Due to their specific enzyme dispositions acting at decomposition of plant material and by the multiple kinds of unusual secondary metabolites they produce, particularly Agaricomycotina have found unique interest in biotechnology. Various species are edible and well established as part of human diets whilst benefits for medicine are attributed to others.
Chary in the choice of their plant counterpart, the preferred tree species of symbiotic, pathogenic or wood-rotting fungi is often reflected by the taxonomic name (birch-betulinus, oak-quercophilus, pine-pini; wood-silvaticus, silvicola).
Some of them grow easily in and on agricultural wastes, such as manure and straw. Others require wood chips or sawdust. On the agro-industrial scale, induction of fruiting is not easy to control; commercial cultivation still poses challenges to mushroom producers.
Previously, in vitro cultivation was thought to be complicated and non-reproducible, but meanwhile fast-growing species were identified. Laboratory cultivation of basidiomycetes is typically carried out emerged on organic substrates and in solid state bioreactors; submerged cultivation in shake flasks and stirred-tank reactors has become laboratory standard for the rapid production of larger amounts of homogeneous biomass.