The use of ultraviolet radiation manages to stop the ‘spider web’ of the mushroom

The use of ultraviolet radiation manages to stop the ‘spider web’ of the mushroom
The use of ultraviolet radiation manages to stop the ‘spider web’ of the mushroom

A team of researchers from the University of La Rioja (UR) has managed to stop the spread of the mushroom ‘spider web’ disease, through the use of ultraviolet UV-B radiation in laboratory tests.

This type of radiation prevents the spread of the mold that causes the “spider web” of the mushroom, which is one of the main diseases of this crop, the researchers who have developed this technique reported this Friday, and who have just published their discovery in the international scientific journal Agriculture.

The research is part of the doctoral thesis that Raquel Hidalgo Sanz develops in the Department of Agriculture and Food of the University of La Rioja, in collaboration with other researchers from the areas of Plant Physiology, Food Technology and Plant Production and which also includes with the participation of the La Rioja Mushroom Research Technology Center (CTICH) and the Riojan company Clean-BIOtec.

An adequate dose of UV-B ultraviolet radiation is capable of inactivating the spores produced by the fungus Cladobotryum mycophilum, which causes a serious disease of the mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) known as “hair” or “spider web”, which causes significant damage to crops. , reducing its production, the University of La Rioja has detailed in a note.

“Spores are the cells of the fungus capable of reproducing the disease, spreading it to healthy mushrooms, so their destruction prevents the spread of mold and limits the effects of the infection,” the researchers explain in the scientific article.

In addition to its effectiveness, scientists have confirmed that the amount of UV-B radiation capable of destroying mold spores does not have any harmful effect on the development of the mycelium of the mushroom itself.

“This is the first study that simultaneously demonstrates that UV-B radiation can eliminate spores and, although less efficiently, the mycelia of mycopathogenic molds, without affecting the mycelia of cultivated fungi,” the scientists specify.

One of the main advantages of this technique is that it avoids the addition of chemicals (fungicides) to control the disease, making it completely harmless to consumers.

The research has been carried out on mushroom cultures in the laboratory, so it is necessary to verify the usefulness of this promising technique for the control of the “spider web” in commercial crops.

The mushroom “hair blight” or “spider web” is one of the main diseases in edible mushroom crops. In La Rioja, it is estimated that it causes a loss of productivity of 30% in the mushroom sector.

At the moment, there is only one authorized phytosanitary product, to which the fungus is generating resistance.

“Our results open the door to the use of UV-B radiation in the control of the main fungal diseases of cultivated mushrooms, emerging as a solid alternative or complement to the use of traditional fungicides,” concludes the research team.

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