Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

First Advisor

Isikhuemhen, Omoanghe S. Dr.


Peanut shells (PS) and corn stalks (CS) are abundant agro-industrial wastes that are mainly disposed of by burning or soil incorporation. The biodegradation of PS and CS in various substrate combinations (SCs) was studied under solid state fermentation with Pleurotus ostreatus. A two factorial experiment in a completely randomized design (CRD) was used in this study. The abilities of the selected SCs to support fruit body yield was also investigated as a one factorial experiment in a CRD. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine significant differences at 5% level of significance. The results from the biodegradation studies showed that increasing the CS proportion between 50-100% in substrate combinations increased the loss of organic matter (LOM), degradation of lignin and hemicellulose, C/N ratio, and the concentrations of minerals like Mg, Mn, Zn, and Pb. It also decreased the degradation of cellulose and mineral concentrations of Ca, Cu, Fe, K, and P. Mushroom cultivation on selected substrate combinations revealed that substrates supplemented with 5% rye (R) had higher biological efficiencies and lower C/N ratio than non supplemented substrates. The increased degradation of PS by the addition of CS suggests that the combination of the two substrates could be a useful means for biodegrading PS to obtain bio-products of interest. Also, the highest biological efficiencies of 144.09 and 128.09% obtained with substrate combinations 70PS:5R:25CS and 45PS:5R:50CS, respectively, indicates the possible commercial use of the two substrates for profitable oyster mushroom production in the mushroom industry.