Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr James Strong
Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


Lions mane strains are capable of producing very small fruiting bodies (mushrooms) in static liquid culture. In this project we will try establish parameters and conditions that favour mushroom synthesis on a liquid surface. If we can understand how and why this species produces mushrooms on a liquid surface – we may be able to target genes that could improve yields and tendency to grow hydroponically.

'Hericium erinaceum (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. is an edible fungus of great significance in medicine. It is rarely found in Europe, in contrast, it is common in Japan and North America. Its fruitbodies have been well-known for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine. A cradle of H. erinaceum cultivation is Asia. In Eastern Europe is rare in natural habitats, but can be s mushroom carried out on animals and in vitro have given good results. They can be used in the treatment of cancer, hepatic disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, wound healing. They improve cognitive abilities, support the nervous and immune systems. Promising results have been reported in clinical trials and case reports about the human treatment (e.g., recovery from schizophrenia, an improvement of the quality of sleep, alleviation of the menopause symptoms).' Sokół et al. (2015)

In addition to culturing Lions mane in a hydroponic system, there is scope to look at immobilising mycelia in a porous matrix to elucidate if protein translocation from a liquid medium can be used to generate common commercial mushrooms such as oyster mushrooms.

Research activities

  • Submerged fermentation.
  • liquid characterisation (N C and protein characterisation).
  • Analyses of nutritional quality of biomass.
  • Solid state fermentation.
  • Biofilm studies.


The primary aim is to produce Lion’s mane mushrooms at the air-liquid interface in static flask cultures by ensuring a suitable nutrient composition, temperature, oxygen and CO2 levels, and relative humidity.

A secondary aim is to modify the strains to enhance nutrient composition in the biomass, as well as biomass yeilds.

Additionally, translocation of nutrients from a liquid medium, across a porous matrix, to generate commercial mushrooms will be assessed.

Skills and experience

This project would suit students interested in applied mycology, hydroponics and solid state fermentation.

Candidates will be assessed on skillsets and aptitude for laboratory-based research.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

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