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IARRP team's research reveals the color formation mechanism of oyster mushroom caps

By IARRP | Updated: 2022-03-30

The Edible Fungus Genetics, Breeding and Cultivation Team of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), together with the Wageningen University of Research in the Netherlands and Nanjing Agricultural University, jointly carried out recent study on the color formation mechanism of oyster mushroom caps. 

The study analyzed the color components of the caps and revealed the genetic regulation mechanism of the cap colors. The results were published in the journals "Food Chemistry" and "Applied and Environmental Microbiology".


According to Dr. Gao Wei, food color is an important factor affecting consumers' preference, and cap color has become an important commercial trait of oyster mushrooms. Analyzing the pigment composition of oyster mushroom caps and clarifying its genetic regulation mechanism has become a research hotspot. 

The research team extracted and identified the cap pigments of Pleurotus cornucopiae (black cap), P. citrinopileatus (yellow cap) and P. djamor (pink cap). Previous studies have found that the color of oyster mushroom caps is a quantitative trait controlled by multiple genes. By constructing a segregated population and genetic linkage map, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and fine-mapping analysis were performed, and a major QTL region of 0.8 Mb was located on chromosome 7. Combined with transcriptome and gene function analysis, the key gene that regulates the color of the Pleurotus cornucopiae cap, tyrosinase gene (PcTYR), was identified.

The study provides a template for the analysis and genetic improvement of the important traits of edible fungi, and lays a theoretical foundation for the realization of their directional breeding.

The research was funded by the National Edible Fungus Industry Technology System, the special fund of the Central Public-Interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund, and the major science and technology projects of Beijing municipality.