Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Isikhuemhen, Omoanghe S.


In order to increase productivity and yield of the edible shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes (Berkley) Pegler, monokaryons from each of six strains, in the culture collection of the Mushroom Biology and Fungal Biotechnology Lab were inter and intra bred to produce 566 novel strains. The objective of this study was to breed and characterize progeny strains for superior mycelial growth and temperature tolerance. Parental strains, monokaryons and their progeny were evaluated for mycelial growth rate at 10-30oC. The mating type of monokaryons and dikaryotic progeny was determined. Five of six parents were found to have homozygous mating type alleles indicating limited genetic diversity between these strains. The B2 mating allele was significantly limited (x2 (1) = 41.33, p < .001) in monokaryons from four of these parents. A weak relationship was observed between dikaryotic and constituent monokaryotic growth rates at 15-30oC (p < .001- p = .0137, R2 = .01 – .02), leading to the recommendation that monokaryotic growth rate should not be a selection criterion when choosing L. edodes monokaryons as breeding stock for growth rate. Strains produced by interbreeding were found to have higher growth rates than those produced by intrabreeding (p < .0001) from 15-30oC. Strains with significantly faster growth rates (p < .05) than both their parents were identified. This research works towards one goal of the mushroom program at NC A&T State University, to develop strains of shiitake targeted for use in different climates, specific seasons, and temperature specific applications in North Carolina and beyond.