John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Mushroom Science and Technology Minor Adviser
John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.
319 Buckhout Lab (office)
304 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-1008
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Composting
  • Compost Utilization
  • Mushroom Cultivation
  • Integrated Pest Management


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

Areas of Interest

Mushroom cultivation and disease management; composting and pathogen destruction and compost microbiology.

Pecchia Mushroom Science Team

Current Graduate Students

Program Interests

My research interests are primarily centered around cultivation of the white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus.  I am interested in looking at ways to improve production efficiency as well as studying mechanisms of disease and pest management.  I have also conducted research looking at environmental issues associated with mushroom cultivation, primarily air emissions associated with substrate preparation and mushroom cropping.  My current research is based on studying changes in microbial population dynamics during composting and cropping to determine the influence that these populations have on the nutrition of the mushroom as well as how they relate to mushroom yield and disease development. I am also testing the effectiveness of different products, both chemical and biological, to control fungal mushroom pathogens. 

My lab is also working on improving nutrient utilization by increasing enzyme production of the button mushroom through genetic transformations allowing for the mushroom to produce novel enzymes as well as increase production of existing enzymes in Agaricus bisporus.  This work is being conducted by my research associate, Dr. Carl Schlagnhaufer and is being supported through the J.B. Swayne Endowment.

We are also studying the fate of plant pathogens in a commercial yard waste composting system.  Our lab is looking at the effects of different composting parameters on the destruction of Calonectria pseudonaviculata, the causal agent of boxwood blight.

My teaching responsibilities include PPEM 225 Mushroom Cultivation and I am the adviser for the Mushroom Science & Technology Minor.

Selected Publications:

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.