Methods of producing the cultivated mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, have advanced dramatically over the past decade, and for the most part improvements in technology have been generated by fundamental advances in our understanding of the basic biology of the crop. This book, in one well-structured and comprehensive volume, draws together this important research work, and represents the cumulative knowledge and experience of one of the world's leading mushroom research teams. The multi-authored approach has encouraged the comprehensive treatment of a topic within a chapter, but strong editing has equally emphasised the many overlaps and links between topics. Aspects discussed include the history, general biology, cultural systems, nutrition, biochemistry, genetics, growth, fruiting, food value and chemical composition of the mushroom. Sections of special value to growers will include compost preparation, spawn production, crop productivity, post-harvest storage and the chapters on pests and bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. The whole book is very extensively referenced.