Title : Indigenous Technology on Organic Cultivation of Reishi

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    Title : Indigenous Technology on Organic Cultivation of Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) Author : Dr. K. Perumal, M.Sc.,Ph.D Deputy Director (R& D and Admin) Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Taramani, Chennai 600 113. Email:energy@mcrc.murugappa.org Web: amm-mcrc.org

    Technical Assistants : Mr. V. Karuppuraj, Research Fellow

    Financial Support : Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Ministry of Science & Technology, Block-2, 7th Floor C.G.O Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi- 110 003

    Publisher :Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Taramani, Chennai 600 113. Email:energy@mcrc.murugappa.org Web: amm-mcrc.org

    Year of Publishing : April 2009

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    Page No.

    1. Introduction 3

    2. Occurrence of Ganoderma lucidum 4

    3. Imported technology on Ganoderma lucidum 5

    4. Production of Ganoderma lucidum 7

    5. MCRC technology on Cultivation of Ganoderma 8

    6. Market potential of Ganoderma lucidum 12

    7. Technology Transfer 12

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    Indigenous Technology on

    Organic Cultivation of Reishi

    (Ganoderma lucidum)


    Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) P. Karst., is a small white rot

    basidiomycetous fungus that grows on decaying logs and tree

    stumps. The fruit bodies of Ganoderma have been used in

    traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years.

    Ganoderma as nutriceuticals are used as a remedy to treat more

    than 20 different illnesses which include migraine and headache,

    hypertension, arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, anorexia, gastritis,

    haemorrhoids, hypercholesterolaemia, nephritis, dysmenorrhoea,

    constipation, lupus erythematosis, hepatitis, leukopenia,

    cardiovascular problems and cancer including leukaemia (Table


    It is believed to be the oldest mushroom used in medicine and is

    one of the most respected medicinal mushrooms, today. The

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    Chinese have always regarded the mushroom as having special


    Table 1. Potential application of Ganoderma based products



    Anticancer, Antitumor


    Anti-inflammatory, Anti-mutagenic





    Dietary supplements



    The fruit bodies of Ganoderma lucidum occur in six

    different colors such as Chinese red, bright yellow and white.

    Initial fruiting bodies of Ganoderma is white, turns into yellow

    shades and finally into varnished, reddish to reddish brown shade,

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    quite beautiful and distinctive. The red variety of Ganoderma

    lucidum is most commonly used for nutraceutical purposes and

    commercially cultivated in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and

    North America.

    While Ganoderma lucidum is an annual, and does not

    grow more than once a year like some polypores, its fruiting body

    is quite tough and can last for months. Ganoderma known as a

    magical mushroom is also known as Reishi or Ling zhi which

    means "herb of spiritual potency". Reishi had been added to the

    American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.

    Once rare and expensive, this mushroom is now effectively

    cultivated and is readily available.



    Ganoderma lucidum is commercially cultivated on wood

    logs for the production of fruit body otherwise called basidiomata

    or fruit body. Scientists have attempted artificial cultivation of

    Reishi initially in 1937 and mass production was achieved in 1971

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    by cultivating the spawn in sawdust containing pots. Worldwide,

    the fruit body of Ganoderma is cultivated by the following three

    methods such as 1) wood log cultivation (the most popular

    method), 2) Pot or bottle cultivation and 3) Tank cultivation. Over

    the past 30 years, numerous studies have been made to find the

    best method to create high-quality Ganoderma lucidum. These

    observations have shown that the best method to obtain high-

    quality Ganoderma lucidum is through the wood log method.

    However, the wood log method of cultivation has limitations, as it

    requires certain specific variety of tree logs, which have to be

    seasoned and prepared, which is expensive. Extensive time is

    required for fruit body harvest (5-12 months). These drawbacks

    can be overcome by the method developed by MCRC for the

    artificial cultivation of Ganoderma. A description of the

    cultivation method is discussed below.

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    The schematic diagram of production of Ganoderma lucidum

    Ganoderma lucidum

    Base spawn development

    Mother Spawn development

    Bed spawns development

    Collection and procurement of cellulosic raw material

    Mushroom bed Preparation

    Erection of mushroom cropping sheds

    Maintenance of mushroom beds in the cropping shed

    Harvest of mushroom fruit body

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    Scientists of Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research

    Centre (MCRC), Taramani, Chennai Tamilnadu have achieved a

    breakthrough by successfully growing and harvesting fruit bodies/

    basidiocarps of Ganoderma lucidum on lignocellulosic

    agrowastes within 35- 40 days. According to Dr K. Perumal,

    Principal investigator of the DBT sponsored project on mushroom

    pigment, the technology of Ganoderma production had been a

    secret in many countries like Japan, Korea and China from

    information available harvest takes place in 180 - 360 days. In

    India, National Research Centre for Mushroom, Solan, have

    achieved successfully grown Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) using

    combinations of various types of sawdust, other nutrients-

    supplements and environmental conditions in five months in a

    laboratory scale.

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    At MCRC the cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum was

    explored by utilizing sugar cane bagasse, wood shavings, saw

    dust, paddy husk, banana leaves, dried moringa stems and paddy

    straw. Among these raw materials, sugarcane bagasse added with

    other natural supplements and maintained at suitable temperature

    and humidity had resulted in an optimum production of fruit

    bodies of Ganoderma lucidum within a period of 35-40 days

    (Table 2). The nutraceutical properties of the fruiting body of

    Ganoderma lucidum is summarized in table 3.

    Table 2. Comparison of wood log method and MCRC method of Ganoderma cultivation S.No

    Particulars Wood log method

    Organic method (MCRC)

    1 Substrate Moisture Hardwood logs Agriculture residues

    2 Temperature (0 C) 28 25 30

    3 Humidity (%) 85 - 90 85 - 90

    5 Spawn run ( Days) 28 14

    6 Appearance of Primordia (2mm) Days 90 10 15

    7 Primordium maturation ( Days) 9 11 5 7

    8 Development of Basidiocarp ( days) 14 7

    9 10 11 12

    1st Harvest ( days) Bio-efficency (%) Subsequent harvest (days) Total Bio-efficiency

    180 - 360 NA 90 48

    35-36 45 7 48

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    Table. 3.The typical assay of Ganoderma lucidum powder.

    1. Polysaccharides : 28-30%

    2. Triterpenoids : 0.9 - 1.2%

    3. Protein : 18- 19.0% of dry weight.

    4 Carbohydrate : 10- 12 (Glucose 11.1%)

    5 Metals : 10.2% of dry weight (K, Mg and Ca being the major components)

    6. Organic Germanium : 489 g/g

    Patent: MCRC has filed a patent on the Cost effective process

    of artificial cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum basidiomata on

    sugarcane bagasse using polythene bags on 30th December 2005

    in the Patent Office, Government of India, IPR Buildings,

    Chennai (1969 / CHE/ 2005).

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    Medicinal Mushrooms, value added products have a world

    trade of about $ 4 billion and till now it has been dominated by

    China, Japan and Korea. Out of the total global production of

    about 6000 tonnes of Ganoderma, China alone produced over

    4000 tonnes. The USA is the biggest market for medicinal

    mushrooms and their products. The fruit body of Ganoderma

    lucidum is sold in the market @Rs.600 to 700 / kg. We estimate

    with faster growing cycle and lower input cost production through

    our technology, the production cost will be in the order of Rs. 200

    per kg.


    The technology on cultivation of fruit bodies of

    Ganoderma lucidum shall be transferred to national and

    international entrepreneurs and the production of Ganoderma

    fruiting body have huge market potential. MCRC can provide

    assistance in setting-up of a plant for production of fruit bodies of

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    Ganoderma lucidum and the cost estimates for setting up the unit

    in India. The potential licensee of our technology should be able

    to undertake a market study, at their cost and establish the market.

    We anticipate there will be a gestation period of one year to

    develop the market.

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