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ItemDevelopment and production of Lentinula edodes (Shiitake mushrooms) on inoculated logs of a range of tree speciesAji, Irwan Mahakam Lesmono ( 2009)Shiitake (Lentinula edodes (Berkeley) Pegler) produces an edible mushroom that has been cultivated for centuries in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and other Asian countries. Shiitake mushrooms grow naturally on decaying wood of hardwood trees and have traditionally been grown on short lengths of freshly-cut logs. Until now, there has been no serious exploration of the potential for Australian forest owners to utilise small logs of native or plantation forest species for shiitake mushroom production, such as eucalypt (Eucalyptus spp.). Logs of six tree species were harvested from farm forestry plantations in Victoria and inoculated with shiitake infected dowels imported from the United States. Over the course of the next 18 months the logs were soaked four times to initiate fruiting. The fresh mushrooms were harvested and weighed to allow a comparison between log species and size. A sample of the mushrooms from each log species produced in the 2nd and 3rd fruiting were tested for their protein and fibre content. Quercus robur was the most productive species. Over the course of the trial (four frutings) the oak logs produced almost 1 kilogram of fresh mushrooms per log which was significantly more than E. cladocalyx (527 g/log) and Alnus glutinosa (465 g/log) and Eucalyptus nitens (389 g/log) which were all, in turn, significantly more productive than Populus sp. (140 g/log) and Acacia melanoxyon (98 g/log). Larger logs produced more fruit although this may have been related to the greater number of inoculations. The protein and fibre content of mushrooms produced from shining gum logs was slightly lower than that from the oak logs but greater than that from alder. Sugar gum mushrooms had the lowest protein content. The research suggests that there is potential to use eucalypt logs thinned from young fast-grown farm plantations as the basis for a log-based shiitake industry although more work is required to test the marketability of eucalypt grown shiitake and the economic viability of small scale production units.