Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Sing., popularly known as the white button mushroom, has the widest acceptability and still accounts for more than 30% of total production of all mushrooms. Limited quantities of A. bitorquis, a high temperature species, are also produced in some countries. Its cultivation technology has developed over the years from a primitive cave culture in France in the 16th century to a hightech industry in America and Europe now. Still in many parts of the world, especially in developing Asian and African countries, sizeable quantities are being produced in low-cost structures like huts under the seasonal conditions. In some parts of the Europe, seasonal growing is done with arrangement for heating during the winters. Like any such venture, the production systems differ in the infrastructure, level of technology, automation, and mechanization but the basic principles and processes remain the same. The production technology of the white button mushroom (A. bisporus) has been described earlier by several authors (van Griensven 1988; Vedder 1978; Vijay and Gupta 1995). Most important aspect of the button mushroom production is the preparation of the selective growth medium, called compost, in which Agaricus mycelium thrives at the practical exclusion of other competing organisms.
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