The modern-day cultivation of mushrooms started as far back as the 16th century in France when a farmer discovered these oddities growing in his fertilizer and decided to introduce them into restaurants as an exotic delicacy. From that point on technological cultivation process and the domestication of mushroom varieties has increased by leaps and bounds. While todays domesticated strains are easy to cultivate in large volumes, this was not always the case. The wild mushrooms that they are the descendants of had to undergo many years of selective breeding and strain improvement to develop the thriving mushroom industry we have now.
However, both wild and domestic mushrooms have their benefits and problems.
Advantages of Domesticated Mushrooms
- They generally have higher and bio efficiency as they were breed from specific strains primarily for these qualities
- They had been developed to be more visually appealing and to have better shelf life so that they become easier to sell.
- The growing techniques are well established and easy to reproduce. They grow easily on the specific substrates recommended to them.
Disadvantage of Domesticated Mushrooms
- Due to being homogenous in their genetics, they are all vulnerable to contaminations that could wipe out an entire crop.
- A strain developed in specific climatic conditions and accustomed to specific substrates would be very difficult to grow if these are unavailable in another region.
- Domesticated strains lose to wild mushrooms when it comes to flavor.
Advantages of Wild Mushrooms
- They are far more resistant to pests and contamination as they have grown up environments rich in these natural enemies of theirs.
- They would be very well adjusted to the local climate and available substrate.
- They have more distinct and appealing aroma and flavor when compared to domestic varieties.
Disadvantage of Wild Mushrooms
- They are not as fast growing and high yielding when compared to commercial domesticated strains.
- They have longer rest periods and take more time to get adjusted to artificially created growing conditions.
- They are more perishable and sensitive to bruising during transport.
Often when it comes to improving mushroom strains, it is a good idea to cross breed domestic stains with wild strains until a strain is obtained with all the desired qualities. Hence a strain from one country