of green mold in spawned compost. Airborne contamination was considered a less likely source of inocula contributing to epidemic development. Sanitation practices that reduce spore loads along the beds are expected to provide the greatest degree of green mold control.

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