Oyster mushroom has been considered as the most common edible mushroom in the world that is cultivated to use as a useful source of food. The botanical origin involve that is belong to the kingdom fungi and class Agaricomycetes. Botanical name of oyster mushroom is Pleurotus ostreatus. Prehistorical evaluation describes its first time cultivation in the Germany. However, now a days it is commercially available throughout the world.
The name of the mushroom is basically derived from the shape of the fruiting body. The word Pleurotus is derived from Latin language that indicate the sideway growth of the body as compared to the cap of the mushroom. Other names for the oyster mushroom include oyster shelf, tree Oyster and straw mushroom because it is cultivated on the straws and similar materials.
The mushroom is characterized by the wide, oyster shaped upper cap that is typically whitish grey to brownish grey in color. The outer portion move inward and form the firm, wavy margins. Depending upon the habitat the color of the cap, gills and spore print varies from creamy white to lilac white along with the dark background which make a decent visual look.
The mushroom is characterized by its worldwide distribution, particularly in the temperate and subtropical forests. It is not capable of producing its own food by the process of photosynthesis. It depend on the decomposed matter including the wood and act as primary decomposer for the ecosystem. It is one of the important carnivorous fungi that have the ability to kill the nematodes and then digest it to obtain the necessary nutrients such as nitrogen. It is generally believed that they can grow anywhere but the most promising habitat is the stem or trunk of the trees.
It have a typical smell due to the presence of benzyaldehyde which provide a bitter sweet taste. In different areas of the world, it is used as own or in different food stuffs such as soups and other fry dishes served with the soy sauce. The most suitable from for eating is young mushroom because with the passage of time, the flesh become hard and tough that results in pungent and nasty taste. In India, it is cultivated at relatively large scale and utilized in number of dishes. It is typically cultivated in the clear plastic bags along with the bun as the nutrient media for the fungi. On the industrial scale, it is used as insulating material alternative to the polystyrene. It have the capacity to absorbed the petroleum product so might be use to overcome the accidents of oil spill.
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