Monophenolase (1011 +/- 626 U/g AP) and diphenolase activities (5163 +/- 3059 U/g AP) of PPO in acetone powders (APs) of different mushroom stems varied considerably. However, the limited variation of average dipenolase (L-DOPA) to monophenolase (L-tyrosine) activity ratio (5.4 +/- 0.7) in crude extracts showed the homogeneity of PPO from different mushroom stems. The change in extraction material or partial purification method (ammonium sulfate or acetone precipitation) did not affect the temperature stability, temperature and pH dependency and K-m of monophenolase activity considerably. However, some changes were observed in pH stability and substrate specificity of PPO in different parties of mushroom stems. The most important aspects of mushroom stem PPO are its lower diphenolase to monophenolase activity ratio than mushroom cap PPO, low temperature dependency of activity between 25 and 40 degrees C (Ea = 30 kJ/mol), broad optimum pH between 6 and 8, but lack of activity pH <= 5, and ability to use phloridzin as substrate. The mushroom stem PPOs partially purified and lyophilized by using sucrose, dextran or alginate showed moderate to high stability at -18 degrees C for 6-6.5 months. Thus, the mushroom stems obtained as a waste material during mushroom processing may be used as a more homogenous source than whole mushrooms to obtain PPO used for different industrial, clinical or research purposes. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.