John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.

John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.

  • Associate Research Professor
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Mushroom Science and Technology Minor Advisor
  • Manager - Mushroom Research Center
  • Director - Mushroom Spawn Lab
319 Buckhout Lab (office)
304 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Substrate Microbiology
  • Mushroom Cultivation
  • Composting
  • Integrated Pest Management


  • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. Biology, Bloomsburg University
  • B.S. Environmental Biology, Lock Haven University

Areas of Interest

Mushroom cultivation and disease management; specialty mushrooms, compost microbiology.

Pecchia Mushroom Science Team

  • Fabrício Rocha Vieira, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Vaskar Thapa, Ph.D., Project Coordinator
  • Edward Kaiser, Research Technologist
  • Chad Moore, Biological Technician

Current Graduate Students

  • Swathi Kothattil, Ph.D. student
  • Damiana Rojas, M.S. student
  • Tony Vozzella, M.S. student

Program Interests

My research interests are primarily centered around the cultivation of the white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, as well as other specialty mushrooms such as Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), Pholiota nameko  and morel mushrooms (morchella spp.).  My group studies mechanisms of disease and pest management, concentrating on biocontrol of fungal pathogens as well as studying mechanisms of mushroom development and maturation focusing on the role that the microbiome plays in the Agaricus system. I have also conducted research looking at environmental issues associated with mushroom cultivation, primarily air emissions associated with substrate preparation and mushroom cropping.  

A new focus of our lab, funded by a large integrated USDA SCRI grant, is working towards developing molecular tools to quantify virus on mushroom farms and developing on-farm diagnostic tools to help growers improve upon the effectiveness of their Integrated Pest Management plans.

A recent interest and collaboration that I have undertaken is with faculty outside of the college of agriculture investigating the use of mycelium as a sustainable building material (mycomaterial). 

I also currently serve as the Director of Graduate studies for the department as well as serving as the adviser for the Mushroom Science & Technology Minor.

Selected Publications

DeBonis, M., Locatelli, S., Sambo, P., Zanin, G., Pecchia, J. and Nicoletto., C. 2024. Effect of different LED wavelengths on production and quality of Pleurotus ostreatus grown on different commercial substrates. Horticulturae 10(4), 349; 10040349.

Vieira, F., Di Tomassi, I., O'Connor, E., Bull, C., Pecchia, J. and Hockett, K. 2023. Manipulating Agaricus bisporus developmental patterns by passaging microbial communities in complex substrates. Applied and Industrial Microbiology.

Mohseni, A., Pecchia, J., Vieira, F and Gursoy, B. 2023. Printing of living mycelium-based composites: material compositions, workflows and ways to mitigate contamination. Biomimetics 8(2), 257;

Vieira, F and Pecchia, J. 2022. Bacterial community patterns in the Agaricus bisporus cultivation system, from compost raw materials to mushroom caps. Microbial Ecology.

Vieira, F and Pecchia, J. 2021. Fungal community assembly during high-temperature composting under different pastuerization regimes used to elaborate Agaricus bisporus substrate. Fungal Biology. 125(10):826-833.

Harvey, R., Davis, D, Savini, B, Brennan, R and Pecchia, J. 2021. Nitrate removal in greenhouse wastewater using mushroom compost within artificial wetlands. J. Plant Sci & Res. 8:pp, 8(2):210-214.

Huang, M., Choic, L, Pecchia, J and Li, Y. 2021. Picking dynamic analysis for robotic harvesting of Agaricus bisporus mushrooms. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 

Huang, M., Jiang, X., He, L., Choi, D., Pecchia, J., and Li, Y. 2021. Development of a robotic harvesting mechanism for button mushrooms. Transactions of the ASABE. 64(2):565-575.

Martins, S., Trexler, R., Vieira, F., Pecchia, J., Kandel, P., Hockett, K., Bell, T. and Bull, C. 2020. Comparing approaches for capturing bacterial assemblages associated with symptomatic (bacterial blotch) and asymptomatic mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) caps. Phytobiomes Journal. 4(1):90-99.

Osdaghi, E., Martins, S.J., Vieira, F.R., Pecchia, J.A., Beyer, D.M., Bell, T.H., Yang, Y., Hockett, K.L. and Bull, C.T. 2019. 100 Years since Tolaas: bacterial blotch of mushrooms in the 21st Century. Plant Dis. 103:2714-2732.

Mazin, M., Harvey, R., Andreadis, S., Pecchia, J., Cloonan, K. and Rajotte, E. 2019. The mushroom sciarid fly, Lycoriella ingenua (Diptera:Sciaridae) adults and larvae vector mushroom green mold (Trichoderma aggressivum f. aggressivum) spores. Applied Entomology and Zoology. 54:369-376.

Harvey, R., Davis, D., Shishkoff, N and Pecchia, J. 2019. Survival of lab grown Calonectria pseudonaviculata microsclerotia during small-scale composting. Compost Science & Utilization 27:24-34.

Harvey, R, Pecchia, J, Shishkoff, N and Davis, D. 2019. Impact of ammonia during composting on Calonectria pseudonaviculata and C. henricotiae, causal agents of boxwood blight. Compost Science & Utilization 27:116-123.

Vieira, F., Pecchia, J, Segato, F and Polikarpov, I. 2019. Exploring oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) substrate preparation by varying phase I composting time: changes in bacterial communities and physicochemical composition of biomass impacting mushroom yields. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 126(3):931-944.

Vieira, F., and Pecchia, J. 2018. An exploration into bacterial community under different pasteurization conditions during substrate preparation (composting - Phase II) for Agaricus bisporus cultivation. Microbial Ecology, 75(2): 318-330.

Pecchia, J.A. and Ge S. 2017. China trip unveils morel cultivation mysteries. Mushroom News, General Issue, 65(10): 4-7.

Andreadis, S., Cloonan, K., Bellicanta, G., Paley, K., Pecchia, J., and Jenkins, N. 2016. Efficacy of Beauveria bassiana formulations against the fungus gnat Lycoriella ingenua. Biological Control, 103: 165-171.

Bishop, E., Pecchia, J., Istvan, A. and Royse, D. 2016. Effects of spent mushroom compost (SMC) as an ingredient in Phase I compost on production of Agaricus bisporus. Compost Science & Utilization, 24:4: 246-258.

Beyer, D., and Pecchia, J. 2015. Controlling environmental factors in mushroom growing. Mushroom News, 63(1):8-11.

Harvey, R., Davis, D., and Pecchia, J. 2015. Does composting eradicate the pathogen responsible for boxwood blight? An outline of future investigations.  Acta Horticulturae, 1085:211-215. Proceedings from the International Plant Propagator's Society Eastern Region Annual Conference. Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Pecchia, J., Cortese, R., and Albert, I. 2014. Investigation into the microbial community changes that occur in the casing layer during cropping of the white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus.  Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products. New Delhi, India.  pp. 309-313.

Beyer, D. and Pecchia, J. 2014. Composting changes in carbon.  Mushroom News, 62(8):10-15.

Pecchia, J. and Beyer, D. 2013. Pest management on US Commercial Mushroom Farms. Outlooks on Pest Management, 24(1):28-29.

Pecchia, J. and Beyer, D. 2013. Reuse of the casing layer from mushroom compost in subsequent mushroom crops. Mushroom News, 61(11):14-17.

Beyer, D., and Pecchia, J., 2013. Reuse of casing and compost for a second crop of mushrooms.  Mushroom News, 61(8):10-19.

Beyer, D., Pecchia, J., and Elias, R. 2013. Investigations into cultural factors influencing the development of Trichoderma green mold. Mushroom News, 61(7):4-11.

Laborde, L.F. and Pecchia, J.A. 2012. Effect of irrigation water nitrate levels on post-harvest mushroom nitrates. Mushroom News, 60(11):4-11.

Pecchia, J. and Beyer, D. 2012. The Status of Trichoderma aggressivum, the causal agent of green mold, in the United States as determined in response to 2010-2011 quarterly surveys. Proceedings of the 18th Congress of the International Society for Mushroom Science. Beijing, China.  (pp.350-356).

Beyer, D., Regnier, T., Paley, K., Pecchia, J. and Combrinck, S. 2012. Essential Oils for the Control of Fungal Pathogens of the Cultivated Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Mushroom News, 60(4):4-9.

Beyer, D.M., Pecchia, J.A., Roth, G., Houser, C. and Fidanza, M. 2010. Alternative compost ingredients and mushroom compost uses. Mushroom News, 58(8):8-17.

Beyer, D.M., Paley, K., Kremser, J. and Pecchia, J. 2007.  Does anaerobic compost contribute to the growth and development of Trichoderma green mold?  Mushroom News, 55(4):8-12.

Michel Jr., F.C., PecchiaJ.A., Rigot, J., Keener, H.M. 2004.   Mass and nutrient losses during the composting of dairy manure amended with sawdust or straw.   Compost Science and Utilization, 12(4):323-334.

Pecchia, J.A., Beyer, D.M., Wuest, P.J. 2002.  The effects of poultry manure based formulations on odor generation during Phase I mushroom composting.  Compost Science & Utilization, 10(3):188-196.

Beyer, D.M., PecchiaJ.A., Labance, S.E. 1998. A sample of aerated phase I composting across Europe. Mushroom Journal, 585:19-22.


Effect of Different LED Light Wavelengths on Production and Quality of Pleurotus ostreatus Grown on Different Commercial Substrates
Horticulturae, De Bonis, Marina, Locatelli, Silvia, Sambo, Paolo, Zanin, Giampaolo, Pecchia, John A., Nicoletto, Carlo, 2024

Manipulating Agaricus bisporus developmental patterns by passaging microbial communities in complex substrates
Microbiology spectrum, Vieira, Fabricio Rocha, Di Tomassi, Isako, Tomassi, Isako Di, O'Connor, Eoin, Bull, Carolee T., Pecchia, John A., Hockett, Kevin, 2023

Three-Dimensional Printing of Living Mycelium-Based Composites: Material Compositions, Workflows, and Ways to Mitigate Contamination
Biomimetics, Mohseni, Alale, Vieira, Fabricio Rocha, Pecchia, John A., Gürsoy, Benay, 2023

Efeito inibitório de DMSO, Tween 80 e Triton X-100 sobre Agaricus bisporus e Lecanicillium fungicola
Revista Brasileira de Meio Ambiente, Lee, Lundoi Tobias, Costa, Lívia Martinez Abreu Soares, Alves, Eduardo, Pfenning, Ludwig Heinrich, Pecchia, John Andrew, Zied, Diego Cunha, Dias, Eustáquio Souza, 2023

Utilization of mushroom compost to mitigate nutrient pollution
Mushroom News, Harvey, Robert, Davis, D, Pecchia, John, 2021

Nitrate removal in greenhouse water using mushroom compost with artificially constructed wetlands
Journal of Plant Sciences and Research, Harvey, Robert, Davis, D, Savani, B, PECCHIA, J, Pecchia, John, 2021

Picking dynamic analysis for robotic harvesting of Agaricus bisporus mushrooms
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Huang, Mingsen, He, Long, Choi, Daeun, Pecchia, John, Li, Yaoming, 2021

Investigation of computer vision system and robotic picking mechanism for mushroom harvesting.
Mushroom News, He, L, Choi, D, Pecchia, John, 2021

Development of a robotic harvesting mechanism for button mushrooms
Transactions of the ASABE, Huang, Mingsen, Jiang, Xiaohu, He, Long, Choi, Daeun, Pecchia, John, Li, Yaoming, 2021

Basic IPM practices for organic mushroom farms. Bacterial and viral diseases of mushrooms., Gorgo-Gourovitch, M, Beyer, D, Pecchia, John, 2021

Basic IPM practices for organic mushroom farms. What is integrated pest management?, Gorgo-Gourovitch, M, Beyer, D, Pecchia, John, 2021

Comparing approaches for capturing bacterial assemblages associated with symptomatic (Bacterial Blotch) and asymptomatic mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) caps
Phytobiomes Journal, Martins, Samuel, Trexler, Ryan, Vieira, Fabricio R., Pecchia, John A., Kandel, Prem, Hockett, Kevin L., Bell, Terrence H., Bull, Carolee T., 2020

Hand-picking dynamic analysis for robotic agaricus mushroom harvesting, Huang, Mingsen, Jiang, Xiaohu, He, Long, Choi, Daeun, Pecchia, John, 2020

Mushroom sciarid fly, Lycoriella ingenua (Diptera: Sciaridae) adults and larvae vector Mushroom Green Mold (Trichoderma aggressivum ft. aggressivum) spores
Applied Entomology and Zoology, Mazin, Maria, Harvey, Rob, Andreadis, Stefanos, Pecchia, John, Cloonan, Kevin, Rajotte, Edwin G., 2019

Interpreting Compost and Casing Lab Results, Beyer, David, 2019

IPM Committee Update
Mushroom News, Toedter, Eric, Pecchia, John, 2019

Development of a mushroom harvesting assistance system using computer vision, Lee, Cheng, Choi, Daeun, Pecchia, John, He, Long, Heinemann, Paul, 2019

100 years since Tolaas: Bacterial blotch of mushrooms in the 21st century
Plant Disease, Osdaghi, Ebrahim, Martins, Samuel, Ramos-Sepulveda, Laura, Vieira, Fabrício Rocha, Rocha Vieira, Fabrício, Pecchia, John A., Beyer, David, Bell, Terrence H., Yang, Yinong, Hockett, Kevin L., Bull, Carolee T., 2019

Mycelium-Based Bio-Composites For Architecture: Assessing the Effects of Cultivation Factors on Compressive Strength, Ghazvinian, Ali, Farrokhsiar, Paniz, Vieira, Fabricio, Pecchia, John, Gursoy, Benay, 2019

The importance of the Trichoderma and fly survey
Mushroom News, Pecchia, John, Beyer, David, Beyer, D, Pecchia, J, 2018

China trip unveils morel cultivation mysteries
Mushroom News, Gi, Siyi, Pecchia, John, 2017

Cultivation of Pleurotus ostreatus, Estrada, Alma E.Rodriguez, Pecchia, John, 2017

Increasing mushroom yield. What's the next step?
Mushroom News, Pecchia, John, Beyer, D, 2017

Challenges for organic mushroom production
Mushroom News, Beyer, D, Pecchia, John, 2017

Penn State University invests in the future of its mushroom program
Mushroom News, Pecchia, John, Beyer, D, 2017

Efficacy of Beauveria bassiana formulations against the fungus gnat Lycoriella ingenua
Biological Control, Andreadis, Stefanos S., Cloonan, Kevin R., Bellicanta, Giovani S., Paley, Kimberly, Pecchia, John, Jenkins, Nina E., 2016

Effects of spent mushroom compost (SMC) as an ingredient in phase I compost on production of Agaricus bisporus
Compost Science and Utilization, Bishop, E. L., Pecchia, J. A., Wilkinson, V., Albert, I., Royse, D. J., 2016

Controlling Environmental Factors in Mushroom Growing
Mushroom News, Beyer, David, Pecchia, J, 2015

Mushroom Substrate Leachate
Mushroom News, Beyer, D., Pecchia, John, 2015

Composting changes in carbon
Mushroom News, Beyer, David, Pecchia, J, 2014

Syzygites – new mold on brown mushrooms
Mushroom News, Beyer, David, Pecchia, J, 2014