Rapid response to intercepted mushroom spawn


  • M.K. Romberg
  • K.L. Thomas
  • R.L. Griffin
  • B.J.R. Alexander




On 3 December 2008 an undeclared and mislabelled package destined for a mushroom production facility was intercepted at an Auckland courier depot Upon Xray and subsequent inspection the package was found to contain two mushroom (mycelia) logs A site investigation at the address of the intended recipients was conducted by MAFBNZ on 8 December 2008 and mushroom fruiting bodies and spawn were collected Subsequent information determined that the unsolicited parcel was an aggressive marketing campaign by a company in China The mushroom producer was targeted after the companys contact details were obtained from the internet Based on the DNA sequence of the ITS region all mushroom material from the NZ production facility was identified as Pleurotus pulmonarius a species grown commercially in New Zealand as oyster mushrooms The spawn intercepted at the courier depot was shown to be closely aligned to Pleurotus eryngii In 2005 the mushroom P eryngii was determined to be a new organism (Hazardous Substances and New Organism Act 1996) and unauthorised production at another mushroom facility was halted Overseas P eryngii or king oyster mushroom is a highly prized delicacy however unlike most Pleurotus species which colonise dead tissues P eryngii can grow as a parasite on living plants No other pests or pathogens of commercial mushrooms were detected in the intercepted parcel




How to Cite

Romberg, M.K., K.L. Thomas, R.L. Griffin, and B.J.R. Alexander. “Rapid Response to Intercepted Mushroom Spawn”. New Zealand Plant Protection 62 (August 1, 2009): 410–410. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://journal.nzpps.org/index.php/nzpp/article/view/4860.



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