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The Use of Oyster Mushroom Spawn To Decrease the Concentration of Plastic And Lead Pollutants in Soil

1. Can oyster mushrooms remediate lead-contaminated soil?
2. What is the best method to decompose plastic with oyster mushrooms?


Yennaly Fernandez, Tori Herrera, Zonayed Abedin, Ryan Mei, Callie Morales, Ivy Lei


Marina Delgado

Project Period:

2023 Summer



Oyster mushrooms have been shown to be able to consume many different materials. Plastic litters the NYC streets, and soils in Manhattan’s Lower East Side have been found to be contaminated with lead (specifically the Jacob Riis Housings). Our experiments test the most efficient way for oyster mushrooms to decompose plastic water bottles, a common street pollutant, and their ability to remediate lead-contaminated soil found in the LES. We tested oyster’s ability to eat plastic when given plastic and cardboard as a food source, compared to when given just plastic as a food source; and whether the lead in the soil sample will decrease when inoculated with mushrooms. The amount of lead in the soil did not change significantly between groups, but because of the limited exp the results are inconclusive. There was a greater decrease in plastic within the jars thet had mushrooms, but there was no difference in jars with vs without cardboard.

This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.

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