• Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Emissions during Disturbance and Removal of Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

      Velusami, Balasubramanian; Curran, Thomas P; Grogan, Helen; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; UCD School of Biosystems Engineering; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2013-12)
      Spent mushroom compost (SMC) is a by-product of the mushroom industry that is used as an agricultural fertilizer. In Europe, SMC storage and use are governed by EU Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC to protect waterways against pollution by nitrates. A health and safety risk was identified during the removal of stored SMC for land application, as the stored SMC released high levels of toxic H2S gas into the atmosphere when disturbed. In this study, emissions of H2S were monitored at two outdoor and two indoor locations where stored SMC was being removed for land application. A repeating peaktrough pattern of H2S emissions was detected at all sites, with peaks corresponding to periods of active disturbance of SMC. The highest H2S concentrations (10 s average) detected at the SMC face were, respectively, 680 and 2083 ppm at outdoor sites 1 and 2, and 687 and 89 ppm at indoor sites 3 and 4. Higher concentrations of H2S were released from older SMC compared to newer material. Indoor-stored SMC had lower moisture content (53% to 65%) compared to outdoor-stored material (66% to 72%), while the temperature of indoor-stored SMC was higher (33°C to 51°C) compared to outdoorstored material (24°C to 36°C). The current short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 10 ppm was exceeded at all sites except site 4, which was smaller than the other sites, indicating a significant health and safety risk associated with working in the vicinity of stored SMC when it is being actively disturbed. Results suggest that SMC stored under cover in small heaps (600 m3) emits less H2S during disturbance and removal compared to SMC stored outdoors in large heaps (>1500 m3). This should be taken into consideration in the design, construction, and management of SMC storage facilities. Health and safety protocols should be in place at SMC storage facilities to cover the risks of exposure to toxic H2S gas during disturbance of stored SMC.
    • Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Emissions in the Human-Occupied Zone during Disturbance and Removal of Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

      Velusami, Balasubramanian; Curran, Thomas P; Grogan, Helen (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2013-12)
      Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas levels were monitored in the human-occupied zone at four spent mushroom compost (SMC) storage sites during removal of SMC for application on agricultural land. During SMC removal operations, H2S gas monitors were mounted on the outside of the tractor, positioned at the SMC periphery, and worn by individual tractor drivers. The highest H2S concentrations (10 s average) detected outside the tractor, at the SMC periphery, and for the tractor driver were, respectively, 454, 249, and 100 ppm for the outdoor sites and 214, 75, and 51 ppm for the indoor sites. The highest short-term exposure values (STEV, over a 15 min period) outside the tractor, at the SMC periphery, and for the tractor driver were 147, 55, and 86 ppm for the outdoor sites and 19, 9, and 10 ppm for the indoor sites. The values exceeded the current maximum permissible concentration limit of 10 ppm for all the sites except for the SMC periphery and tractor driver at the indoor sites. Results suggest that H2S levels detected at indoor storage sites during SMC removal are lower compared to outdoor storage sites. Results indicate that there is a substantial health and safety risk associated with working in the vicinity of stored SMC when it is being disturbed and removed for land application, and that the risk is great for the tractor driver. This article discusses possible control measures and lists recommendations to reduce the risks.
    • Identification and control of Cobweb disease on mushrooms

      Grogan, Helen; Gaze, Richard (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2008)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available on Cobweb disease (Cladobotryum spp.). Its objective is to provide guidance on the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • Identification and control of dry bubble disease of mushrooms

      Gaze, Richard; Grogan, Helen (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2008)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available on Dry bubble disease of mushrooms (Verticillium fungicola). Its objective is to provide guidance to the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • Is urban growing of fruit and vegetables associated with better diet quality and what mediates this relationship? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey

      Mead, Bethan R.; Christiansen, Paul; Davies, Jessica A.C.; Falagán, Natalia; Kourmpetli, Sofia; Liu, Lingxuan; Walsh, Lael; Hardman, Charlotte A.; Global Food Security; Biotechnology and Biological Services Research Council; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-18)
      Urban agriculture (UA), the growing of fruits and vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas, may improve food security and access, public health and dietary quality on both a broad and personal scale. However, there is little research on the relationship between UA and diet, and potential mediating factors are also unclear. This study aimed to investigate if proximity to and engagement with UA is associated with better diet quality, and what accounts for this relationship. UK-based adults (N = 583, 69% Female) completed measures of proximity to and engagement with UA, perceived access to fruits and vegetables, health and ethical food choice motivations, connection with nature, psychological distress and dietary quality in an online survey. Participants were recruited from UA-related groups and the general public. Proposed relationships were analysed using a structural equation model. Greater proximity to and engagement with UA was associated with greater perceived access to fruits and vegetables, more health-related food choice motivations, more ethical-related food choice, feeling more connected with nature, and, surprisingly greater psychological distress. Furthermore, proximity to and engagement with UA was indirectly associated with better diet quality via health-, and ethical-related, food choice motivations. While the direct pathway between proximity to and engagement with UA and diet quality was not significant, UA is associated with better diet quality, partly via healthier and ethical food choice motivations. Upscaling UA may have benefits for dietary quality via these factors, and more research is needed to test causal relationships and understand these complex interactions.
    • Is urban growing of fruit and vegetables associated with better diet quality and what mediates this relationship? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey.

      Mead, Bethan; Christiansen, Paul; Davies, Jessica; Falagán, Natalia; Kourmpetli, Sofia; Liu, Lingxuan; Walsh, Lael; Hardman, Charlotte; Global Food Security's ‘Resilience of the UK Food System Programme’; BBSRC; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-18)
      Urban agriculture (UA), the growing of fruits and vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas, may improve food security and access, public health and dietary quality on both a broad and personal scale. However, there is little research on the relationship between UA and diet, and potential mediating factors are also unclear. This study aimed to investigate if proximity to and engagement with UA is associated with better diet quality, and what accounts for this relationship. UK-based adults (N = 583, 69% Female) completed measures of proximity to and engagement with UA, perceived access to fruits and vegetables, health and ethical food choice motivations, connection with nature, psychological distress and dietary quality in an online survey. Participants were recruited from UA-related groups and the general public. Proposed relationships were analysed using a structural equation model. Greater proximity to and engagement with UA was associated with greater perceived access to fruits and vegetables, more health-related food choice motivations, more ethical-related food choice, feeling more connected with nature, and, surprisingly greater psychological distress. Furthermore, proximity to and engagement with UA was indirectly associated with better diet quality via health-, and ethical-related, food choice motivations. While the direct pathway between proximity to and engagement with UA and diet quality was not significant, UA is associated with better diet quality, partly via healthier and ethical food choice motivations. Upscaling UA may have benefits for dietary quality via these factors, and more research is needed to test causal relationships and understand these complex interactions.
    • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis as a natural anti-listerial agent in the mushroom industry

      Dygico, Lionel K.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Hayes, Maria; Gahan, Cormac G M; Grogan, Helen; Burgess, Catherine; Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; 14F881 (Elsevier, 2019-01-28)
      Mushroom growth substrates from different commercial producers of mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) were screened for the presence of bacteria with potential for use as biocontrol agents for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the mushroom production environment. Eight anti-listerial strains were isolated from different sources and all were identified using 16s rRNA gene sequencing as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Whole-genome sequencing of the Lc. lactis isolates indicated that strains from different sites and substrate types were highly similar. Colony MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry found that these strains were Nisin Z producers but inhibitory activity was highly influenced by the incubation conditions and was strain dependant. The biofilm forming ability of these strains was tested using a crystal violet assay and all were found to be strong biofilm formers. Growth of Lc. lactis subsp. lactis using mixed-biofilm conditions with L. monocytogenes on stainless steel resulted in a 4-log reduction of L. monocytogenes cell numbers. Additional sampling of mushroom producers showed that these anti-listerial Lc. lactis strains are commonly present in the mushroom production environment. Lc. lactis has a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status and therefore has potential for use as an environmentally benign solution to control L. monocytogenes in order to prevent product contamination and to enhance consumer confidence in the mushroom industry.
    • Multiple viral infections in Agaricus bisporus - Characterisation of 18 unique RNA viruses and 8 ORFans identified by deep sequencing

      Deakin, Gregory; Dobbs, Edward; Bennett, Julie M.; Jones, Ian M.; Grogan, Helen; Burton, Kerry S.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; European Commission; 201043; 286836 (Nature Publishing Group, 26/05/2017)
      Thirty unique non-host RNAs were sequenced in the cultivated fungus, Agaricus bisporus, comprising 18 viruses each encoding an RdRp domain with an additional 8 ORFans (non-host RNAs with no similarity to known sequences). Two viruses were multipartite with component RNAs showing correlative abundances and common 3′ motifs. The viruses, all positive sense single-stranded, were classified into diverse orders/families. Multiple infections of Agaricus may represent a diverse, dynamic and interactive viral ecosystem with sequence variability ranging over 2 orders of magnitude and evidence of recombination, horizontal gene transfer and variable fragment numbers. Large numbers of viral RNAs were detected in multiple Agaricus samples; up to 24 in samples symptomatic for disease and 8–17 in asymptomatic samples, suggesting adaptive strategies for co-existence. The viral composition of growing cultures was dynamic, with evidence of gains and losses depending on the environment and included new hypothetical viruses when compared with the current transcriptome and EST databases. As the non-cellular transmission of mycoviruses is rare, the founding infections may be ancient, preserved in wild Agaricus populations, which act as reservoirs for subsequent cell-to-cell infection when host populations are expanded massively through fungiculture.
    • Mushroom Virus X (MVX) prevention

      Gaze, Richard; Grogan, Helen (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2007)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available. Its objective is to provide guidance to the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • On farm and fresh produce management

      Reilly, Kim (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 02/01/2013)
      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, Pre-harvest factors affecting phytochemical content, Harvest and post-harvest management practices, Future prospects, and References.
    • The Potential for Decision Support Tools to Improve the Management of Root-Feeding Fly Pests of Vegetables in Western Europe

      Collier, Rosemary; Mazzi, Dominique; Folkedal Schjøll, Annette; Schorpp, Quentin; Thöming, Gunda; Johansen, Tor J.; Meadow, Richard; Meyling, Nicolai V.; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Vogler, Ute; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-06-13)
      Several important vegetable crops grown outdoors in temperate climates in Europe can be damaged by the root-feeding larvae of Diptera (Delia radicum, Delia floralis, Chamaepsila rosae, Delia platura, Delia florilega, Delia antiqua). Knowledge of pest insect phenology is a key component of any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy, and this review considers the methods used to monitor and forecast the occurrence of root-feeding flies as a basis for decision-making by growers and the ways that such information can be applied. It has highlighted some current management approaches where such information is very useful for decision support, for example, the management of C. rosae with insecticidal sprays and the management of all of these pests using crop covers. There are other approaches, particularly those that need to be applied at sowing or transplanting, where knowledge of pest phenology and abundance is less necessary. Going forward, it is likely that the number of insecticidal control options available to European vegetable growers will diminish and they will need to move from a strategy which often involves using a single ‘silver bullet’ to a combination of approaches/tools with partial effects (applied within an IPM framework). For the less-effective, combined methods, accurate information about pest phenology and abundance and reliable decision support are likely to be extremely important.
    • Potential of cultivar and crop management to affect phytochemical content in winter-grown sprouting broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica)

      Reilly, Kim; Valverde, Juan; Finn, Leo; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Sorenson, Jens C; Sorenson, Hilmer; Gaffney, Michael; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 06/NITAFRC6 (Wiley, 08/07/2013)
      BACKGROUND: Variety and crop management strategies affect the content of bioactive compounds (phenolics, flavonoids and glucosinolates) in green broccoli (calabrese) types, which are cultivated during summer and autumn in temperate European climates. Sprouting broccoli types are morphologically distinct and are grown over the winter season and harvested until early spring. Thus they show considerable potential for development as an import substitution crop for growers and consumers during the ‘hungry gap’ of early spring. The present study investigated the effect of variety and management practices on phytochemical content in a range of sprouting broccoli varieties. RESULTS: Yields were significantly higher in white sprouting broccoli varieties. Levels of phenolics and flavonoids were in the range 81.6-270.4 and 16.9–104.8 mg 100g -1 FW respectively depending on year and cultivar, and were highest in varieties TZ 5052, TZ 5055, Red Admiral and Improved White Sprouting. In-row spacing did not affect flavonoid content. Phenolic and flavonoid content generally increased with increasing floret maturity and levels were high in edible portions of the crop. Crop wastes (leaf and flower) contained 145.9-239.3 and 21.5–116.6 mg 100g -1 FW total phenolics and flavonoids respectively depending on cultivar, tissue and year. Climatic factors had a significant effect on phenolic and flavonoid content. Levels of total and some individual glucosinolates were higher in sprouting broccoli than in the green broccoli variety Ironman. CONCLUSION: Levels of total phenolics, flavonoids and glucosinolates are higher in sprouting than green broccoli types. Sprouting broccoli represents an excellent source of dietary bioactive compounds.
    • Preliminary study on the use of near infrared hyperspectral imaging for quantitation and localisation of total glucosinolates in freeze-dried broccoli

      Hernandez-Hierro, Jose Miguel; Esquerre, Carlos; Valverde, Juan; Villacreces, Salvador; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; Gonzalez-Miret, Maria Lourdes; Heredia, Francisco J.; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Downey, Gerard; et al. (Elsevier, 15/11/2013)
      The use of hyperspectral imaging to (a) quantify and (b) localise total glucosinolates in florets of a single broccoli species has been examined. Two different spectral regions (vis–NIR and NIR), a number of spectral pre-treatments and different mask development strategies were studied to develop the quantitative models. These models were then applied to freeze-dried slices of broccoli to identify regions within individual florets which were rich in glucosinolates. The procedure demonstrates potential for the quantitative screening and localisation of total glucosinolates in broccoli using the 950–1650 nm wavelength range. These compounds were mainly located in the external part of florets.
    • Protected crop growing : a guide for home and market gardeners

      Gaffney, Michael; Finn, Leo (Teagasc, 2011-07)
      There is no better feeling than eating something you have grown yourself. This is especially true for crops like tomatoes which require constant care to get them from seed to plate. There can be a great feeling of accomplishment. This guide is designed to give people the confidence to have a go at growing themselves.
    • Proteomic investigation of interhyphal interactions between strains of Agaricus bisporus

      O’Connor, Eoin; Owens, Rebecca A.; Doyle, Sean; Amini, Aniça; Grogan, Helen; Fitzpatrick, David; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Science Foundation Ireland; 10564231; SFI 12/RI/2346(3) (Elsevier BV, 2020-06)
      Hyphae of filamentous fungi undergo polar extension, bifurcation and hyphal fusion to form reticulating networks of mycelia. Hyphal fusion or anastomosis, a ubiquitous process among filamentous fungi, is a vital strategy for how fungi expand over their substrate and interact with or recognise self- and non-self hyphae of neighbouring mycelia in their environment. Morphological and genetic characterisation of anastomosis has been studied in many model fungal species, but little is known of the direct proteomic response of two interacting fungal isolates. Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated edible mushroom crop worldwide, was used as an in vitro model to profile the proteomes of interacting cultures. The globally cultivated strain (A15) was paired with two distinct strains; a commercial hybrid strain and a wild isolate strain. Each co-culture presented a different interaction ranging from complete vegetative compatibility (self), lack of interactions, and antagonistic interactions. These incompatible strains are the focus of research into disease-resistance in commercial crops as the spread of intracellular pathogens, namely mycoviruses, is limited by the lack of interhyphal anastomosis. Unique proteomic responses were detected between all co-cultures. An array of cell wall modifying enzymes, plus fungal growth and morphogenesis proteins were found in significantly (P < 0.05) altered abundances. Nitrogen metabolism dominated in the intracellular proteome, with evidence of nitrogen starvation between competing, non-compatible cultures. Changes in key enzymes of A. bisporus morphogenesis were observed, particularly via increased abundance of glucanosyltransferase in competing interactions and certain chitinases in vegetative compatible interactions only. Carbohydrate-active enzyme arsenals are expanded in antagonistic interactions in A. bisporus. Pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism and genetic information processing were higher in interacting cultures, most notably during self-recognition. New insights into the differential response of interacting strains of A. bisporus will enhance our understanding of potential barriers to viral transmission through vegetative incompatibility. Our results suggest that a differential proteomic response occurs between A. bisporus at strain-level and findings from this work may guide future proteomic investigation of fungal anastomosis.
    • Prunus laurocerasus - A crop walkers guide to pests and diseases

      Horticulture Development Department; Grogan, Helen; McGuinness, Brian; Whelton, Andy; Baars, Jan-Robert; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 15S759 (Teagasc, 2021)
      The large glossy leaves of Prunus laurocerasus are affected by a variety of problems including pests, diseases and nutrition. The most common issue is commonly referred to as ‘shothole’ due to the nature of the disease symptoms and its’ resemblance to shotgun damage. The causal agents of ‘shothole disease’ vary considerably and this will affect how you approach your disease management strategy.
    • Screening of Irish Fruit and Vegetable Germplasm for Novel Anti-tumour and Pesticidal Compounds

      Alqudah, J.M. I.; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; Martin-Diana, A. B.; Barry-Ryan, Catherine; Dublin Institute of Technology (Teagasc, 2012)
      Phytochemicals are a rich source of novel therapeutic and insecticidal agents (McLaughlin and Chang, 1999). Considerable research effort has been directed at screening exotic and medicinal plants in the search for novel products. However, plants which have traditional food uses have been little explored. In addition the range, type and level of individual bioactive compounds can vary significantly between different species, different cultivars of the same species and different tissue types of the plant (Reilly, in press) Therefore, the objective of this study was to screen a range of fruits and vegetables which can be grown in Ireland for novel bioactive compounds for use in food production and as bio-pesticides.
    • Spent Mushroom Compost 'Fertilizer or Fuel'

      Walsh, Gerry (Bord Bia, 2009-05-21)
    • Spent Mushroom Compost - Options for use

      Maher, M.J.; Lenehan, J.J.; Staunton, W.P. (Teagasc, 1993-11)
    • Tackling mushroom disease control in an environmentally conscious world

      Grogan, Helen (2021)
      The mushroom industry, like all of agriculture worldwide, is facing the impact of climate change as well as consumers’ desires to address it though modifying what they purchase so as to be as environmentally friendly as possible. At the 2021 ISMS Congress, Dr. Helen Grogan presented the state of the changing climate and opportunities for Integrated Pest Management in the mushroom industry.