Gene Transfer Technology for Mushrooms: The Power and Potential for Significant Crop Improvement

Birth of Recombinant DNA Technology

In the early 1970’s, California scientists first succeeded at splicing viral and bacterial DNAs within the take a look at tube, heralding the beginning of the recombinant DNA (rDNA) generation, popularly known as genetic engineering, gene switch generation, gene splicing, molecular biotechnology, and transgenics. This new biotechnology discovered instant utility within the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, where synthesis by way of rDNA microbes equipped a quantum jump in efficiency over the exhausting extraction of miniscule amounts from different assets. Early on it was stated that “the uses of biotechnology are only limited by the human imagination.” Today we are witnessing how this broad-based science is impacting just about each sector of our society.

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It was once right through the 1980’s when the facility and possible of the burgeoning discipline of genetic engineering was first brought to endure at the growth of agricultural productivity. The discovery of tactics to transfer genes to the major agronomic plants, together with corn, soybean, and wheat, from unrelated species provided breeders with new vistas for expanding the potency of food crop production. Remarkable development, a long way exceeding early predictions, has been made throughout the closing two decades in breeding crops with new traits comparable to insect, viral, and fungal resistance, herbicide, stress, and chilly tolerance, behind schedule senescence, advanced nutritional options, and others. The international call for for transgenic vegetation is projected to be a $25 billion market by the 12 months 2010. The growth of this business will be propelled, partially, by “Golden” rice, which was once engineered the usage of a daffodil gene to be wealthy in beta carotene and thereby the promising solution to the diet A deficiency drawback pervading the creating world.

Despite concern for the unforeseeable health and environmental dangers posed via genetically-modified (GM) plants, gene transfer generation has irreversibly revolutionized plant breeding. Today, more than 100 plant species had been changed by means of gene splicing for stepped forward assets of food, fiber, or ornamentation. More than 50 new crop types have cleared all federal regulatory requirements and stand authorized for commercial retail. Because field testing is an essential step within the commercialization process, the number of lets in issued by means of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) for GM vegetation provides a measure of the hobby in transgenic breeding. During a 16-year duration, more than eight,000 allows and notifications (fast-track allows) were issued, rising from a low of 9 in 1987 to a prime of one,120 in 2001 (Fig. 1). For the primary three months of 2002, 536 lets in/notifications were recorded through APHIS with 49% involving insect resistance, 33% herbicide tolerance, 7% every for product high quality and agronomic properties, and with the stability comprising fungal and viral resistance and different characteristics. Thus, the “genie out of the bottle” situation describes the standing of agricultural genetic engineering. Despite the anti-GM sentiment expressed through a vocal minority, the efficiency of the new biotechnology for downside solving has been realized to an extent this is a ways too compelling for it to be dismissed.

Genetically Engineering the Button Mushroom
For virtually as long as scientists were introducing genes into crop plants the use of molecular biotechnology, others have tried with limited success at creating a gene transfer means for Agaricus bisporus. a Big leap forward got here in 1995 with the sudden discovery that the bacterial workhorse, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, used to trip genes into vegetation, also operated with yeast fungi. Shortly thereafter, this system used to be prolonged to filamentous fungi, together with A. bisporus.

Agrobacterium is a not unusual soil bacterium with a world distribution. It causes a illness referred to as crown gall on hundreds of woody and herbaceous plant species, however maximum often pome and stone end result, brambles, and grapes. In its commonplace existence cycle, the bacterium transfers a tiny little bit of its DNA into the plant DNA resulting in the formation of galls. These galls serve as food factories for the mass manufacturing of the bacterium. Over the years, scientists learned increase disarmed strains of the bacterium that were incapable of inducing galls, but retained the facility to switch DNA. In essence, a natural biological process was once harnessed to create a bacterial delivery gadget for transferring genes into plants, and now fungi.

Figure 1. Total number of permits and notification

Though Agrobacterium used to be shown to be highly promiscuous in shuttling genes into a spectrum of plant and fungal species, the method was once still too inefficient to be carried out to the breeding of A. bisporus. More not too long ago, we devised a handy and efficient Agrobacterium-mediated ‘fruiting body’ gene transfer means conserving the promise of a formidable software for the genetic growth of the mushroom. In our experiments, a small ring of DNA wearing a gene for resistance to the antibiotic, hygromycin, was once transferred to a disarmed pressure of the Agrobacterium. The antibiotic resistance gene is known as a selectable marker, as a result of mushroom cells receiving this gene from the bacterium grow to be marked by the resistance trait and will also be decided on based on the facility to grow on a hygromycin-amended medium. The finish result is a mushroom pressure having the newly received function of hygromycin resistance. Such a strain has little business price, but somewhat the resistance trait was once a research tool that allowed us to easily resolve if the bacterium had transferred the gene to the mushroom, and exactly how successfully it did so beneath different experimental conditions. Today, and more so in the future, this gene is being replaced or complemented by means of genes that can confer commercially relevant characteristics.

Figure 2 Steps in the Agrobacterium

Figure 2 highlights the steps in the ‘fruiting body’ gene switch approach. In this procedure, gill tissue is taken from mushrooms approaching adulthood, however with the veil intact, with the intention to be sure that some degree of sterility. Next, the tissue is minimize into small pieces and vacuum-infiltrated with a suspension of Agrobacterium wearing the antibiotic resistance gene. In a process known as co-cultivation, the gill tissue and bacterium are grown in combination in the laboratory for several days, all over which time the bacterium transfers the resistance gene to the mushroom DNA. Because no longer all mushroom cells receive a replica of the gene, those who have can also be prominent from those who have not via the facility to grow at the antibiotic medium. After 7 days at the medium, mycelium of A. bisporus appears rising on the edges of probably the most gill tissue items. After 28 days, upwards of 95% of the tissue pieces may have regenerated into visual cultures. At this point, the GM cultures may also be transferred to a normal growth medium, and used to prepare grain spawn in the unusual method.

Agrobacterium is a not unusual soil bacterium with a global distribution. It reasons a illness referred to as crown gall on hundreds of woody and herbaceous plant species, however maximum regularly pome and stone end result, brambles, and grapes. In its standard existence cycle, the bacterium transfers a tiny little bit of its DNA into the plant DNA resulting within the formation of galls. These galls serve as food factories for the mass manufacturing of the bacterium. Over the years, scientists learned how you can increase disarmed strains of the bacterium that had been incapable of inducing galls, however retained the facility to switch DNA. In essence, a herbal organic process used to be harnessed to create a bacterial supply machine for moving genes into crops, and now fungi.

Though Agrobacterium used to be proven to be highly promiscuous in shuttling genes into a spectrum of plant and fungal species, the method was once nonetheless too inefficient to be carried out to the breeding of A. bisporus. More just lately, we devised a handy and efficient Agrobacterium-mediated ‘fruiting body’ gene switch way protecting the promise of a powerful device for the genetic development of the mushroom. In our experiments, a small ring of DNA sporting a gene for resistance to the antibiotic, hygromycin, used to be transferred to a disarmed strain of the Agrobacterium. The antibiotic resistance gene is referred to as a selectable marker, because mushroom cells receiving this gene from the bacterium become marked by the resistance trait and can also be selected in line with the facility to grow on a hygromycin-amended medium. The finish result is a mushroom pressure having the newly got function of hygromycin resistance. Such a strain has little business worth, but somewhat the resistance trait was once a research tool that allowed us to simply decide if the bacterium had transferred the gene to the mushroom, and precisely how successfully it did so below different experimental conditions. Today, and more so at some point, this gene is being changed or complemented by way of genes that may confer commercially related characteristics.

Figure 3 Production trail with Six GM Line

Figure 3 depicts the first of 2 cropping trials carried out at the Penn State Mushroom Research Center involving GM mushroom lines. In these trials, all six antibiotic-resistant GM strains reflected the parental business hybrid strain in colonizing the compost and casing layer. Further, the GM strains produced mushrooms having an ordinary appearance and, in some instances, yielded on a par with the economic strain (Table 1). Expression of the resistance trait within the mushrooms could be easily demonstrated via placing pieces of the cap or stem tissue at the antibiotic medium and staring at for enlargement (Figure four). These experiments had been an important, since the effects established for the primary time that a international gene could be offered into A. bisporus with no need a adverse effect on its vegetative and reproductive traits.

Table 1. Productivity of genetically-modified (GM) mushroom traces expressing the antibiotic resistance gene that were derived from a business off-white hybrid pressure.
Yield (lbs./sq. feet.)

Yield (lbs./sq. ft.)
LineTrial ITrial II
Commercial hybrid3.00 a3.68 a
GM-12.08 d0.86 d
GM-21.73 d1.45 d
GM-32.52 bc2.70 c
GM-42.12 cd2.99 bc
GM-52.90 a3.63 a
GM-62.86 ab3.59 a

Means within a column having the same letter are not significantly different according to the Waller-Duncan K-ratio t test at P<0.0001

Impact of Transgenic Breeding on Mushroom Cultivation
The overwhelming approval for the hybrid mushroom strains introduced within the 1980’s has created a close to global monoculture that is precarious from the viewpoint of disease and pest susceptibility, and has limited the selection of production traits and the variety of tolerance to environmental and cultural stresses. During the remaining 20 years, no notable advances have been made in breeding strains with strikingly advanced features. This is due in large part to the cumbersome genetics of A. bisporus and a shortage of commercially fascinating traits. There is movement afoot in the usage of conventional breeding to explore wild isolates of A. bisporus as a supply of new characteristics. Though this represents an important step against increasing the genetic base of cultivated A. bisporus, it isn’t but transparent which traits exist within the wild germplasm collection, and if they are able to be successfully bred into commercial lines.

The introduction of a facile gene transfer methodology for A. bisporus permits the exploration of genetic solutions to problems confronting the mushroom trade in a realm by no means sooner than imagined. The awesome energy of transgenics lies in what is known as the universality of the genetic code. The biochemical alphabet consisting of the letters G, A, T, and C that spells the DNA sequences of genes controlling characteristics is the same for all organisms. A scientist blindly handed a gene would have difficulty determining if its source was once a mushroom, mouse, or guy. It is that this unifying feature of genes from all walks of existence that makes transgenics so potentially robust, while it is the tools of molecular biology that unleashes this power so this doable will also be discovered. Simply said, the brand new biotechnology permits the trade of genetic data between organisms outdoor the confines of the herbal breeding barrier. No longer is the genetic improvement of the mushroom made up our minds by the query of sexual compatibility or characteristics found throughout the species.
At every other stage, gene transfer generation will hugely boost up our figuring out of the molecular mechanisms underlying commercially relevant characteristics. It additionally will serve to make stronger the muscle of our industry’s medical arm, rising from a handful of mushroom researchers to the global group of workers of molecular biologists. As one hypothetical representation, the search to reproduce tough resistance to dry bubble illness would now not be restricted to a couple of scientists looking inside A. bisporus, the place it is going to or now not exist. Instead, it would extend to ratings of scientists operating on unrelated organisms who have came upon resistance genes to other Verticillium species. Importing these genes to the mushroom for an analysis in opposition to dry bubble is now possible. As farfetched as this will likely appear, it is precisely this trans-species method that has met with business success. Genetic manipulations of this sort have been performed on crop crops and come with, importing cry genes from the Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium for insect resistance, a synthetase gene from Agrobacterium for glyphosate herbicide resistance, the nitrilase gene from the Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterium for bromoxymil herbicide resistance, a hydrolase gene from the Escherichia coli bacterium for changed fruit ripening, the barnase gene from Bacillus spp. for male sterility, and viral genes for virus illness resistance.

It cannot be overstated that gene switch technology is not a panacea whose arrival marks the departure of traditional breeding. Quite the contrary, this can be a new instrument at the disposal of the breeder that will supplement current techniques, while providing a far broader vary of options for effectively affecting genetic solutions to issues. Gene splicing will expedite the breeding process, transferring a lot of the time in development from the sphere to the laboratory. It will enable the introduction of genes with a surgical precision and from exotic sources, which another way would be unattainable through extra typical strategies. It is essential to recognize, alternatively, that after all, the forces of nature overcoming a trait (e.g., the breakdown of insect resistance) would act with the same depth at the controlling gene whether introduced by means of traditional or transgenic breeding.

The melding of gene transfer strategies with traditional techniques in a mushroom breeding program might take several paperwork initially, most effective to be continually subtle, streamlined, and stepped forward for higher efficiency and bigger effectiveness.

Many transgenic manipulations with A. bisporus will require the switch of the gene to both parental traces so that their offspring mimic the herbal inheritance process through carrying a duplicate replica of the gene. For different packages, introducing a single reproduction of the gene might succeed in the desired effect. In both case, the ensuing GM strains would possibly require additional variety ahead of emerging as worthy industrial traces

Benefit/cost analysis of mushroom production for diversification of income in developing countries

This study presents benefit/cost and SWOT analyses of mushroom production in developing countries as diversification of rural income; a case study in Konya, Turkey. Data were obtained through a survey method by application of 33 questioners. Benefit / Cost Analysis and SWOT analysis were used as methods. In research area, the average production area was determined as 1135.1 m2. A majority (76.9 %) of the business in the province have four production periods annually. The average yearly output of the business was 45.4 kg/m2, that periodic output was 11.6 kg/ m2  and that compost output was 256.6kg/ton. The cost of 1kg mushroom as an average of business was USD 1.36 that its average sales price was USD 1.54. Strengthening mushroom produc- tion sector could be essential in order to enable the rural economy to keep its vibrancy and development, increas- ing and diversifying business and employment opportunities in the rural areas, and providing income opportunities for disadvantageous groups, small family farms.
Authors: Y. CELIK* and K. PEKER*
Selcuk University, Agriculture Faculty, 42079 Selcuklu, Konya, Turkey
Introduction
Most of the world’s poor are in, or employed mainly on, family farms. The objectives of rural de- velopment in developing countries are mainly diversi- fication of rural income and attaining a competitive structure for agriculture in order to increase job op- portunities and development. Small family farms are disadvantaged groups since they do not have enough land to produce crops and raise animal. Also rural environment can be protected by improvement of Environmental-Friendly Agricultural Practices. Espe- cially, farmers in forest villages both do not have agri- cultural land and have to protect forest ecosystems. In this case, for developing and ensuring the sustainability of living and job conditions of rural commu- nity in their territory in compatible with urban areas, on the basis of utilizing local resources and potential, and protecting the environmental and cultural assets, mushroom production could be very good opportu- nities in developing countries.
Mushroom production can be meaningful to the extent that non-agricultural job and income opportunities. Intensive type of mushroom production could provide good alternative income opportunities for small family enterprises since they do not have ad- equate land to produce crops and raise animal. Also, mushroom production gives additional/alternative in- come to farmers looking for a value-added product and a way to supplement farm income while making use of by products or co-products from other crops. Since mushrooms can be grown on nearly any type of agricultural and forestall residue, they are an ideal crop for rural areas with large amounts of cultivated hect- are and residue from field crops. By taking into con- sideration of drought problem in some countries, mush- room production could help soil and water conserva- tion too. At the same time mushroom demand increas- ing due to health consideration. Many drugs and di- etary supplements contain at least some component produced from fungi because of their immune system enhancing qualities (Fungus among Us, 2005). Con- jugated linoleic acid is found in mushrooms, and the study indicated it can stop cancer cell growth through blocking cancer cell reproduction (Chen et al., 2006).
In the world mushroom production started in the 1800’s. The demand of mushroom has been increas- ing due to population grow, market expansions, chang- ing of consumer behavior, and developments in the manufacturing industries, storage, transportation, and retailing. Gradually, the world mushroom production has reached 33.4 million tons in 2007 while it was 26 million tons in 2000. China, United State of America and Netherlands rank as the first threes in mushroom production in the world. Nearly 42% of the world mushroom production takes place in China, 12 % in the USA, and 8% in the Netherlands (Anonymous, 2007). In Turkey, the history of mushroom production is very brief. In subsequent years, with the public sector as well as the private sector investing in mush- room production, and conducting promotional activi- ties, the production has increased with every passing day. In fact, mushroom production which had been approximately 80 tons in 1973 rose to 1400 tons in 1983, to 3052 tons in 1991, to 7728 tons in 1995, and to 10000 tons in the recent years (Erkel, 2004).
In developing countries as Turkey, mushroom pro- duction is not wide separated. For example, mush- room production is mainly common in the regions of Marmara, and Aegean. Usually, mushroom enterprises are small size. Throughout Turkey, 82.4% of mush- room enterprises have less than 1000m2 (Erkal and Aksu, 2000). Although mushroom consumption is in- creasing, and lack of farm land, drought problem, and high mushroom price pushing farmers to produce mushroom, the sector is not growing in Turkey. Vari- ous studies have been done in Turkey and other de- veloping countries, regarding production, marketing, and business structure of mushroom (Simsek., 1988; Griensven, 1988; Aksu et al., 1996; Isik et al., 1997; Hamm 1998; Demir and Uzun, 1998; Ozkan et al., 2000; Gungor et al., 2000; Akkaya et al., 2001; Ozcatalbas et al., 2004; Erkel, 2004). Former studies were usually concern on the situation of mushroom enterprises especially cultivation.
This study presents benefit/cost and SWOT analyses of mushroom production in developing countries as diversification of rural income; a case study in Konya, Turkey. Also, some measurements in accelerating mushroom production in developing countries were determined.
Material and Method
The main material of the study consists of the origi- nal data obtained by a survey method from the mush- room enterprises in Konya. The number of enterprises in the province was few (23 units); all of them were interviewed for data collection. The mushroom pro- duction techniques were similar except amount of cul- tivation areas, the materials used in the production rooms, and the physical appropriateness. Therefore it was considered useful to analyze the data by divid- ing the enterprises into two groups (≤ 1000 m2 and >1000 m2) according to the size of production area. Konya province where the data were collected is a rural area in Middle Anatolia, Turkey. Konya popula- tion increased up to two million in 2008 and mush- room consumption has been increasing. In the area, most mushrooms are grown in a compost produced using chicken manure, straw, and minerals. Almost all of the mushroom farmers purchase compost from other farmers. Mushroom spawn is mixed into the compost, and then the compost is placed in tiered beds inside light, temperature, and humidity controlled buildings.
Mushroom farming could be one of the most im- portant agricultural activities in Konya since the consumption is increasing and drought is main problem in the area. Mushroom production can be considered the leading cash crop in Konya since almost half of Konya’s mushroom sales came from other cities. Some potential growers are becoming concerned that the decreasing of mushroom profitability and the fu- ture of the mushroom industry in Konya. The cost analysis of mushroom was examined by fixed costs and variable costs (Kiral et al., 1999). In the calcula- tion of the variable costs, the costs realized were taken into consideration, and on the other hand, as the op- portunity cost of these expenses the interest on the working capital has been calculated. The rate of spot agricultural loan interest of Ziraat Bank (18.5 % for 90 days) was accepted for the interest rate on working capital. it was calculated over its half based on the assumption that the variable costs are spread ho- mogeneously within the period. In the scope of fixed costs, the rental paid for leased buildings, has been taken as expense where the interest on depreciation and building capital do not need to be calculated. For the owner of real estate buildings, amortization was calculated according to the straight-line method. Due to the fact that amortization was calculated according to the straight-line method, the interest on fixed capi- tal was calculated over half of their values (Kiral et al., 1999). Since the data values were related to the end of year, the interest on fixed capital were calcu- lated according to the reel interest rate (5 %). The financial results of the study was calculated on the basis of the national money unit, and then, the results were reported by converting to US Dollar at the av- erage exchange rate over the research period (aver- age 1 USD =1.43Turkish Lira) of The Turkish Re- public Central Bank.
Results and Discussion
The characteristic of mushroom enterprises managers The most of mushroom business managers, about 69.2 %, were in the 31 to 40 age group. It was fol- lowed by the producers in the age 41 and over group with 23.1 %, and by the 20 to 30 age group with 7.7 %. From this point, we can say that mushroom pro- duction could give employee and business invest- ment opportunities for youth and mid-age people in rural area in developing countries.

Table 1

Grossproductvalueofmushroomproduction and productivityofthebusinesses

 


 

Sizesof the businesses,

 

 

Production, kg/year

 

Notsoldor lostamount, kg/year

 

Grossproduct value, USD

Productivity

 

Compost productivity, kg/ton

Annual productivity, kg/m²

Period productivity, kg/m²

11000             29333.3               50.0               43701.6               46.9                  10.8                 255.8

1001+             82433.3              466.7             129547.8              41.7                  12.6                 256.9

Average            51584.6              238.5              83322.9               45.4                  11.6                 256.6

             


 

 

Table2

Mushroomproduction costsin thebusinessinvestigated

 

 

Costselements

Businesssizegroups, m²

Averageofall businesses

11000

1001+

US $

%

US $

%

US $

%

VariableCosts

Compost+Misel                                                      17182.8      53.3      54778.5         47. 34534.7     49.2

CoveringSoil                                                          2807.2       8.7        10362.4        9.0       6294.3       9.0

Chemicals                                                                 324.7        1.0         1078.1         0.9        672.4        1.0

Water                                                                        294.7        0.9          786.7          0.7        521.8        0.7

Energy                                                                      2642.4       8.2         9089.7         7.9       5618.0       8.0

Packaging                                                                  67.9         0.2          343.8          0.3        195.2        0.3

MachineEquipment,  Repair-Maintenance           1375.3       4.3          344.7          0.3        820.3        1.2

Temporary  labor                                                     1408.6       4.4        14009.3       12.2      7224.3      10.3

Others(residuecleaning, etc)                                      –              –            559.4          0.5        258.2        0.4

OpportunityCost(%18.5)                                       2414.5       8.5         7390.7         6.5       5192.9       7.4

TotalVariableCosts  (1)                                        28518.1     88.5       99802.9       87.1     61332.2     87.4

FixedCosts

Overhead(1*%3)                                                     855.5        2.7         2,994.1         2.6       1840.0       2.6

FamilyLaborFeeEquivalent                                  535.6        1.7          475.4          0.4        507.5        0.7

Machine–equipmentamortization                           627.3        1.9         3067.0         2.7       1753.4       2.5

Machine–Equipment. CapitalInterest                     156.9        0.5          766.8          0.7        438.3        0.6

BuildingAmortization                                               21.5         0.1         1981.3         1.7        936.0        1.3

BuildingRent                                                           1034.0       3.2         2022.2         1.8       1490.1       2.1

BuildingCapital Interest                                          366.5        1.1         3228.0         2.8       1738.8       2.5

Building  RepairMaintenance                                  114.9        0.4          198.1          0.2        153.3        0.2

TotalFixedCost(2)                                                3712.2      11.5       14732.9       12.9      8857.3      12.6

TotalProductionCoast1+2                                  32230.3    100.0     129547.8     100.0    70189.5    100.0

GrossProductValue                                               43701.6        –                                  –        83322.9        – Gross  profit                                                            15183.5        –          29744.9          –        21990.7        – NetProfit                                                                11471.3           –       15012.0          –        13133.4        

1kgMushroomCostUS $                                       1.10               –         1.39             –           1.36           AverageSalePrice                                                    1.50               –         1.59             –           1.54           

Even though mushroom production seems to be professional job, it was observed that the managers who were graduates of elementary and high schools (30.8% elementary school, 30.8 % high schools) formed the majority (61.6%) of the business, so mushroom production can be managed by people who have lower level education in rural area. They may need short time training on mushroom pro- duction. When the question of “How many years are you involved in this business?” was raised to the busi- ness managers, a large majority of about 46.1 %, ex- pressed that they had an experience of 1 to 5 years. It was determined that 30 % of business managers had an experience of 6 to 10 years, 23.1%, of 11 + years.
The structure of mushroom enterprises
In research area, the average mushroom production is about 602.9m2; average room number was 4.3, while average production area of the rooms was 263.5m2. The average number of the rooms was 2.3 and average production area in the rooms 263.7m2 in the group with the size of 1-1000m2. The average production area was 1756 m2; number of the room was 6.7 and production area in the rooms 263.4 m2 in the group > 1000 m2. In business size groups, it was seen that room sizes were almost the same, but there were some differences in terms of room num- bers. The mushroom production period was stated to be 65 to 70 days as 4 periods in the province. In general, 76.9 % of all business enterprises carried out the mushroom production in 4 periods. That was 85.7 % of the businesses in 1-1000 m2 group, and 66.7 % of the business in > 1000m2 group. It is possible to produce 5 times a year depending on available workforce, raw material and demand. It was stated that, the mushroom production periods were mainly affected by demand. The producers planning the pro- duction periods in conformity of the market demand. The capital structure of the business was 135972.30 USD in average as assets. That consisted by 73.1 % of building capital, 18.4% tool-machinery capital, 2.9 % plant capital, 2.8 % cash and receivable capital. More than half of active capital consists of building capital. The reason of higher percentage in building capital arises from the fact that the mushroom pro- duction is made in closed conditions in rooms to en- sure the necessary climatic conditions. It was deter- mined that 4 business enterprises in the province owned their buildings while the others produced in workplaces they rented in industrial areas, in rooms which are necessarily insulated.
The values of the rented buildings were indicated in the assets; on the other hand, its equivalent in liabilities was shown in debt side. There were some differences in capital structure of the business size groups. Especially, for the business size group with a production area of 1001 m2 and over, as a result of using the materials in higher quality and appropriate standard in the buildings, was higher of the values. Liabilities and Capital indicates the sources of the as- sets. In the business size groups, the structure of li- abilities and capital presents difference. In business size group of 1000m2, while 64.6 % of liabilities and capital consists of long term liabilities, 35.4 % was owner’s equity. The matter affecting this situation was the fact that most of the businesses in this business size group rent their building where they perform pro- duction. In this business size group, business manag- ers have stated that they have no current debts. In business size group of 1000 m2 and over, 74.1 % of Liabilities and Capital consists of owner equity, 17.42 % long term liabilities, 1.1 % current liabilities. As average of all business enterprises, 74.1 % of liabilities and capital consists of owner equity, 25.1 % long term liabilities, and 0.8 % current liabilities.
The mushroom production obtained by the enter- prises in one production year consists of the total of the mushrooms produced during different production periods were given Table 1.
From the quantity of mushroom production ob- tained annually by the businesses included in the scope of study, gross production values was calculated as a result of multiplying the quantity of product sold by its sale price. Even though the sale of composts used in the businesses in the scope of study was possible, it was stated that, in the businesses, compost was no longer sold, but was either given to the farmers or discarded. Hence, the gross production values of the businesses completely consist of mushroom sale val- ues. In the business size groups, gross production value was calculated as USD 43701.6 and USD 129547.8 and USD 83322.9 was the average value of all busi- nesses.
Benefit/cost analyses of mushroom production
In order to determine whether the businesses producing mushroom were profitable or not, cost analy- sis of mushroom production was carried out and pro- duction cost and profitability cases were given in Table2 in respect to business size groups. Production cost varied between USD 32230.0 and USD 114535.8, while this value was USD 70189.5 as average of all businesses. In business size groups, while 88.5 to 87.1 of production cost consist of variable costs, 11.5 % to 12.9 of it was fixed costs. Whereas the average production costs of the business enterprises was formed by 87.4 % of variable costs and by 12.6 % of fixed costs. These results display that mushroom was produced at lower costs in the business group of the size 1-1000 m2. Normally, while it would be expected that cost in larger business enterprises would be lower, the reason of higher cost was the fact that some businesses in this group had production for 3 periods in a year according to the market demand. Additionally, due to higher building and machinery expenses as those owning their production rooms have built these rooms in accordance with the standards, as a result of higher building and machine expenses, the rise in the quantity of the interest of building capital, amortization and fixed capital per unit product increases the costs. When the sale price of mushroom produced in the businesses was studied, it was calculated as average USD 1.50 in 1000 m2 business size group, USD 1.59 in 1001 m2 and over business size group, and 1.54 USD in average of all businesses. The reason of dif- ferent sales price in business size groups was the factthat the mushrooms cultivated by producers in small size business group were generally marketed by the enterprises of the large size business group.
As given in the section of cost analysis of mush-
room production, the average sale price of mushroom in the businesses included in the study was 1.54 USD/ kg. However, in the district bazaars of the province Konya, the sale price observed in the survey period (The price paid for by the consumer) was 2.45 USD/ kg. When the price of the producer is compared to the price paid by the consumer, it appears that the marketing margin of the mushroom for the province Konya was USD 0.91. Accordingly, 37% of the price that the consumer pays does not reach the producer. When the prices at the grocers, supermarkets, hypermarkets and large consumer centers are taken into consideration (2.80-3.50 USD) the marketing margins increase further. The average values of the annual mushroom productivity, the periodic produc- tivity and the compost productivity for all the busi- nesses were determined as 45.4 kg/m2, 11.6 kg/m2 and 256.6 kg/ton, respectively.
The compost productivity was found to be 226 kg/ton for the businesses of 501-1000m2 size group
in Turkey (Erkal and Aksu, 2000). This means that the compost productivity of Konya was greater than the average of Turkey. The average cost and selling price of 1kg mushroom was respectively determined as $1.36 and $1.54 as an average of all the mush- room producing businesses. Thus, a profit of 0.18 USD is obtained against a production cost of $1 which means an 18 % profit rate.
Market structure of mushroom production
Concerning marketing, all producers complain about the decrease and instability in the sales prices despite the regular cost increases. On the other hand, it was stated that the mushrooms brought from the other district of Turkey and its vicinities and intro- duced to the market at lower prices have diminished the competition power  of the producers and also brought along the issue of their no longer being ef- fective in price determination. The other problems related to marketing were the negativities met in col- lecting payment in exchange for the product (deferred payment sale, delays etc) and deficiencies in market- ing organization.
The most important problem of the producers who cultivate by renting a workplace was the lack of places
such as organized industrial areas, where the produc- ers are together and where necessary buildings are built for producing mushroom. As there is no such structuring, production rooms are formed by renting empty workplaces and making necessary alterations. In that case, due to bad smell released from waste compost the industrialists operating in other areas are disturbed and furthermore environmental problems also appear.
SWOT Analyses of Mushroom Production
A SWOT analysis of mushroom production has been done as fallows in order to determine opportu-
nity of mushroom production growing in rural areas.
Conclusions
The demand of mushroom increased with the re- spect of fast population grows and business manag- ers, especially in the recent years, have started to pro- duce for the large amount of supermarkets in Konya. Although mushroom producers don’t have an asso- ciation or cooperative, they had a strong cooperation with themselves and the university in Konya. The mushroom production in Konya was mostly performed by managers of the middle-age group from every edu- cation levels; however the ratio of the primary and high-school graduates was higher than the others. The average production area of the mushroom producing businesses in Konya was determined as 1135.1m2. The research (Erdal and Aksu, 2000) performed in 1999 stated that the 82.6 % of the mushroom busi- nesses in Turkey had a production area of less than 1000m2, thus, the production area per company in Konya was above the average for Turkey. The mush- room production was performed in the facilities rented in the industrial district of the city which caused envi- ronmental problems due to wastes and bad odor emitted during production. Consequently, allocating a special area within the province to the mushroom pro- ducers is important for preventing the environmental pollution and for the synergy of the producers.
In accelerating mushroom production in developing countries depending on local resources and the following issues have gained more importance to create the investment support to mushroom enterprises;
– Improving local knowledge and skill
– Strengthening cooperation and partnership based on local mushroom production
– Enhancing entrepreneurship culture and empow- erment of the productivity of rural community
– Establishing the value added chain of mushroom from farm to the final consumer,
– Developing production technology and increas- ing productivity,
– Ensuring low cost raw material needs of mush- room production,
– Utilizing the potential of mushroom industry by meeting the expectations of consumers at unique mar- kets
– Increasing the efficiency of storage, transportation, packaging, labeling, promotion and marketing activities of mushroom,
Strengthening mushroom production sector could be essential in order to enable the rural economy to keep its vibrancy and development, increasing and diversifying business and employ- ment opportunities in the rural areas, and providing income opportunities for disadvantageous groups, small family farms.

 

Strengths

 

Weaknesses

•Abundancepotentialforproductdiversityinrural      •Highdependencyofruralincomesourceson

area,                                                                                 agriculturalactivities(cropsand animalproduction)

 

•Diversityofrawmaterialsformushroomproduction,•Loweducationlevelandlowschoolingratio ofruralpopulation

Rurallaborforcepotential,                                           Inadequacyofalternativeagriculturaltrainingand extensionservices, andcooperation,

 

•Lowenvironmentalpollutionandexistenceof             Difficulties  in  conformance  with  standards  and potentialfororganicagriculture,                                     qualityofmushroom,

Richnessofmushroomproduction andconsumption   Problemsregardingmushroomindustryintegration culture,                                                                            andinefficiencyof marketing activities,

•Highpotentialinrespectofmushroomconsumption    Necessity  of  improving  efficiency  of  education, byyouths                                                                         healthandsocialsecurityservices,

 

•TheexperienceobtainedinEuropeanUnionsrural    Insufficiencyofruralinfrastructureand developmentprojects,                                                     modernization requirementsof the

existinginfrastructure,

 

IncreasingsupportsofMinistryofAgriculture            Inadequatecoordinationbetweenpublic institutions engagedinruraldevelopment,                                        providingservicestoruralpopulation.

 

Smallscaleand fragmentedagriculturalholdings        •Lackoftechnologicaldevelopmenton mushroomproduction

Insufficiencyofcapitalandfinancialresources,

•Lowsoilquality,widespread erosion,and inappropriateutilizationoflandresources duetoignoringofsoilcapability,

Problemsregardingbalanceofconservation– utilizationofnaturalresources (land, water, forest,pastureandgrassland,

fisheryresourcesetc.),

Structuralproblemsofagriculture

Prevalenceofpovertyinruralsettlements,especially inforestvillages

 

Opportunities

 

Threats

•Developmenttrendsof mushroomindustry,

Increasing consumerconsciousness anddemandfor

healthy, qualityandorganicproducts,                            Changingtrendin agriculturalsupportpolicies,

•Developmentofmushroomproductiononthebasis ofdomesticand foreigndemand,

 

Those mainly depending on local opportunities and circumstances, supporting microenterprises, strengthening structures for processing mushroom in parallel with developments in consumer preferences. On the other hand, the local knowledge and experience in mushroom production have the potential to provide significant opportunities to develop micro enterprises and entrepreneurship. Vocational training opportunities shall be provided in order to develop human re- sources in addition to the investment supports for mushroom production.
Taking necessary precautions can be advantageous in order to further improve the mushroom produc- tion. These measures can be listed as in the follows;
– The lack of knowledge in cultivation as well as in fighting diseases and pests should be eliminated,
– The mushroom producers are not organized in any manner whatsoever. In the event that an associa-
tion of mushroom producers is formed  in Konya, effectiveness will be obtained in both marketing and price determination,
– The most important input in the mushroom production is the “compost”. Producers face various problems in obtaining the supply of quality and healthy compost. Although some researches related to the technique of preparing low cost but quality compost have been made, none of them were appropriate enough to be put into practice. The elimination of this deficiency will be useful.
– The structuring market-oriented agriculture, pro- ductivity increase in production, and development of food industry are directly affects rural economies in developing countries.
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