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Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(4):327-36. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i4.60.

Comparison of Major Bioactive Compounds of the Caterpillar Medicinal Mushroom, Cordyceps militaris (Ascomycetes), Fruiting Bodies Cultured on Wheat Substrate and Pupae.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; College of Chemistry and Life Science, Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, China.
2
Shanxi Research Institute for Medicine and Life Science, Taiyuan, China.
3
College of Chemistry and Life Science, Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.

Abstract

In this study, the main bioactive compounds of the fruit bodies of Cordyceps militaris-such as adenosine, cordycepin, polysaccharides, mannitol, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and carotenoids-were cultivated on wheat and pupae, as well as sclerotium (the pupae portion) and sclerotium with fruiting bodies. The amounts of adenosine and polysaccharide in all the tested samples (except for the polysaccharides of sclerotium) are higher than the quality standards (adenosine ≥0.055% and polysaccharide ≥2.5%) determined by the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China. As the most important bioactive compound in C. militaris, cordycepin is the highest in the fruiting bodies on pupae than in other samples, whereas it is the lowest in the sclerotium. The amounts of cordycepin, carotenoids, and SOD were higher in the fruiting bodies on pupae than that in the fruiting bodies on wheat, whereas the amounts of adenosine, polysaccharides, and mannitol were higher in the fruiting bodies on wheat than in the fruiting bodies on pupae. There was no significant difference in the amounts of cordycepin, carotenoids, and SOD in the sclerotium with fruiting bodies and the fruiting bodies on wheat. The adenosine, polysaccharide, and mannitol contents in the sclerotium with fruiting bodies were significantly lower than those of the fruiting bodies on wheat. Overall, the results of this evaluation could not distinguish which is better: the fruiting bodies on pupae or those on wheat; each has its own merits. The fruiting bodies of C. militaris cultivated on both wheat and pupae are important candidates for medicinal and tonic use for the welfare of humankind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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