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Twelve varieties to mushroom in Odisha

- Scientists identify edible fungi

Bhubaneswar, May 22: Odisha will soon have 12 new varieties of highly nutritious and edible mushrooms.

Today, on International Day of Biological Diversity scientists at the city-based Regional Plant Resource Centre (RPRC) said that out of a collection of 300 mushrooms in the state, they have identified 12 varieties, which will be sent to National Research Centre on Mushrooms (NRCM), Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

There, experts will develop the technology to grow the mushroom under certain conditions and carry out a final toxicity study so that there is adverse effect on human life, as many varieties of mushrooms are toxic in nature.

RPRC director Ajay Mohapatra told The Telegraph: “We are taking the help of the experts at NRCM as the 12 mushrooms identified are seasonal. But we want to ensure that they grow round-the-year. The breeding facility for mushrooms is available only at the Solan facility. So, the scientists there will also help us in producing the original spawn, which can be later be used for mass production.”

The RPRC scientists are also planning to develop a nutritional profile for all the edible varieties of mushrooms, which would help marketing them in local markets and departmental stores.

Apart from this, scientists at the RPRC are also working on another project to create a database of around 1,000 rare and endangered plants in Odisha. It started on March 23 this year. Besides a study on the population and distribution structure of the plants, the scientists will study their chemical analysis for medicinal value, DNA finger-printing and laboratory development through tissue culture so that they can be grown and later released in different forest zones across the state.