John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.

John A. Pecchia, Ph.D.

  • Associate Research Professor
  • Mushroom Science and Technology Minor Advisor
  • Director, Mushroom Research Center
  • and Mushroom Spawn Lab
319 Buckhout Lab (office)
304 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Compost 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
  • Edward Kaiser, Research Technologist
  • Joseph Martain, Biological Technician

Current Graduate Students

  • Marilyn Bonham, M.S. student
  • Xiangrong Guo, M.S. student
  • Swathi Kothattil, Ph.D. student

Program Interests

My research interests are primarily centered around the cultivation of the white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus.  I am  studying mechanisms of disease and pest management, concentrating on biocontrol of fungal pathogens.  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 investigating changes in microbial population dynamics during composting and cropping to determine the influence that these populations have on mushroom yield as well as how they relate to mushroom disease development. 

My program is also interesting in evaluating outdoor morel cultivation efficiency and looking at the effects of changing environmental conditions on  mushroom yield and nutritional values of specialty mushrooms.

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

Selected Publications

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. In Press.

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.


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

Investigation of computer vision system and robotic picking mechanism for mushroom harvesting.
Mushroom News, He, L, Choi, 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 J., Trexler, Ryan V., Vieira, Fabricio R., Pecchia, John A., Kandel, Prem P., 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
Applied Entomology and Zoology, Mazin, Maria, Harvey, Rob, Andreadis, Stefanos, Pecchia, John, Cloonan, Kevin, Rajotte, Edwin G., 2019

Impact of Ammonia During Composting on Calonectria pseudonaviculata and C. henricotiae, Causal Agents of Boxwood Blight
Compost Science and Utilization, Harvey, Robert J., Shishkoff, Nina, Pecchia, John A., Davis, Donald D., 2019

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

Exploring oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) substrate preparation by varying phase I composting time
Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vieira, F. R., Pecchia, J. A., Segato, F., Polikarpov, I., 2019

Survival of Lab Grown Calonectria pseudonaviculata Microsclerotia During Small-Scale Composting
Compost Science and Utilization, Harvey, Robert J., Davis, Donald D., Shishkoff, Nina, Pecchia, John, 2019

100 years since Tolaas
Plant Disease, Osdaghi, Ebrahim, Martins, Samuel J., Ramos-Sepulveda, Laura, Vieira, Fabrício Rocha, Pecchia, John A., Beyer, David Meigs, Bell, Terrence H., Yang, Yinong, Hockett, Kevin L., Bull, Carolee T., 2019

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

A summary of the etiology and epidemiology of Syzygites megalocarpus disease of Agaricus
Mushroom News, Beyer, D, Pecchia, John, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pest management on US commercial mushroom farms
Outlooks on Pest Management, Pecchia, John Andrew, Beyer, David Meigs, 2013

Reuse of the casing layer from mushroom compost in subsequent mushroom crops
Mushroom News, Pecchia, John, Beyer, D., 2013

Reuse of Casing and Compost for a Second Crop of Mushrooms
Mushroom News, Beyer, David, Pecchia, J, Elias, R, 2013