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This meeting was organising by the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products (WSMBMP) and the Tourismus & Congress GmbH region Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler Bund Deutsher Champingnon – und Kulturpilzanbauer e. V. (BDC) and sponsored by Deutshe Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The conference was held at the old capital of Germany where in 1770 the famous German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven was born. The symposium took place in the Beethovenhalle where every year the internationally famous Beethoven festival is held. More than 80 scientists attended the event and came from Australia, Africa, South America, Japan, China, USA and Mexico.
At the conference there were 2 keynote lectures, 20 plenary sessions, 52 oral presentations, 20 posters, 3 workshops and a most interesting 1 day excursion. The scientific program contained ten sessions: Physiology & Biochemistry, Cultivation Technology, Genetics & Breeding, Integrated Pest Management, Nutritional & Medicine Aspects, Safety, Quality Control and Regulation Aspects, Mushroom Resource Development, Environmental Applications, Mycorrhizal Mushrooms and Economics and Marketing. The meeting was opened by the quartet of the Collegium Musicum of the University of Bonn and the main organiser Professor J. I. Lelley (Chairman, Conference Organizing Growers Association). The welcome addresses were given by Professor D. J.
Royse- President, World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, Mr Ulrich Hauschild, Deputy Mayor, City of Bonn, Mr Peter Hettlich, Member, Greman Federal parliament and Mr Franz Schmaus, President, German Mushroom Growers Association. Dr L. J. L. D van Griensven (The Netherland) gave an excellent talk about the history of mushroom growing and the use of mushrooms as a medicament. Mushrooms can be used as a treatment for many common human diseases. Mr L. G. J. van Horen (The Netherlands) presented a lecture on economic developments in the mushroom industry. In this presentation the author outlined new developments in mushroom production in Europe, U. S. , Canada and China. Daniel J. Royse (USA) gave an interesting talk about double cropping Agaricus bisporus by re-supplementing and re-casing compost which offers an opportunity for growers to obtain additional mushroom production from the same compost. Qi Tan (China) described the growth of the edible/ medical mushroom, Lentinula edodes (Xiang-gu in China). It is the second most common cultivated mushroom after Agaricus bisporus. H. S. Shekhar Sharma presented a review of the mushroom compost production industry in Ireland and gave another interesting lecture about another popular edible mushroom Lentinula edodes (shiitake). A cruise on the River Rhine completed the activities for the first day.
The second day included 4 sessions and poster presentations. In the morning session there was a very interesting talk given by Anton Sonnenberg (The Netherlands) about mushroom breeding and M. L. Largeteau (France) presented a lecture on Agaricus bisporus infection by Verticillium fungicola. A very interesting workshop entitled ”Role of mushrooms in Chinese and Western medicine: similarities and differences” took place. The contributors to this workshop included: H. P. Hanssen (Germany), S. Chen (USA), H. P. Molitoris (Germany) and J. S. Zhang (China).
The Third day of conference commenced very early because of the excursion to one of Germany’s largest and most modern Agaricus farms. Here we saw both white and brown Agaricus mushroom cultivation including the entire handling process of fresh mushrooms for marketing. The next visit was to a Dutch Agaricus and Pleurotus compost producer. We also visited the world’s largest company engaged in establishing complete mushroom farms, the Christiaens Group. Lunch was served at Gerard van de Vossenberg’s excellent restaurant specializing in mushroom dishes.
On the last day of the conference talks were given by U. Lindequist (Germany) about the new medical mushroom – Ganoderma pfeifferi. H. P. Hanssen presented an interesting lecture about eastern medicinal mushrooms. The workshop ” Agaricus cultivation: how to make a high quality growth substrate” was very successful and many delegates came and took part in the activities in this presentation.
I would like to thank the BSSP for the travel grant and for giving me the opportunity to present my poster at this excellent conference. I met Prof. Danny Rinker from Canada who works in the same area as me and has published some very important papers. I also met Dr. Michele Largeteau from France who has developed a molecular tool for diagnosing mushroom disease. The conference was extremely interesting and I was delighted to be able to attend and to discuss my project with international experts.
Justyna Piasecka, PhD Student, National University of Ireland Maynooth & Teagasc, Kinsealy, Dublin.