Electrical Stimulation of Mushroom Production
|April 12, 2010||Posted by Philip under Info|
Thanks to a tip from @mushrooming, we learn of some recent research out of Japan that could lead to greater yields of mushrooms. It sounds like something Nicola Tesla would have tried (who knows, maybe he even did) but according to Lightning-powered mushrooms could boost food yields:
Japanese farming lore has long observed that plentiful mushroom harvests tend to follow thunderstorms. Now researchers at Iwate University in northern Japan have confirmed the legend, finding that some mushrooms more than double their yields when jolted by electricity.
The researchers used “artificial lightning” to stimulate the fungi into producing greater yields. Shiitake and nameko mushrooms were subjected to the treatment with reportedly excellent results. Sounds like it could have commercial applications.
The above article, which appeared at the Mother Nature Network, takes its information from a report Lightning Makes Mushrooms Multiply published by National Geographic, which includes important additional information. In this report, the scientists speculate on why the fungi may respond to electric charges in this way. It also clarifies that the fungi were not zapped with “lightening” per se, but were stimulated by applying high-voltage pulses to mushroom logs.
As part of a four-year study, scientists in northern Japan have been bombarding a variety of mushrooms in lab-based garden plots with artificially induced lightning to see if electricity actually makes the fungi multiply. The latest results show that lightning-strength jolts of electricity can more than double the yield of certain mushroom species compared with conventional cultivation methods.
In all, ten mushroom-forming species have been used in the experiments and crop plants are also undergoing testing.