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Biostimulant alternative casing for a sustainable and profitable mushroom industry

Asociación Profesional de Productores de Sustratos y Hongos de La Rioja, Navarra y Aragón
Start date
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The mushroom sector is an excellent example of circular economy to provide high quality protein from crop substrate based on bio-based agricultural wastes. Productivity is however highly sensitive to several biotic disorders among which fungal parasites are responsible for major crop losses. Although chemical fungicides have been historically employed to fight mycoparasites, regulatory limitations for mushroom growers and increasing consumer awareness are urgently requesting solutions to overcome fungicide dependence. Bacterial strains isolated in a previous research from the casing layer employed in mushroom cultivation have proved to selectively suppress germination and development of most harmful mycoparasites, while additionally selected microbiota proved to work as mushroom growth promoting microorganisms. This project aims to develop a tailor-made solution for the mushroom sector where a peat-free casing soil (peat is an unsustainably sourced on which the sector is highly dependent to produce the peat-based casing employed nowadays) will serve as carrier for the selected microbiota that will act as crop biostimulant. This solution will be validated industrially by 4 different mushroom farms across the EU which integrate all the European cropping systems. BIOSCHAMP will generate a solution to improve industrial profitability while reducing the agronomical need for pesticides by 90%. Additionally, BIOSCHAMP solution will introduce innovation within the industry that will lead to create jobs in low populated rural areas and to secure long-term viability of the sector while complying with regulatory restrictions for chemical fungicides and peat-based materials. To accomplish these ambitious goals, the BIOSCHAMP project features a multidisciplinary consortium representing a complete picture of the European mushroom sector and associated industry with high priority given to mushroom growers noteworthy lead by a growers association.
Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
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Project number
Chemical Contaminants