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Four isolates of Pleurotus eryngii species-complex, originating from different basidiomata growing in a mountainous area of the Basilicata region (southern Italy) and characterized by white pileus cuticle (Wh A, Wh B, Wh C, and Wh D) were compared, in artificial cultivation conditions, to other isolates of the same mushroom with beige (Be 3, Be 5) or brown cap (Br 1, Br 2) originating from the same area of the former or selected among the commercial ones (Com 142 and Com 164) in order to evaluate their productivity and morphological features. The experiments were carried out in a greenhouse belonging to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bari Aldo Moro, in autumn winter 2010-2011, using substrate bags well colonized by P. eryngii mycelium and kept at 4-6°C for 5 months. Wh A and Wh D and, less significantly, Wh C, Be 5 and Com 142, produced a fresh basidioma yield significantly higher than the five other tested isolates (Wh B, Be 3, Br 1, Br 2 and Com 164). Only Com 142 produced the basidiomata of medium and maximum size significantly heavier and with larger pileus diameter than other tested isolates. Com 142 also resulted significantly different, for the basidiomata number/substrate bag, from the white pileus cuticle isolates except for Wh B. All tested isolates concentrated almost all (90-95%) of the sporophore yield in the first basidioma flush. No significant differences were found among all tested P. eryngii isolates in terms of yield earliness.
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