The much hyped recent finding of the Asia's largest edible mushroom by a Jahangirnagar University (JU) researcher has been widely appreciated by both the concerned researchers and scholars over the country.
Mohammad Anwar Hossain, a Mushroom researcher and a PhD fellow of JU, has identified Asia's largest edible wild-mushroom Macrocybe gigantea and successfully cultured it for the first time ever in Bangladesh on JU campus recently. He is also a researcher of the National Mushroom Development and Extension Centre in Savar.
Treasurer Professor Abul Khair, Dean of Biological Science Department of JU, recognized the identification and cultivation terming, "It's a positive task in the field of mushroom research."
Anwar identified the new species of the giant mushroom Macrocybe gigantea (Massee) (Pegler & Lodge) as a wild edible mushroom from Balukhali's remote area in the Rangamati Hill Tracts in July, 2012, during preparing his PhD thesis on mushroom taxonomy under supervision of Professor Abul Khair. Locals of the Hill Tracts and the researcher have found the huge fungi grow abundant from the monsoon to the beginning of arid winter.
The umbrella like cap (pileus) of this gigantic species is 10 to 30cm wide, convex to flat, white to greyish white, while its glabrous is marginal and incurved. Gills are beneath the cap, notched, and crowded with several lengths and greyish white in colour. Stipe's position is central, 15-50 ? 4-8 cm, solid, white, glabrous.
Spore print white, spores ovate, hyaline, smooth, 6-7 ? 4-4.5 ?m.
This species is mostly popular in China. They collect it from nature and consume with fried rice or soup. It is enriched with essential amino acid, vitamin and minerals.
"I'm facing various obstacles to my research as the response from both the mushroom researchers and government is very poor," said Anwar adding, "Whereas the cultivation of the new species will help farmers as a profitable business."
Earlier, he made success in cultivating milky mushrooms in business purpose.