Iron in the substrates and sporophores of Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Pilat during growth and development
The changes of the concentration of iron in the growth substrates and the sporophores of Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Pilat that occurred during culture under standard commercial conditions, were observed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry and iron-59 radiotracing techniques. The routes of translocation and sites of iron accumulation within the sporophore were shovn to alter during development and by the use of novel, pelletised substrates the concentration of iron in the mycelium of the substrates and in developing sporophores was observed during culture. Findings indicated that the compost was the major source of iron and that the concentration of iron in the compost mycelium varied cyclically in relation to the periodic appearance of sporophores. In the casing layer the mycelium is organised into strands which are responsible for the movement of iron from the compost into developing sporophores. A photographic technique for estimating sporophore growth rates showed that the accumulation of iron was not concomitant with sporophore growth and this was attributable to a declining quantity of available iron in the compost mycelium during sporophore growth. Variations in the quantity of iron in sporophores resulted primarily from differences in the quantity of water soluble iron in the compost but, the productivity of the crop, the type of casing layer and differences in watering also influenced sporophore composition. Changes in the concentration of extractable iron in the compost and casing layer throughout culture were related to mycelial activity and to a lesser extent were influenced by watering and the bacterial populations of the casing layer. Thus, the findings of this study give some indication of the relative importance that different cultural conditions exert over sporophore composition together with demonstrations of the movement of a single material within the sporophores and substrates during the cultivation of Agaricus bisporus.